New award to recognize innovative biophotonics contributions

The Optical Society (OSA) and the OSA Foundation (OSAF) have established the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award, which honors Feld's fundamental contributions in Raman spectroscopy to diagnose tissues and image diseases via endoscopy and optical tomography. The OSAF has begun fundraising efforts to permanently endow the award.

The Feld Award, which will be given out annually along with OSA's 18 other awards and recognitions, will recognize individuals for innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics, regardless of their career stage. The scope of the award encompasses all areas of biophotonics, ranging from fundamental optics discoveries in biology to the development of new theoretical frameworks and novel instrumentation to clinical translational research for biomedicine. A substantial and growing number of OSA members select a technical group in the Biomedical Optics Division as their first choice.

Feld, who passed away in 2010, founded the Laser Biomedical Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) in 1985 with the support of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. His aforementioned research led to numerous accomplishments and pioneering work in the field, including diagnosing atherosclerosis and detecting breast cancer; noninvasive glucose measurements; detecting precancerous changes in the colon, esophagus, oral cavity, and cervix; detecting neural activity; 3-D imaging of cells; and detecting malaria. In addition, Feld strongly valued an ethnically diverse scientific environment and actively sought to achieve this goal.

Nominations for the inaugural award, to be given in 2013, are now being accepted. Nominations are initiated by OSA members and reviewed by a committee of topical experts whose recommendations are submitted to the OSA Awards Committee.

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