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Photonics West YIA Winners
Feb 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Feb. 25, 2009 – SPIE has announced the winners of the Young Investigator Award (YIA) from Photonics West 2009 in San Diego, Calif.

As part of this year’s Photonics West, SPIE organized a special symposium called the “Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging” conference, where they announced the winners. The conference touched on biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy and imaging, and was attended by roughly 150 scientists who enjoyed more than 40 presentations. 

The specially dedicated YIA, which is worth $750, was sponsored by PicoQuant to motivate young students to submit and present their work at North America’s largest trade show of its kind.


Pictured from left to right are Jonas Fölling and Rainer Erdmann.

According to PicoQuant, the excess of excellent talks made it impossible to decide on a single winner, therefore they honored the outstanding work of several young scientists by increasing the award amount to $1125, splitting it equally between Sigrun Henkenjohann, University Bielefeld; Jonas Fölling, MPI Göttingen; and Nathan P. Wells, Los Alamos Nat. Labs.

The aim of this conference was to provide a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary forum for spectroscopists, biochemists and engineers to exchange information on ultrasensitive optical detection and spectroscopy down to the single-molecule level, and its applications in chemoanalysis, biophysics, biological and biomedical research, medical diagnostics, and microscopy.

The conference covered a wide range of different single-molecule techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), fluorescence lifetime Imaging (FLIM), or Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET), with a special focus on biological and biomedical applications. The presentations showed clearly that single molecule spectroscopy has become an important tool in fundamental biological and biomedical research as it allows the study of function and interaction of individual biomolecules.SPIE-YIA-1.jpg

From left to right are Joerg Enderlein, Sigrun Henkenjohann , Nathan P. Wells , Rainer Erdmann and Zygmunt Gryczynski.

A highlight had been the sessions about super resolution microscopy. Starting with a general overview given in a keynote lecture by Stefan Hell, the subsequent talks presented many new and exciting results, demonstrating for example the possibility of achieving optical far-field resolution down to 1 nm.

Conference chairs, who also presented the YIAs were recognized, including Jörg Enderlein, University of Göttingen; Zygmunt Gryczynski, Center for Commercialization of Flurescence Technologies, UNTHSC; and Rainer Erdmann, PicoQuant GmbH.

The next “Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging” conference will be held in Jan. in San Francisco as part of the Photonics West 2010.

For more information, visit:

fluorescence correlation spectroscopy
A powerful method, referred to as FCS, for determining the average diffusion coefficients of fluorescent molecules in solution or membranes. FCS measurements rely on recording the transition of several thousands of molecules through the focal volume. The combination of short measurement times along with free positioning or scanning of the observation spot makes FCS an excellent tool for investigating diffusion heterogeneity over time and space.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
biomedcal spectroscopybiomedical researchBiophotonicsfluorescence correlation spectroscopyfluorescence lifetime imagingFoerster resonance energy transferimagingJonas FöllingJörg EnderleinMicroscopyNathan P. WellsphotonicsPhotonics West 2009PicoQuantRainer ErdmannSigrun HenkenjohannSingle Molecule Spectroscopy and ImagingSPIEsuperresolutionYoung Investigator AwardZygmunt Gryczynski

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