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In memoriam: Ronald Waynant, pioneer in biophotonics and medical lasers

20 May 2016

Ronald WaynantSPIE Member Ronald Waynant, a pioneer in the field of medical laser applications who worked with laser technologies for more than 45 years, died 8 May. He was 75.

Waynant was a senior optical engineer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 1986 until his retirement in 2011 and focused his research on therapeutic laser medicine, laser generated x-rays, and infrared fiber optics. For much of his early career, Waynant worked at Westinghouse and the U.S. Naval Research Lab on the development and application of solid-state ruby and neodymium lasers and on the invention of novel laser-pumping techniques for UV and vacuum UV gas lasers.

He held 13 patents, published nearly 40 papers in SPIE journals and conference proceedings, authored numerous other publications and edited several books and journals. He was also recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for dedication, leadership, and excellence in optical engineering.

Waynant was for many years a chair for the Mechanisms for Low-light Therapy conference at BiOS, part of SPIE Photonics West. SPIE Fellow Israel Gannot, who called Waynant a creative, innovative and respected scientist in the biophotonics community, said the conference on Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications at BiOS 2017 will be dedicated to Waynant. Abstracts are due 18 July.

Waynant is survived by his wife, Priscilla Pilson Waynant; a daughter, Marcia Patchan; sons, William and Kristopher; a sister, Deborra Lego; and three granddaughters. Donations in his name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.