Peter Hansen received his degrees from Harvard College and Northeastern University and holds a PhD in the fields of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering. In 2010, he was chosen to be a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers for three decades of inventions in flow cytometry. He has served on the engineering staff of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts before entering a career in commercial science. While at Northeastern he discovered second harmonic generation in biological tissues and established a nonlinear optics technique for quantifying molecular order in connective tissue. This was the first of the now many applications of nonlinear optics (harmonic generation and multi-photon optics) in biology and medicine.
At MIT he developed non-contact infrared, measurements of temperature dependent thermal constants of tissues undergoing cryo-preservation. He directed biomedical systems research for two Johnson and Johnson companies in the decades of the 1970’s and 1980’s; a period which included his invention of the first laser based hematology analyzer, cell sorting systems, cell sizing methods, and the first whole blood immunophenotyping method. His late 1970’s immunophenotyping work for Massachusetts General Hospital established flow cytometry methods for managing immunosuppression in the first group of patients to ever receive monoclonal antibody immunotherapy. Using T-helper to T-suppressor cell count ratios in in patients undergoing kidney transplantation enabled a many-fold increase in the success rate for transplantation in these early years.
Since the late 1980’s, Peter has been the technical founder of four international biomedical systems companies with products addressing sensitive homogeneous immunoassays, multi-species veterinary hematology, flow sorting of model organisms (C. elegans) for pharmaceuticals research, and point-of-care flow cytometry devices for HIV management in rural clinics. In addition to being a current principal and co-founder of PNPResearch Corporation, LLC, Peter is a faculty member for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology LINQ Program, an affiliate of the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT, and a Visiting Scientist at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he conducts research on early diagnosis of ovarian cancer under an NIH grant.