This proposal is requesting funds to support "Advances in Optics for Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery", an interdisciplinary conference, optimally sized for cross-fertilization (~120 attendee), focused on the field of biomedical optics. Biomedical optics refers to the use of light in medicine and biomedical research, and exploits the many interactions that can occur between tissue and light from ultra-violet to infra-red wavelengths. The broad range of techniques encompassed by this young field is having a profound impact on medical diagnostics and therapy, as well as in biomedical research. Absorption of light by water is the basis of laser surgery. The absorption of light by other tissue constituents, such as oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin, is also being harnessed to perform optical spectroscopy and imaging that can be used to evaluate tissue function and perfusion. Intrinsic fluorophores, including a range of proteins and metabolites, can also be exploited for disease diagnosis in vivo. A wide range of exogenous optical imaging contrast agents are also in development, many of which take advantage of recent advances in genomics and proteomics for molecular targeting. Together these new optical technologies enable imaging over length-scales from the whole head or breast, to single cells or sub-cellular components. New optical spectroscopy and imaging technologies that exploit other types of light-tissue interactions (e.g. photo acoustics) are also being explored. This work encompasses a wide range of disciplines including engineering, physics, and mathematics and computing, and requires broad skills sets that combine these technical areas with a deep understanding of clinical medicine and basic biomedical research. This meeting will draw together experts from all facets of biomedical optics research, including clinicians and experts from industry. The conference format is designed to stimulate the sharing of creative ideas across broad areas of medicine, science and engineering, while providing ample opportunities for students, trainees and young investigators to diversify their knowledge and develop relationships with key leaders in the field. The conference will be held June 2-5, 2013 at the Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge, Lake Tahoe, CA. Sessions will be composed of field overviews by the session chairs and invited talks from accomplished senior or rising young investigators, who will define the current state of the art and suggest new and promising research directions. A poster session and 'hot topics'oral presentation session will provide graduate students and postdoctoral trainees the opportunity to present their own research and get direct feedback from clinicians, other scientists and engineers, and industry and government representatives.
The aims of this meeting are therefore:
Aim 1, to identify the newest and most cutting edge developments in the field of biomedical optics, and provide a forum for sharing these new discoveries and ideas;
Aim 2, to incorporate topics of fundamental importance to the field to facilitate interdisciplinary learning and training, and to ascertain the progress of promising modalities towards wider adoption/commercialization;
Aim 3, to create an environment that stimulates networking, exchange of ideas, collaboration, mentoring and cross-disciplinary learning;
and Aim 4, to ensure diversity in both speakers and attendees, by encouraging the attendance and participation of graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, young investigators and members of underrepresented groups, so that all who have the capacity to contribute to and gain from the meeting are afforded the opportunity to attend and showcase their work.
Advances in Optics for Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery is an interdisciplinary conference, optimally sized for cross-fertilization (~120 attendee), and focused on the field of biomedical optics, which encompasses the use of light for a wide range of imaging, diagnostic and therapeutic applications in medicine and biomedical science. This conference will bring together established experts in all areas of this field, along with graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, young investigators, clinicians and representatives from industry and government. The meeting will focus on novel and emerging technologies, many on the path to clinical translation and commercialization, and will encourage networking and idea exchange between its diverse participants. The broad range of techniques encompassed by this young field is having a profound impact on medical diagnostics and therapy and, as a result, will have a significant beneficial impact on public health.