NSF establishes center for biophotonics at UC Davis

Using lasers, light and radiant energy in biology and medicine is the aim of a major new collaborative center announced today at the University of California, Davis.

Funded with $52 million over the next 10 years, including a $40 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology will bring together scientists, industry, educators and the community to research and develop applications for biophotonics -- the science of using light to understand the inner workings of cells and tissues in living organisms.

The center will be announced in a press conference on the UC Davis campus today, Oct. 24.

Applications of biophotonics range from using light to selectively treat tumors, to sequencing DNA, biochemical studies and identifying single biomolecules within cells.

"Lasers have become an essential element in clinical practice in contemporary medicine and surgery," said James E. Boggan, professor of neurological surgery at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center and co-director of the new center.

"Lasers are indispensable in a number of surgical specialties, from dermatology to oncology, and the development of new medical laser technologies and techniques offers tremendous opportunities to improve the practice of medicine further, from developing better sutures to treating osteoporosis," Boggan said.

The center brings together roughly 100 researchers including physical scientists, life scientists, physicians and engineers. In addition to UC Davis and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, center members include UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University, Alabama A&M University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Hampton University, Fisk University and Louisiana State University.

The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology is the only NSF-funded center in the country that will focus on this area o

Contact: Andy Fell
University of California - Davis

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