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Carlo Liberale is an Assistant Professor of Bioscience (B) and affiliated with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program (ECE), and Principal Investigator of the Vibra Lab. Liberale's research interests are focused on developing and applying label-free chemical imaging techniques based on vibrational spectroscopy (Infrared and Raman micro-spectroscopy) and multi-photon processes (Coherent Raman Microscopy, SHG). One of the main aims of this research activity is to unveil specific bio-chemical signatures of cancer stem cells, with a particular focus on understanding the dysregulation of their lipid metabolism.

He is also interested in using high-resolution 3D printing based on Direct Laser Writing for the fabrication of novel micro-optics, towards the miniaturization of complex optical systems, and of smart micro-/nano-structures to be used as a probe in nanoscale imaging. This research activity takes advantage of an integrated approach that combines design, micro/nanofabrication, and optical techniques.​

Education and early career

Liberale obtained an M.Sc in Electronic Engineering and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from the University of Pavia, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Prior to joining KAUST in 2014, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy and as Team Leader at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa, Italy.

Editorial activities

Professor Liberale is currently Editor of Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group.

Why joining Vibra Lab?

The Vibra group is a multidisciplinary team of physicists, engineers, and biologists committed to the development and application of new-generation label-free microscopy methods for biomedical research. The laboratory is equipped with cutting edge instruments and technology in the field of vibrational micro-spectroscopy. 

We are currently looking for ambitious and self-motivated collaborators with excellent scientific records and a degree in engineering, physics, or a related field. The candidate must have hands-on experience in optical instrumentation, optical microscopes, and ultrashort pulse laser sources. 

The successful applicants will work on the development of a novel Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy system, in the framework of an interdisciplinary project investigating lipid dysregulation in cancer cells.

If interested, please, check Vibra vacancies.


KAUST offers exceptional infrastructure for scientific research and is equipped with state of the art core facilities for imaging, characterization and micro- and nano-fabrication.

Selected Publications

Sergey P. Laptenok, Vijayakumar P. Rajamanickam, Luca Genchi, Tual Monfort, Yeonwoo Lee, Imran I. Patel, Andrea Bertoncini, Carlo Liberale (13 May 2019), Fingerprint‐to‐CH stretch continuously tunable high spectral resolution stimulated Raman scattering microscope, Journal of Biophotonics. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201900028
Andrea Bertoncini, Carlo Liberale (2018), Polarization Micro-Optics: circular polarization from a Fresnel Rhomb 3D printed on an optical fiber, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Volume: 30, Pages: 1882-1885. doi: 10.1109/LPT.2018.2871161
Luca Tirinato, Carlo Liberale, Simone Di Franco, Patrizio Candeloro, Antonina Benfante, Rosanna La Rocca, Lisette Potze, Roberto Marotta, Roberta Ruffilli, Vijayakumar P. Rajamanickam, Mario Malerba, Francesco De Angelis, Andrea Falqui, Ennio Carbone, Matilde Todaro, Jan Paul Medema, Giorgio Stassi, Enzo Di Fabrizio (03 September 2014), Lipid Droplets: A New Player in Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells Unveiled by Spectroscopic Imaging, STEM CELLS. doi: 10.1002/stem.1837
C. Liberale, G. Cojoc, F. Bragheri, P. Minzioni, G. Perozziello, R. La Rocca, L. Ferrara, V. Rajamanickam, E. Di Fabrizio & I. Cristiani (2013), Integrated microfluidic device for single-cell trapping and spectroscopy, Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep01258
Carlo Liberale, Paolo Minzioni, Francesca Bragheri, Francesco De Angelis, Enzo Di Fabrizio & Ilaria Cristiani (2007), Miniaturized all-fibre probe for three-dimensional optical trapping and manipulation, Nature Photonics. doi: