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SPIE-Hillenkamp Fellowship

SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship

The SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Fellowship provides an annual award of US$75,000 to translate new biomedical optics and biophotonics technologies to clinical practice for improving human health.

The call for applications for the 2020 fellowship will open summer 2019.

Franz Hillenkamp

The fellowship honors Hillenkamp's distinguished career as a researcher, teacher, and mentor who had an enormous international impact. A German scientist, he introduced the first medical laser applications laboratory and marked the genesis of translational research in biomedical optics in Europe in the 1970s.

SPIE has partnered with four international biomedical optics laboratories and the Hillenkamp family to establish the fellowship.

Applying for the Fellowship

Young investigators with a PhD, MD, equivalent degree, or who are soon to receive their doctoral degree are eligible to apply. There are no restrictions on geographical location; however, applicants and hosting labs must propose original research in biomedical optics that is expected to lead to new diagnostics and/or therapeutics in medicine and biology. The annual award of US$75,000 will support the interdisciplinary problem-driven research and training opportunities.

The applications for the SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship are composed of three distinct elements:

The hosting labs that SPIE partners with are:

  • The Wellman Center for Photomedicine

  • The Manstein Lab in the Cutaneous Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Medical Laser Center Lübeck

  • The Beckman Laser Institute at the University of California in Irvine


2019 Recipients Jie Hui and Andreas Wartak

Dr. Jie Hui of the Boston University Photonics Center conducts research focused on a light-based approach to treat MRSA-caused diseases. The Fellowship will allow Hui to pursue a therapeutic treatment using a pulsed blue laser to decompose an endogenous membrane-bound pigment, staphyloxanthin, to disrupt the MRSA cell membrane.

Jie Hui
Andreas Wartak

Dr. Andreas Wartak of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine will target an earlier, cheaper, and less invasive diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Wartak notes that the "Fellowship will enable me to conduct my translational research project that aims to sustainably impact the diagnosis and treatment of EoE."

Read the press release about Dr. Hui and Dr. Wartak, their work, and the upcoming award ceremony at Photonics West 2019.