On September 24-25, approximately 200 international researchers at the forefront of the biophotonics field presented the latest advances and technologies at the 8th Inter-institute Biophotonics from Bench to Bedside Workshop held in Masur Auditorium at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
The purpose of this workshop was two-fold. First, to celebrate the International Year of Light. In 2015, a resolution was passed by UNESCO, that "...will promote the central role of light in science and culture...", among other things, such as history and education. Second, in coordination with the Year of Light, to present the latest developments and challenges facing those working at the forefront of Light in Medicine. This workshop is a follow-up to the 7th inter-institute workshop that was held in 2011.
The workshop was chaired by Amir Gandjbakhche, National Institutes of Health, Bruce Tromberg, University of California, Irvine and Israel Gannot, Johns Hopkins University and Tel Aviv University. Dr. Gandjbakhche welcomed the attendees, emphasizing the Year of Light, and discussed the multi-faceted bench to bedside model with a multi-disciplinary aspect.
Some of the highlights during Day 1 of the workshop: Dr. Tromberg discussed the future of translational Biophotonics in the context of the pending 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) which would increase funding to the NIH with a focus on innovative technologies, early feasibility studies, patient reported outcomes, and precision medicine. James Fujimoto, MIT, discussed optical coherence tomography, focusing on the development and its applications. James Olson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, presented a brilliant talk on tumor paint molecular imaging that is used for surgical guidance in brain tumors found in the children and adults.
To end the first evening, the Bench to Bedside Pioneer Award in Biophotonics was presented to Katarina Svanberg of Lund University, Sweden and South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China, for her extraordinary contributions in the oncology field using photodynamic therapy and transferring spectroscopic biomedical techniques to the third world and clinical work in Africa.
In day 2, advances in microscopy techniques and Metabolomics-Genomics were the highlights of the day. In the afternoon, Robert Alfano from City University New York and Lihong Wang from Washington University St Louis, both recipients of the SPIE Britton Chance Award, presented their latest ideas about the future of biophotonics.