OSA honors optical spectroscopy trailblazer with award

Named after a pioneer in vibrational spectroscopy, the award recognizes those who continue to advance the field.

Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE, Chemistry & Physics) has been presented with the Ellis R. Lippincott Award from the Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, DC). Named after a pioneer in vibrational spectroscopy, the award recognizes those who continue to advance the field in innovative and creative ways.

Cheng studied under Sunney Xie at Harvard University for three years before leaving for a professorship at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) in 2003, during which time he spearheaded the development of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy—a technique that enables researchers to noninvasively image chemical bonds in live tissues and cells. During his independent career, Cheng has made a number of innovations that allowed vibrational spectroscopic imaging of living systems from a single bacterium to human patient. His research has also garnered over $25 million in grants.

Cheng joined Boston University (BU) in 2017 as the inaugural Moustakas Chair Professor in Photonics and Optoelectronics and was elected a Fellow of the OSA in fall 2018, for his outstanding contributions to invention and development of label-free optical spectroscopic imaging technologies with groundbreaking applications to biology, medicine, and materials science.

The award was established in 1975 and is jointly sponsored by OSA, the Coblentz Society, and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

For more information, please visit sites.bu.edu/cheng-group.

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