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SPIE Translational Biophotonics aims to help deliver better treatments to patients faster

New workshop will draw academia, industry, and clinicians for discussions on expediting technology transfer

17 April 2014

Tomasz Tkaczyk
Tomasz Tkaczyk

BELLINGHAM, USA -- A new workshop helping to drive faster development and deployment of more accurate, less invasive diagnostic and treatment methods for cancer and other diseases will bring academia, industry, and clinicians to Houston next month. SPIE Translational Biophotonics will be held 19-20 May on the Rice University campus, and is sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics along with the BioScience Research Collaborative of Rice University.

"This new event will serve as an interdisciplinary forum for academics, developers, and practicing clinicians working in fields of medicine and biophotonics such as optical diagnostics, image-guided intervention, novel microscopy techniques, and probes -- in conjunction with system designers and developers," said conference chair and Rice researcher SPIE Member Tomasz Tkaczyk. "Bringing everyone with a role in the technology transfer path, from research to commercialization, is the key to expediting better treatment for patients. Among the applications are cancer diagnostics, cardiovascular imaging, and detection of infectious diseases."

More than 60 oral and poster presentations will be presented, highlighted by special sessions featuring leaders in biophotonics discussing the paths that led to their advancements, clinicians giving their perspectives on application needs, and industry representatives discussing pathways to biophotonics commercialization.

The workshop continues a translational biophotonics program launched at SPIE BiOS during Photonics West in San Francisco in February, and is the first of a planned series of workshops aiming to further accelerate the development of biophotonics technology into applications.

Topics are:

  • Diagnostic imaging and detection (endoscopies, diffused imaging, spectroscopy)
  • New techniques in microscopy and other emerging techniques (superresolution techniques, contrasts for microscopy, in vivo imaging)
  • Analytical systems (microarrays, high-throughput detection)
  • MD perspectives (unmet clinical needs)
  • Industry perspectives (the implementation process, device success stories).

Among the invited talks, "Point-of-care diagnostics for low-resource settings," by Rice's Rebecca Richards-Kortum will serve in part as a prelude to two conferences at SPIE BiOS in 2015: Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XV: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics and the newly organized Optics and Biophotonics In Low-Resource Settings.

Invited speakers also include:

  • SPIE Fellow Aydogan Ozcan, University of California, Los Angeles, on "Democratization of next-generation imaging, diagnostics and measurement tools using mobile phones"
  • SPIE Fellow Gerard Coté, Texas A&M University, on "Using micro- and nanofluidics with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for in vitro blood-based biomarker detection"
  • SPIE Fellow Joseph Izatt, Duke University, on "Real time volumetric swept source OCT for ophthalmic imaging and surgical guidance"
  • SPIE Fellow Lihong Wang, Washington University in St. Louis, on "Photoacoustic tomography: ultrasonically beating optical diffusion and diffraction"
  • SPIE Member Richard Levenson, University of California, Davis, on "Path, present, and future, or, stromics and hectaplexing"
  • SPIE Senior Member Siavash Yazdanfar, GE Global Research.

Edmund Optics and the Rice University / University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center / Howard Hughes Medical Institute Med Into Grad Program are co-sponsors of the event.

Conference proceedings papers will be published individually in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as approved after the meeting, and also in collected print and digital volumes.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 256,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.


Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
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