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Seeing the Future: Visionaries and Vision Correction

Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com

This month, we congratulate the winners of the 2014 SPIE Awards. Among them are the following three, who have had an impact on the world of biophotonics. (For a list of all the winners, visit www.photonics.com/a55977.)

The SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Award was awarded to Dr. Brian Wilson, head of the Division of Biophysics and Bioimaging at the Ontario Cancer Institute, in honor of Wilson’s many contributions to biomedical optics over the past 30 years, including his pioneering work in photodynamic therapy (PDT). His work included the concepts of PDT beacons, metronomic PDT and nanotechnology-enabled PDT, as well as technology development and clinical trials in the brain, the prostate and metastatic bone lesions.

The recipient of the SPIE Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award is Dr. Naomi Halas, director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics and the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston. Halas is recognized for her invention of biocompatible nanoparticles and their innovative applications in imaging, diagnostics and photothermal cancer therapy. She invented a class of nanoparticles with optical resonances that can be “designed in” to a nanostructure. Her use of gold nanoshells in living systems is in clinical trials.

Also on the list is Dr. Jeff Squier, a professor in the department of physics at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, recipient of the Harold E. Edgerton Award. His achievements include the demonstration of the first Ti:sapphire-based regenerative amplifier for high-energy ultrashort pulse generation as part of a group at the University of Rochester in New York. Most recently, he introduced a method to simultaneously capture nonlinear optical images from multiple depths. He is recognized for his seminal contributions to, among others, femtosecond lasers and amplifiers, laser filamentation, ultrafast spectroscopy and ophthalmic procedures with ultrafast lasers.

Speaking of ophthalmic lasers, in our cover story, science writer Valerie Coffey takes an unblinking look at cutting-edge laser technologies advancing ophthalmological treatments. Refractive laser surgery is used to treat eye conditions including near- and farsightedness, astigmatism and – one day soon – the scourge of middle age: presbyopia. Look into the latest on lasers in eye treatment in “Seeing the Light: How Photonics Continues to Improve Eyesight,” beginning on page 19.

Also in this issue, contributing editor Marie Freebody examines the versatile FRET spectroscopy technique in “FRET Pursues Affordable, Robust, User-Friendly Instruments,” starting on page 23; Dr. Edward Freniere and Michael Gauvin of Lambda Research Corp. explain the role of optomechanical design software in developing efficient and effective biomedical optical products in “Software Enhances Life Sciences Applications, Biomedical Simulations,” beginning on page 27; and, in “Superresolution Imaging Adds Another Dimension,” news editor Gary Boas outlines the potential impact of 3-D capabilities added to the technique, beginning on page 30.

Enjoy the issue. Send comments to me at karen.newman@photonics.com.


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