ASLMS awards grants for biophotonics work in medicine, surgery

Two researchers have each received an American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS; Wausau, WI) 2013 Research Grant for their work, as both projects look to the use of lasers and other biophotonics technologies in medical and surgical applications.

Weston Welge, B.A., B.S., M.S., a graduate of the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), is a student recipient who is conducting research on systems that allow for earlier detection of colon cancer. In his research, Welge is working on an endoscope that combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) with a laser that gently heats the nearby tissue. He expects that irregular changes in blood flow after heating, seen on OCT, will reveal locations of very early, and curable, tumor growth.

Related: Photodynamic therapy technology destroys colon cancer tumors in mice

Also, Wenbin Tan, Ph.D., a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), is a non-student recipient who conducted research on the development of new therapeutic strategies for port-wine stain (PWS) birthmarks. In his research, Tan discovered that the pulsed dye laser (PDL) is the current treatment for PWS, but the regrowth of PWS blood vessels cause unsatisfied therapeutic outcomes in patients. In an animal model, he observed that topical application of anti-angiogenic drugs can inhibit blood vessel regrowth post-PDL.

Related: Pediatric capillary malformations respond to pulsed dye laser therapy

Since 2007, ASLMS has awarded $1.4 million for research projects. The grants were funded by net proceeds received from the silent auction held at the 2012 Annual Conference, Industry Advisory Council memberships, and member research contributors. To learn more about these research grant opportunities or to apply, please visit www.aslms.org/grants/grants.shtml.

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