Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology Newsletter  

August Highlights 2009
In This Issue
Meet the Researcher
Education Highlights
KT Highlights
Awards and Recognitions
CBST Highlights
Calendar of Events
Grants and Funding
NSF logo 
Work supported by the National Science Foundation
Cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0120999.
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Dr. Dennis MatthewsWe had a very successful Annual Retreat this past July, that brought together the CBST community in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA for three days of talks, discussions and networking.  The agenda included talks from high-profile biophotonics researchers, lawyers and technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs, and our own graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.  Thank you to all our retreat organizers, staff, students, faculty, CBST interns, and industry affiliates for participating in our event.  We're now gearing up for the Fall semester and continuing with our CBST-related research projects, along with all the challenges and opportunities coming our way.  In other news, I am very pleased and honored to have just received a $100K check from Robyn Raphael of the Keaton Raphael Memorial.  These funds will be used to further CBST's research efforts in developing new medical technologies that benefit pediatric cancer patients.

~Dennis Matthews, Ph.D. CBST Director
CBST Research Highlights
Meet the Researcher - Dr. Susan Spiller
Dr. Susan Spiller, Associate Professor of Biology at Mills CollegeDr. Susan Spiller is an Associate Professor of Biology at Mills College, a small undergraduate Women's College in Oakland, California.  Her area of study includes Biophotonics Research into phytochromes which are classified as photosensitive proteins that were first discovered in plants, but exist in a myriad of organisms from fungi to cyanobacteria.     
Dr. Spiller is an affiliate of CBST and her research project evaluating the genomic DNA of photosynthetic prokaryotic microbes living in hot springs is a collaborative project with Dr. Lagarias from the UC Davis, Department of Biochemistry.  Dr. Spiller has also mentored more than 29 Mills Biophotonics Researchers, several of which are nearing completion of their medical training and others are in graduate programs. 
To read more about Dr. Spiller, please click on
Recent Publications:
Biochemistry 2008, 47, 7304-7316.  A Second Conserved GAF Domain Cysteine is Required for the Blue/Green Photoreversibility of Cyanobacteriochrome Tlr0924 from Thermosynechococcus elongatus.  Nathan C. Rockwell, Stephanie Lane Njuguna, Laurel Roberts, Elenor Castillo, Victoria L. Parson, Sunshine Dwojak, J. Clark Lagarias, Susan C. Spiller. 
Additional research & outside interests:
Dr. Spiller collaborates with Sean Tamarisk and the CBST Education group to support teaching in the physiology class at East Oakland School of the Arts, a Castlemont Small High School.  She is a member of the CA Native Plant Society scholariship committee.  Outside of the classroom and research lab, Dr. Spiller enjoys hiking with her husband in the Sierra of CA, traveling to visit her three daughters, and spending time with her family and pets. 
CBST Education Highlights
UC Davis Emerging Technologies Continuing Umbrella Research Experiences (ET-CURE) Program
Nine area college students have spent 8 to 12 weeks learning about cancer research  as part of the ET-CURE program at UC Davis.  These students have had the opportunity to work in the UC Davis Cancer Center laboratories, as well as the NSF-funded Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology (CBST). 
This summer the nine ET-CURE students and 22 CBST interns had the opportunity to judge scientific posters by CURE High School Research Academy students from Sacramento High School.  On Friday, June 19th, 2009 the ET-CURE and CBST interns participated in a mentoring exercise where they evaluated the high school students' poster presentations for their scientific merit. 
To read more, please click on 
Local High School CURE Students Worked in Cancer Research Laboratories
CURE students: Elaine Pinder and Brian ChanStudents from Sacramento High School participated in an elective class throughout their 2008-2009 school year that taught them cancer science and biophotonics.  This class ended with a summer intensive where 10 of the students spent 3 weeks working at CBST, with CURE (Continuing Umbrella Research Experiences) Program Coordinator Michelle McCombs, to develop their own research project, which was presented as a poster at the CURE High School Research Academy.  Following this, 7 of the CURE students spent 4 weeks working in cancer research laboratories at the University of California, Davis Medical Center during the month of July.  These CURE students had the opportunity to work in the laboratories of Drs. Ralph deVere White, Allen Gao, Phil Mack and Colleen Sweeney.  This particular CURE Program is a NIH-funded effort that is a collaboration between the Center for Biophotonics, the University of California, Davis Cancer Center and Sacramento High School.   The program ended on July 31, 2009 with a reception where the students gave a PowerPoint presentation of their cancer research to the new incoming CURE class.  The two CURE students listed in the photo above are: Elaine Pinder and Brian Chan.
UC Davis Student Receives Scholarship From Biotech Industry Leader Genentech
An undergraduate student at the University of California, Davis studying biochemistry and molecular biology, Wenhui Zhou, who previously had worked on a research project at the UC Davis Center for Biophotonics recently received a $7,500.00 scholarship at a luncheon held at Genentech headquarters in South San Francisco on June 22, 2009.
To read more, please click on  
CBST Knowledge Transfer Highlights
The Keaton Raphael Memorial (KRM) Presents a Gift to CBST
Keaton Raphael Memorial Foundation EventOn Monday, August 24th, 2009 the Keaton Raphael Memorial held their 12th Annual Chipping Away at Childhood Cancer Golf Tournament at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville, CA.  During the evening dinner, Dr. Dennis Matthews, the Center Director for the UC Davis CBST, received a donation in the amount of $100K.  These funds will be used to further CBST's research efforts in developing new medical technologies that benefit pediatric cancer patientsPictured in the photo (from L to R):  Steve Balbierz-KRM chair person, Dr. Dennis Matthews-CBST Center Director, Robyn Raphael-Keaton's Mommy and Founder of the Keaton Raphael Memorial, Kyle Raphael-Keaton's Daddy and Founder of the Keaton Raphael Memorial.
To read more, please click on   
Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui's Small Business Opportunities Workshop
On Thursday, August 6th, 2009 Congresswoman Matsui held her second Small Business Opportunities Workshop at Sacramento City College from 9:30 AM until 12 PM.  The event included presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions for small business entrepreneurs facing challenging economic times.  Dr. Amy L. Gryshuk, Director of New Ventures, from the University of California, Davis Center for Biophotonics attended the one-day event along with over 230 small business owners where all participants had an opportunity to interact with the Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Business), SBDC (Small Business Development Centers), The Federal Technology Center, financial experts, business advisors, and government agencies.  The event was well received by Sacramento's small business community.   
To read more about Congresswoman Matsui, please click on
Thomas Hobday named as Founding Director of the Tahoe Institute for Rural Healthcare Research on
August 7, 2009
The Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research is a unique partnership between CBST and Tahoe Forest Hospital focused on identifying solutions to unmet medical needs in the rural healthcare setting. 

To read more, please click on
Awards and Recognitions
Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu - Recipient of a National Science Foundation IDBR Grant
Dr. Sebastian Wachsmann-HogiuDr. Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, from the University of California, Davis NSF-funded Center for Biophotonics (CBST) was recently awarded a NSF Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Grant for his proposal entitled "Development of a Time Gated Raman/Fluorescence Micro-Spectroscopy Instrument for Biological Applications".  This combination allows for the measurement of Raman spectra in the presence of a strong fluorescence background and opens up new potential applications of Raman spectroscopy for biological research such as (i) non-invasive characterization of the chemical composition of the endogenous fluorophores in bacteria, cells and tissues, (ii) understanding cellular processes and diseases such as cancer, vascular or neurodegenerative diseases by using natural markers, (iii) developing new probes that can be used both as fluorescence and Raman labels, (iv) noninvasive medical sensors for blood analytes such as glucose sensors for diabetes treatment.  Moreover, Dr. Wachsmann-Hogiu mentions that it is likely that this technique will have a significant impact on related fields such as analytical chemistry, biomedicine, pharmacology, forensics, food safety, agriculture, biofuel research, environmental monitoring, and bio-defense.   
To read more information about the NSF IDBR Program, please clcik on
Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP) Proposal Awarded    
Drs. Frank Chuang, Stephen Lane, and Dennis Matthews from CBST and UC Davis, in collaboration with Drs. Lothar Lilge and Brian Wilson from CIPI and U Toronto were awarded $50K to organize and hold a "Joint Symposium on Biophotonics in Infectious Disease" in Canada, near the end of September 2010.  The meeting will focus on important challenges and applications for biophotonics in basic research, clinical diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease - and will also be held in conjunction with several other meetings, including the Int'l Congress on Biophotonics (ICOB)-2, Optics Within Life Sciences (OWLS)-11, and the annual Neurophotonics Workshop from U Laval - which will comprise a full Biophotonics Week (!!) in and around Ottawa, Canada.
Please stay tuned for details.
2009 "Above and Beyond Award" Recipients    
Each year the University of California, Davis NSF-funded Center for Biophotonics presents the 2009 "Above and Beyond Awards" for outstanding contributions to the Education efforts of CBST at our Annual Retreat at Lake Tahoe. 
The following people were recipients of the 2009 "Above And Beyond Award":
Marco Molinaro and Kit Lam 2009Dr. Kit Lam as the "2009 Mentor".
Dr. Gene Gurkoff as the "2009 Post-Doctoral Researcher"Marco Molinaro and Gene Gurkoff.


Marco Molinaro and Jennifer PhippsJennifer Phipps as the "2009 Graduate Student". 
Dr. Tingjuan Gao (Post-Doctoral Researcher) and Jennifer Phipps (Graduate Student) were also recognized for their "Outstanding" scientific research presentations. 
Calendar of Events
CBST Annual Retreat - July 13-15, 2009
CBST Annual Retreat 2009 in Lake Tahoe


The CBST Annual Retreat was held at The Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, CA this July 2009.  The retreat was by invitation only, open to CBST faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and affiliates.  The three-day event provided an opportunity for informal research discussions and networking.  The invited speakers for the event included Peter So (MIT), Ji-Xin Cheng (Purdue), and Jan Liphardt (UC Berkeley).  Daily symposia and poster sessions were arranged for participants, as well as free time for informal discussion and networking. 
Sept. 9 - LifeScienceFest 2009
Annual Venture Conference the SUN Microsystems Conference Center in Menlo Park, CA. 
Sept. 14-18 - UC Davis Entrepreneurship Academy

Sept. 15 - BayBio Medical Device Breakfast Series: The Road to
Reimbursement (8-10 AM)
Where: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Palo Alto, CA
Sept. 15 - TechCoire & Morrison Foerster Proudly Presents
Securing Grants & Tapping into Stimulus Bill A Special Workshop for LifeScience & Cleantech Entrepreneurs (9AM to 12 PM)
The Citizen Hotel, Sacramento, CA
Pre-registration is mandatory; NO walk-ins please 
Sept. 16 - SARTA's Leadership Series Presents: "Structuring Comp
Agreements" (8:30-11:30 AM) 
Sponsored by Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies
Where: TBD
Sept. 24 - BayBio Therapeutic Breakfast Series: First-to-Market -Bonus or Burden? (8-10 AM)
Where: Theravance, Inc., 901 Gateway Blvd., South San Francisco, CA
Sept. 30 - SARTA MedStart Connect Mixer (5:30-7:45 PM)
UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, 2825 50th Street, Sacramento, CA
Cost: $15 SARTA members; $30 non-members  
Grants and Funding Opportunities
Grants of Interest & UCD Limited Submissions
Deadlines for grants of interest to the CBST community are listed at the Grants Calendar link below.  For additional information, please contact Gabriela Lee at
To read more, please click here for a Grants Calendar 
Thank You - Please Pass Along
We'll be sending out our CBST Newsletters once/month.  You can also access our archived newsletters by clicking on  
Please send your comments and suggestions to  We look forward to staying in touch and welcome news/highlights from your organization for inclusion in future newsletters.   
Please forward our CBST Newsletter along by CLICKING on the FORWARD EMAIL hyperlink at the bottom of this newsletter. 
Amy L. Gryshuk, Ph.D.
Associate Director of New Ventures / UC Discovery Fellow
NSF Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology (CBST)
2700 Stockton Blvd., Suite 1400, Sacramento, CA 95817  
TEL (916)734-0785; FAX (916)703-5012