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SPIE Members are 'Ones to Watch' per Photonics Spectra

02 August 2012

Five Members and one Fellow of SPIE were noted among "Ones to Watch" in the August 2012 issue of Photonics Spectra magazine. The group includes young researchers, educators, and industry leaders whose talents promise a bright future and potential to impact the field of optical science. The list includes:

Fellow Roberto Morandotti from Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique's Energy, Materials, and Telecommunications Research Center in Quebec. He and his team developed a flexible, ultrasmall, ultrafast laser with precision and stability that allow a broad range of applications. He was also the recipient of the 2011 E.W.R. Steaci Memorial Fellowship, a prestigious award for young scientists in Canada.

John Solder, a senior at Staples High School in Connecticut, who was awarded the first place Addiction Science Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for his project, "Optogenetic interrogation of prefrontal cortex dopamine D1 receptor-containing neurons as a technique to restore timing; a novel approach to treat prefrontal disorders," revealing innovative ideas for developing novel therapies for psychiatric disorders. Solder plans to attend Yale in the fall.

Hatice Altug (Boston University), winner of  the Adolph Lomb Medal in recognition of her contributions to optics before age 35, specifically with integrated optical nanobiosensor technologies based on nanoplasmonics, nanofluidics, and novel fabrication. Altug was also a recipient of the 2011 Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and has participated in the Photonic Microdevices and Microstructures for Sensing committee at SPIE Defense, Sensing, and Security since 2011.

Anthony Visconti, a graduate student at the University of Rochester, recipient of the 2012 Robert S. Hillbert Memorial Travel Grant, awarded to students who excel in researching optical engineering, lens design, and/or illumination design.

Chris Schaffer, the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow of the Year for 2012-2013 and professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Cornell University. He is working to help reform science education by increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the industry and helping students understand and engage in science as a creative process. He has also participated in the committee for frontiers in ultrafast optics at SPIE Photonics West since 2010 and has presented nearly 30 papers at various SPIE meetings.

Patience Mthunzi, senior scientist researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's National Laser Centre in South Africa. She was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe for her significant contributions to scientific research in South Africa and internationally, specifically for her expertise in phototransfection studies and optical cell sorting via novel optical landscapes. Mthunzi presented a paper, "The influence of femtosecond laser pulse wavelength on embryonic stem cell differentiation," at SPIE Optics and Photonics.