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Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology

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Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology  (University of California-Davis)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

Biophotonics is the study of the interaction of light with biological material – where “light” includes all forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. Light can be used to image, analyze, and manipulate living tissue in a non-invasive manner. For this reason, biophotonics is widely regarded as the key science upon which the next generation of clinical tools and biomedical research instruments will be based. The Center’s goal is to focus its intellectual, scientific, educational and industrial outreach efforts on the rapid and directed development of biophotonics technology.

The Center focuses its research in areas that that could have important near-term payoff in science, medical technology, and the biomedical industry. This includes research related to filling in a critical gap in imaging at the level of molecular complexes and subcellular structures; DNA-protein interactions that are relevant to genetic damage recognition and repair, cancer and aging; new diagnostic tools for cancer detection; and more.

Education & Outreach

The Education and Human Resource Development arm of CBST is dedicated to developing tools, strategies and materials to train the next generation of scientists and engineers. The Center is working to develop both formal and informal programs to introduce biophotonics from K-12 all the way to the post-doctorate level. Biophotonic concepts can be visually rich and immediately intuitive, even to individuals without substantial education in math and science.  For this reason, biophotonics is an ideal vehicle to spark or maintain interest in both the physical and life sciences with the hope that young students will pursue higher education and professional careers in these disciplines later on.

For the public and educators at large, CBST maintains a presence at public events and is compiling an extensive library of Biophotonics teaching materials. Major events staged at the UC Davis Medical Center and UC Davis Campus have exposed thousands of people to Biophotonic science and its applications. In the virtual world, CBST is putting together a library of images, movies, lecture presentations, videotaped lectures and discussions, demonstrations, curricular activities and more, all freely available to the public at large.

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  • student uses biophotonic equipment
Graduate student Samantha Fore uses biophotonics-based technology to conduct laboratory research.
Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology, UC-Davis