NKT Photonics (Birkerød, Denmark) project manager Lasse Leick has received the 2012 Pasteur Award for work on an infrared (IR) supercontinuum laser that can illuminate what was previously invisible, with potential use in cancer research, disease detection, and food safety. The laser, called the IR SuperK, was developed in partnership with Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark, with partial funding by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.
The IR SuperK laser enables molecules to be identified and analyzed significantly faster than before—to tell immediately, for instance, whether cells may develop cancer, and whether food is safe to eat.
The award, named for French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, honors a project manager "particularly able to translate high-tech knowledge into social value," and "who can lead research even when it moves in unforeseen directions." It comes with a cash prize of DKK 75,000 (about $13,000).