UC Davis hosted the second JEDIS Summer School on Biophotonics in Translational Research this August as part of the three year Jena-Davis Alliance of Excellence in Biophotonics program. The JEDIS summer school is a weeklong event that brings together expertise in the field of advanced spectroscopic and imaging technologies for clinical diagnostics. This year’s event brought together 30 graduate students and international speakers from Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, in addition to several faculty from UC Davis.
“I really enjoyed interacting with internationally recognized professionals from various disciplines who all have the same interest – biophotonics. I am now working on striking new relationships and collaboration with a number of groups.”
– Saif Islam, Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis
Biophotonics utilizes physics, electrical engineering, and photonics to study how light and tissue interact. The interdisciplinary networking of researchers from biophotonics, imaging and clinical practice is a joint effort to address requirements and challenges in translational biophotonics including clinical applications. Each lecture during the weeklong event consisted of scientific background on a specific optical technique as well as applications of the technique in the medical field. Topics covered application of biophotonics techniques in neuroscience, oncology, ophthalmology, as well as artificial intelligence to name a few.
In addition to discussions with international experts and brainstorming of new concepts, this summer school is intended to mentor young scientists in career planning.
“Biophotonics is an exponentially evolving field and many companies are spinning off from some of these technologies,” says Dr. Laura Marcu, UC Davis Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Scientific Coordinator for the JEDIS Alliance. “This is an opportunity for us here at UC Davis to recruit more students interested in this area where there is a demand in the future for jobs and expertise in this particular area.”
Students attending the summer school were able to pitch current projects from their respective labs, as well as participate in a poster presentation. Awards were given for “Best Presentation” and “Best Poster.” The last two days of the event included trips to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.
“This program provided me new perspectives and insight on the latest clinical research being conducted in the biophotonics field, and provided me with a rich network of students, scholars and faculty for brainstorming and discussing concepts with pertaining to my own research,” said Brent Weyers, a UC Davis graduate student in the Marcu Lab.
Funding for the three year JEDIS Alliance program covered two summer schools (2018 and 2019). The third year of the program will include two scientific conferences. The first conference is anticipated for February 2020 at UC Davis, with the second expected to be held Summer 2020 in Germany.