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SPIE Professional January 2016

David Boas to receive SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award for neuroimaging advances

Brain researcher David Boas has been named recipient of the 2016 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award.

Boas, an SPIE Senior Member, is director of the Optics Division of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. He is also editor-in-chief of the journal Neurophotonics, published by SPIE.

The SPIE Awards Committee recognized Boas for significantly impacting the development and application of optical spectroscopic and correlation methods to measure oxygen and blood flow, respectively, both macroscopically in humans as well as microscopically in animal models.

The citation commended Boas for developing novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies as well as following through with influential application studies and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies.

Boas’ expertise in utilizing microscopic measurements of brain activity to form a microscopic model of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has proven to have predictive power and will help to improve the quantitative interpretation of measurements of human brain activity and physiology, the award citation said.

Following the example of his mentor, the late Britton Chance, Boas has fostered open discussions and the sharing of tools and has organized educational workshops and conferences to create a bridge between biomedical optics and the clinical and health science fields.

Among Boas’ accomplishments, the Awards Committee also listed:

  • Development and translation of one of the first commercial systems to image human brain activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
  • Invention of diffuse correlation spectroscopy to measure blood flow
  • Obtaining the first multi-spectral optical images of cerebral hemoglobin changes to complement laser-speckle contrast images of blood flow.

The SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award is presented annually by SPIE in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of biomedical optics through the development of innovative, high-impact technologies. Previous recipients are Robert Alfano, James Fujimoto, Lihong Wang, and Brian Wilson.

Boas will receive his award at the BiOS Hot Topics session at SPIE Photonics West in February.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201601.14

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