Guzel Musina Awarded 2024 Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship

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PITTSFIELD, Mass., May 24, 2024 — Guzel Musina, a PhD student in the University of Houston’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded the 2024 Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship for her contributions to the field of optics and photonics. Musina is pursuing research in the use of optogenetics to explore and treat heart conditions.

Musina is the developer of an optogenetic approach to map the location of pacemaker cells in the embryonic heart, a feat which is not possible with other methods, according to Irina Larina, professor of integrative physiology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Musina is performing her PhD project at Baylor College of Medicine under Larina's supervision. The work detailing the optogenetic approach was presented at Photonics West earlier this year. In all, Musina has authored 26 peer reviewed articles in journals including Optica, Journal of Biophotonics, and Biomedical Optics Express. She is first author on four of these publications.
Guzel Musina, winner of the 2024 Teddi Laurin Scholarship. Courtesy of Guzel Musina.
University of Houston PhD student Guzel Musina was awarded the 2024 Teddi Laurin Scholarship. Courtesy of Guzel Musina.

Musina completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Bauman Moscow State Technical University in Russia, becoming active in academic research in the school’s Department of Laser and Optical-Electronic Systems under the mentorship of Kirill Zaytsev. She also served as an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Valery Tuchin, with whom she contributed two chapters as a co-author to the "Handbook of Tissue Optical Clearing: New Prospects in Optical Imaging."

Musina was elected as vice president of the SPIE University of Houston Student Chapter in 2023 and is actively involved in the organization of academic visits to the university and the facilitation of student events with visiting professors to promote exposure and scientific interactions within the student community.

Musina credits her interest in optics and photonics to conversations with her father, a physics teacher, and being nurtured by hands-on activities like examining water samples from fishing trips. In the future, her goal is to become an independent principal investigator at a research-intensive university, focusing on the advancement of optogenetics in cardiac biology and disease.

Photonics Media partners with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, to fund the Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship to raise awareness of optics and photonics, and to foster growth and success in the photonics industry by supporting students involved in photonics. The scholarship is awarded yearly in memory of Teddi C. Laurin, the founder of Laurin Publishing and Photonics Media.

Published: May 2024
A discipline that combines optics and genetics to enable the use of light to stimulate and control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, which have been genetically modified to respond to light. Only the cells that have been modified to include light-sensitive proteins will be under control of the light. The ability to selectively target cells gives researchers precise control. Using light to control the excitation, inhibition and signaling pathways of specific cells or groups of...
educationscholarshipoptogeneticsBiophotonicsImagingTeddi C. Laurin ScholarshipGuzel MusinaUniversity of HoustonDepartment of Biomedical EngineeringBaylor College of MedicineAmericasoptica

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