Brain researcher David Boas, who specializes in neuroimaging, has been named the winner of the 2016 Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award. An annual award presented by SPIE (Bellingham, WA), it recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of biomedical optics through the development of innovative, high-impact technologies.
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Boas is the director of the Optics Division of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston, MA), a professor in radiology at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA), and editor-in-chief of the journal Neurophotonics. His contributions to neuroscience include the development and translation of one of the first commercial systems to image human brain activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS); the invention of diffuse correlation spectroscopy to measure blood flow; and obtaining the first multispectral optical images of cerebral hemoglobin changes to complement laser speckle contrast images of blood flow.
Boas’ long expertise in utilizing microscopic measurements of brain activity to form a microscopic model of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has proven to have predictive power, and will help to improve the quantitative interpretation of measurements of human brain activity and physiology, the award citation said.
Following the example of his mentor Britton Chance, Boas is strengthening the community through fostering open discussions and sharing of tools, and by organizing educational workshops and conferences to bridge between biomedical optics and the clinical and health science fields.
Boas will receive his award at SPIE Photonics West 2016, to take place February 13-18 in San Francisco, CA.
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