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Alfano First Recipient of Britton Chance Award

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Dec. 21, 2011 — Robert Alfano, distinguished professor of physics at City College of New York, has been selected to receive the first SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award.

Alfano, a longtime SPIE conference chairman and committee member, and a member of the Photonics Spectra advisory board, was recognized for his pioneering work in biomedical optics and ultrafast laser spectroscopy. He co-discovered the supercontinuum white light source, the SPIE award citation noted. In addition, he helped found the Biomedical Optics (BiOS) symposium at SPIE Photonics West.

The award will be presented annually to honor optical methods and device contributions that have significant promise to accelerate — or that have already facilitated — discoveries in biology or medicine.

The late Dr. Britton Chance was considered one of the giants of biochemistry and biophysics and a leader in transforming theoretical science into useful biomedical and clinical applications. Chance focused his research on enzyme structure and function early in his career, aided in the development of radar during World War II, and later employed phosphorous nuclear magnetic resonance and optical spectroscopy and fluorometry to explore metabolic control phenomena in living tissues. (See: Britton Chance: 1913-2010)

Alfano will receive the award Jan. 23, 2012, during the BiOS Hot Topics session at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

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