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    Gang Yao, Irving Bigio among Edmund Optics Educational Award recipients


    03 December 2014

    Several SPIE members and authors are among winners of the Edmund Optics 2014 Education Awards announced recently. Through the program Edmund Optics awarded a total of US$85,000 credit toward purchase products to 45 undergraduates, graduates, PhD students, lab managers, teaching assistants, and professors from optics programs around the globe. Edmund Optics is an SPIE Corporate Member.

    SPIE Senior Member and professor at University of Missouri Gang Yao received the Americas Gold Award, including US$10,000 in products. Yao's award recognized his invention of a portable device for screening neurodevelopmental disorders in young children. Applying dynamic pupillary light reflex (PLR), the device eliminates the physical restraints involved with screening patients. Clinicians and researchers at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders are now using Yao's device.

    Yao serves on the Sensing for Agriculture and Food Quality and Safety conference committee at SPIE DSS 2015.

    SPIE Fellow and professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University (BU) Irving Bigio was awarded the Americas Silver Award with US$7,500 for developing a minimally invasive optical imaging technology to capture neuronal activation patterns in the brain. Bigio and his team of researchers from the BU Biomedical Optics Lab are conducting experiments on the effects of induced epileptic seizures.

    Bigio is on the committee for the Optical Biopsy and Biomedical Application of Light Scattering conferences at SPIE Photonics West 2015.

    Mikkel Brydegaard of Lund University received the Europe Silver Award with €5,000, and Yuen Hong Tsang of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University received the Asia Bronze Award and $5,000.

    Brydegaard, author of several publications in the SPIE Digital Library including two free-access papers in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, was recognized for developing a laser radar for monitoring the atmosphere to help detect potential of diseases transmitted by insects.

    Tsang researched the interaction between a high-resolution fluorescence imaging system and multi-functional nanoparticles. The method he developed helps treat cancer and is more advantageous than traditional chemotherapy.

    The University of Waterloo won this year's Normand Edmund Inspirational Award and US$5,000 in products, for a project submitted by Shahid Haider. The Waterloo team has developed a medical device that eases diabetes monitoring in children by using a noncontact handheld system that takes full-field images of the eye's aqueous humor to infer glucose concentrations. By eliminating any pain associated with diabetes testing, the research has the direct potential to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with diabetes, including reducing the risk of eye, kidney, and heart damage.

    Haider is an author of two presentations at the upcoming IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging.