John Allen


    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1992 …2023

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Vision Statement

    A healthier world. My contribution by undertaking world leading R&D in vascular optics / microvascular sensing for the benefit of the patient and society - aiming to also help reduce health inequalities.

    Research Interests

    Vascular optics and novel microvascular assessment. Optics in Medicine.

    Photoplethysmography and pulse wave analysis.

    Novel sensor development, signal and image processing.

    Endothelial function and tissue viability assessment. 

    Cardiovascular physics.

    Quantitative and Qualitative research.

    Microcirculation in health and disease.


    I started my career in industry in instrumentation and control engineering, then moving into biomedical engineering after studying for a master’s degree in Bioengineering at Strathclyde University. In 1989 I joined the NHS / Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering department based at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, first working with the Cardiovascular Physics and Engineering Research Group allied to Newcastle University, then becoming lead Clinical Scientist specialising in microvascular assessment i.e., studying the smaller blood vessels of the body. I have a PhD in the vascular optics pulse technique known as photoplethysmography (PPG), for which I am a recognised authority. I am a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist, State Registered Clinical Scientist, and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist).

    In 2001 I founded the unique vascular optics measurement facilities at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital for patient microvascular assessments, establishing a platform for wide ranging collaborative research in clinical physiological measurement as well as medical device, sensor and signal / image processing development work. A main group assessed was those with a suspected auto-immune connective tissue disease including patients with Raynaud’s phenomenon.

    In early 2020, I was encouraged to apply to Coventry University for the new post of Professor in Biosensors and Bioinstrumentation at its new Research Centre for Intelligent Healthcare (CIH) in Healthcare Technology and Innovation. I started the new Chair position in July 2020 and I am fascinated to explore the power of light in medicine ("vascular optics"), with its many opportunities in microcirculation research for early disease detection. I have established specialist facilities for my microvascular research at Coventry as Specialty Lead in Vascular Optics and Microcirculation within the CIH.

    Education/Academic qualification

    Medical Physics, Doctorate, Multi-site PPG in PAD detection, Newcastle University

    1 May 19951 Oct 2002

    Award Date: 4 Dec 2002

    Bioengineering, MSc, Adaptive control, University of Strathclyde

    1 Oct 19881 Oct 1989

    Award Date: 1 Oct 1989

    Finance and Management: CDipAF, Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (CDipAF), from ACCA


    Award Date: 29 Sept 1988

    Control Engineering, Degree, Systems Identification, University of Sheffield

    1 Sept 198230 Jun 1985

    Award Date: 4 Jul 1985

    External positions

    Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, Newcastle University

    1 Aug 2021 → …

    Individual Member, Parliamentary and Scientific Committee

    1 Jan 202131 Dec 2025

    Personal Readership in Microcirculation, Newcastle University

    1 Aug 201831 Jul 2021

    Executive Editorial Board, Physiological Measurement, Institute of Physics Publishing

    1 Jan 2011 → …


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