The metabolic rate and oxygen consumption of the brain is reflected in jugular venous oxygen saturation. In many clinical conditions, such as head trauma, stroke, and low cardiac output states, the brain is at risk for hypoxic-ischemic injury. The current gold standard for monitoring brain oxygenation is invasive and requires jugular vein catheterization under fluoroscopic guidance; and therefore it is rarely used. Photo-acoustic tomography in combination with ultrasound can be used to estimate oxygen saturation of the internal jugular vein in real-time. This noninvasive method will enable earlier detection and prevention of impending hypoxic brain injury. A wavelength-tunable dye laser pumped by a Nd:YAG laser delivers light through an optical fiber bundle, and a modified commercial ultrasound imaging system (Philips iU22) detects both the pulse-echo ultrasound (US) and photoacoustic (PA) signals. A custom-built multichannel data acquisition system renders co-registered ultrasound and photoacoustic images at 5 frames per second. After the jugular vein was localized in healthy volunteers, dualwavelength PA images were used to calculate the blood hemoglobin oxygen saturation from the internal jugular vein in vivo. The preliminary results raise confidence that this emerging technology can be used clinically as an accurate, noninvasive indicator of cerebral oxygenation.