Dr. Christopher Contag, of Stanford University, is the 2017 recipient of the Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of biomedical optics through the development of innovative, high-impact technologies. Contag is associate chief of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Stanford University, director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation in In Vivo Imaging and co-director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. He is also a professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Radiology and Microbiology and Immunology, as well as a member of the Immunology and Bio-X faculties for interdisciplinary sciences. Contag’s lab was the first to use biological sources of light to image key biological processes in living mammals. This work included the first in vivo bioluminescent images of bacterial infection, gene expression patterns, stem cell biology, cancer growth and transplantation biology of solid organs and responses to therapy. His laboratory now develops macroscopic and microscopic optical imaging tools that have enabled in vivo studies of drug targets and agents. Most large drug companies now use bioluminescent images to accelerate drug development. In its citation, the SPIE Awards Committee commended Contag for his significant changes to the way we study biology in living tissue through his invention of in vivo optical imaging using bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters. The committee cites Contag’s invention as one of the most significant advances in biomedical research in recent history. “Dr. Contag’s passion for unraveling cancer biology and his ability to recognize unmet needs and create new tools to solve them makes him an extraordinary candidate for the Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award,” said Anna Moore, professor of radiology and director of the Molecular Imaging Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. Contag will accept the award at SPIE Photonics West in January, where he will also give a talk during the BiOS Hot Topics session.