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Posted: Mar 22, 2011
National Biophotonic Sensors and Systems Center announced
(Nanowerk News) The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) at UC Davis and the Boston University Photonics Center have jointly received the newest National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center award. The new Center for Biophotonic Sensors and Systems (CBSS) is one of 50 such cooperative research center awards across the country and the only center focused on biophotonic sensors. The concept is a long-running NSF program designed to foster university-industry collaborations and is jointly supported by the foundation and industry.
Working at the intersection of photonics engineering and the life sciences, the center will focus on translational research where photonics provides the technologies for advances in methods to detect and identify biological properties, conditions or changes at the molecular, cellular and sub-cellular levels.
"We are pleased to have the confidence of NSF and the support of industry members as we launch this center," said Thomas Bifano of Boston University and the first director for the biophotonic sensors center. "The ultimate goal of the center is to use photonics as a driver for early disease detection, reduction of health care costs, speedier and more effective treatment through personalized care and better patient outcomes".
Dennis Matthews, director of the biophotonics center on the UC Davis Health System campus and UC Davis site director for the new center, added that it will be a national resource for biosensor research that draws from two top regions of technological and entrepreneurial innovation in the country.
"We are teaming two nationally renowned photonics research centers with a history of close collaboration with their respective medical campuses and clinical health-care experts -- elements that augur well for success," Matthews said.
Gabriela Lee, CBST's industry liaison, said the center's framework provides plenty of potential for faculty and industry partners to work together on basic research that ultimately will benefit all. The center also will provide outstanding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work toward careers as engineers and scientists, with a view toward industrial needs and practices, as well as toward improving industry competitiveness.
Specifically, she said, the biophotonics programs will focus their research on photo-thermal microscopy, adaptively compensated 3-D bioimaging, single-cell capture flow cytometry, label-free optofluidic-nanoplasmonic biosensors, and live cell 3-D super resolution microscopy. Results of these and other projects will be directly applicable to devices necessary in many clinical areas, from cancer and infectious diseases to regenerative medicine.
Industry members will advise the center's management on all aspects, from research project selection and evaluation to strategic planning, through an industrial advisory board. The initial research programs will be selected at a meeting April 28 and 29 at Boston University. Benefits to industry members include opportunities for pre-competitive collaboration with industry counterparts, access to a pipeline of trained graduate students, enhanced technology transfer opportunities, rights to license intellectual property related to the program, access to the breadth of each university's research as well as access to supplemental funding opportunities through other NSF programs.