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    Daily Updates

    Wednesday, September 27 2006

    The Fifth Inter-Institute Workshop on Optical Imaging wrapped up today with a half-day spent on optics in neuroscience. A session and panel, both chaired by Elizabeth Hillman (Columbia Univ.), explored the possibilities for optics in neuroscience from the bench to the bedside. Talks ranged from Brian Bacskai (Massachusetts General Hospital) who spoke about structural imaging of the Alzheimer brain with multiphoton microscopy at the bench to Ellen Grant of Massachusetts General Hospital spoke about the role of quantitative frequency domain near-infrared spectroscopy in the neonatal intensive care unit at the bedside. The panel discussion focused on whether optical imaging devices for neuroscience are simply a novel research tool or whether they should be a clinical bedside tool.

    Wednesday morning concluded with a session on new optical devices and methods. Speakers from OrSense Ltd. and Univ. of Electro-Communications (Japan) discussed their methods of optically monitoring blood glucose. Another highlight was Y. Yamashita from Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Japan) who discussed quantitative monitoring and imaging using near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy.

    The afternoon session was dedicated to NIH support for optical imaging. Representatives from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke spoke about funding opportunities for optical imaging in their institutes.

    The meeting adjourned at 3:30 with 400 workshop attendees.

    Tuesday, 26 September 2006

    Day two at Optical Imaging 2006 opened with ten NIBIB-sponsored speakers who spoke about translating optical imaging techniques to preclinical and clinical applications. Highlights included Xingde Li, University of Washington, who spoke about the potential and challenges of high-resolution endoscopic technologies for optical biopsy of internal organs and Lihong Wang, Washington Univ. who spoke about high-resolution biophotonic imaging.

    James Fujimoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, chaired an afternoon session on optical coherence tomography that included talks by Joseph Izatt, Duke Univ., Zhongping Chen, Univ. of California/Irvine, Joel Schuman, University of Pittsburgh, and Stephen Boppart, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Representatives from Pfizer Inc., Siemens Corporate Research, GE Global Research, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and Merck and Co., Inc. tried to answer the question: "What can optics do for drug discovery?" The speakers also touched on the evolving role of optical imaging in clinical practice.

    The Tuesday afternoon panel session on "Effective Interaction Among Research Institutions and the Private Sector" was moderated by Stavros Demos, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Representatives from industry and academia discussed ways that the two groups could better work together to get optical imaging devices to the clinical bedside.

    Day two ended with poster session. At the reception, William Warger, Northeastern University, received the award for best student poster for his research on a dual-wedge scanning confocal reflectance microscope.

    Monday, 25 September 2006

    The fifth Inter-Institute Workshop on Diagnostic Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy from Bench to Bedside kicked off today at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Workshop chairs Amir Gandjbakhche, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and Bruce Tromberg, University of California, Irvine welcomed approximately 400 researchers from academia, government and industry to the workshop.

    The workshop opened with five keynote speakers: Robert Balaban (Scientific Director, NHLBI, NIH), Alan Koretsky (Scientific Director, NINDS, NIH), Daniel Sullivan (Associate Director of Cancer Imaging Program, NCI, NIH), Belinda Seto (Deputy Director, NIBIB, NIH), and Brian Wilson (University of Toronto). Prof. Wilson was honored for his extraordinary pioneering contributions to the translation of optical technologies from blackboard to benchtop to bedside and the evening reception was held in his honor.

    The second session explored molecular imaging and began with an interesting presentation by Dr. Gary Griffiths, Director of the Imaging Probe Development Center at the NIH. Dr. Griffiths discussed that in the future, the center will investigate improvements in probe preparation and supply, and perform its own research studies on the production of novel probes. Additional session highlights included S. Kawata of Osaka Univ. (Japan) who spoke about using near-field Raman-CARS microscopy for cellular and molecular imaging and T.S. Tkaczyk of the University of Arizona who spoke about miniaturized, disposable microscopy probes for early cancer detection.

    The afternoon was filled with invited oral presentations and a panel that discussed how to translate optical technologies from benchtop to clinical standard. All speakers were members of the National Cancer Institute's Network for Translational Research in Optical Imaging. B.J. Tromberg of the University of California, Irvine spoke about the overarching barriers to clinical translation and how to overcome them, J.C. Pearson of Siemens Corporate Research spoke about informatics platforms to support collaboration and drive standardization, J.M. Crawford of the University of Florida discussed how to compare to the clinical gold standard and D.A. Benaron of Spectros Corporation discussed how to get a device commercialized. Panel members included the four speakers and representatives from the FDA, NCRR/NIH and NIST.