Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology Newsletter  

September Highlights 2009
In This Issue
Meet the Researcher
Education Highlights
KT Highlights
Awards and Recognitions
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 MatthewsDuring the month of September, our CBST graduate students traveled to the Christian Brothers Retreat & Conference Center in Napa Valley, California where they participated in a four-day event organized by two of our UC Davis CBST graduate students.  There were two themes throughout the four day event: "How to Present Yourself" and "Starting Your Career", which centered around presentation style, scientific writing skills, networking as a scientist, as well as information from speakers and a panel session that focused on things students need to know as they transition from graduate school to careers in industry, academia, or into nontraditional science careers.  Another event that occurred during the latter half of September was our CBST Management Team's trip to Boulder, CO for our Annual Science & Technology Center (STC) Meeting.  This meeting is seminal to learning best practices from other Centers and to help develop new ideas for leveraging all our Center infrastructures for new opportunities in education, research or technology transfer.  We also spent a good deal of time at this particular meeting talking about an upcoming review of the STC programs, which is being conducted by representatives of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
~Dennis Matthews, Ph.D. CBST Director
CBST Research Highlights
Meet the Researcher - Dr. Laura Marcu
Laura Marcu, PhDDr. Laura Marcu is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis.  In addition, she holds a joint appointment in UC Davis School of Medicine as a Professor of Neurological Surgery and serves as co-Leader of the Biotechnology Program within the UC Davis Cancer Center. Her area of study concerns research into the development of fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy and imaging techniques for in-vivo tissue diagnosis.
Research projects in her laboratory include:
1) Rupture-prone plaque diagnosis by IVUS-guided time-resolved spectroscopy. The project is to develop a multi-modal catheter-based diagnostic technique for localization and characterization of rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaques. 
2) Fluorescence lifetime method for guided therapy of brain tumors. This project concerns clinical evaluation and optimization studies of time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging technique for the intraoperative identification of tumor vs. normal brain during neurosurgical resection of brain tumors.
3) Clinical evaluation of a fluorescence lifetime based technique for demarcation of head and neck tumors. This project in collaboration with Dr. Gregory Farwell in the Department of Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is to evaluate a novel optical spectroscopy/imaging device for intraoperative identification of tumor vs. normal tissue during surgical resection of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in human patients.
4) Development of multimodal diagnostic platform combining fluorescence, ultrasound and photoacoustic techniques.  
Her research work has been supported by several agencies including National Institutes of Health (NHLBI, NCI, NIBIB, and NCRR) and the Whitaker Foundation
To read more about Dr. Marcu and his current research projects, please click on
Current group members: Project Scientist: Yinghua Sun; Postdoctoral researchers: Yang Sun, Hongtao Xie; Graduate student researchers: Jennifer Phipps, Brett Fite; Undergraduate researcher: Adrian Lam, Mathew Lam, Mathew Yee, Nisa Hatami.  To read more, please click on
Recent Publications:
Y. H. Sun, J. Phipps, D. S. Elson, H. Stoy, S., S. Tinling, J. Meier, B. Poirier, F. S. Chuang, D. G. Farwell, and L. Marcu, Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy: In vivo application to diagnosis of oral carcinoma, Optics Letters, Volume 34, Issue 13, pp. 2081-2083, 2009.
D.N. Stephens, J. Park, Y. Sun, T. Papaioannou, and L. Marcu, Intraluminal fluorescence spectroscopy catheter with ultrasound guidance, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 14, 030505 (2009).
Y. Sun, J. Park, D.N. Stephens, J.A. Jo, L. Sun, J.M. Cannata, R. M.G. Saroufeem, K.K. Shung, and L. Marcu, Development of a dual-modal tissue diagnostic system combining time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and ultrasonic backscatter microscopy, Review of Scientific Instruments, 80, 065104 (2009).
L. Marcu, J. A. Jo, Q. Fang, T. Papaioannou, T. Reil, J-H Qiao, J. D. Baker, J. A. Freischlag, M. C. Fishbein, Detection of Rupture-Prone Atherosclerotic Plaques by Time-Resolved Laser Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Atherosclerosis, 2009.
Y. H. Sun, R. Liu, D. S. Elson, C. Hollars, J. A. Jo, J. Park, Y. Sun, and L. Marcu, Simultaneous time- and wavelength-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy for near real-time tissue diagnosis, Optics Letters, Vol. 33(6):630-632, 2008.
To read more about Dr. Marcu's publications, please click on
Other activities:
Dr. Marcu is a member of the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).
CBST Members Attending the Upcoming NIH Conference on Optical Diagnostic and Biophotonic Methods from Bench to Bedside
"This Inter-Institute Workshop at the NIH will bring together experts in the diagnosis and treatment of several important health issues we face today. The format will include talks by leading experts in the biophotonic field, as well as panels of experts addressing the needs for fast cures and overcoming barriers to translational medicine."  The conference is focused on light-based methods to rapidly diagnose and treat vascular, opthalmic, neurological and oncologic disease.   Dennis Matthews, CBST Director, was on the Program Committee along with CBST-researcher Stavros Demos.   Also attending this conference will be Bevin Lin, a graduate student at CBST.   

To read more, please click on
CBST Education Highlights
2009 CBST Graduate Student Retreat
The 2009 CBST graduate student retreat was located at Christian Brothers Retreat & Conference Center in Napa Valley, California.  Latevi Lawson and Xiaoyan Chen, the CBST graduate student representatives, organized the four day event.  The first theme of the retreat was "How to Present Yourself", which centered around giving a scientific presentation, writing scientific papers, and networking as scientists. The second theme of the retreat was "Starting Your Career", which focused on the things students need to know as a means to go from graduate school to careers in industry, academia, or into nontraditional science careers.  At the retreat two new graduate student representatives, Iwan Schie and Rui Liu, were elected for the 2009-2010 academic year.
 2009 Graduate Student Retreat
Students at the annual CBST graduate student retreat (L to R: Rui Liu, Sara Baumann, Bevin Lin, Iwan Schie, Latevi Lawson, Xiaoyan Chen, Deanna Thompson, and Elenor Castillo) - putting the "photonics in biophotonics". In their hands are awards for graduate student achievement.  Each light on the award represents an accomplishment that each graduate student has had. 
Teachers Bring Biophotonics into the Classroom
Don't fool yourself into thinking that teachers take the summer off! During the summer of 2009, middle and high school teachers from across the Sacramento area and beyond learned about biophotonics as well as engaged in ways to integrate biophotonics into their curriculum.  Teachers in Levels One and Two of the Biophotonics Teacher Research Academy explored light/matter interactions, identified unknown olive oils by their properties (including fluorescence), and designed their own classroom activities. Our two Level Four teachers-Patrick Bohman (Health Professions High School) and Vlastimil Krbecek (Hiram Johnson High School)-spent the summer in CBST labs as research interns. In August, members of the CBST education team were invited to River City School District to lead a 2-day workshop with grades 5-12 teachers on how to motivate students, learn science content, and support scientific reasoning through biophotonics science and technology.
CBST Knowledge Transfer Highlights
Dr. Riccardo LoCascio Presents at CBST's Brown Bag Entrepreneur Series
On Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 (12-1 PM) Riccardo LoCascio, MS, PhD, a Kauffman Foundation Fellow and Manager of Industry Partnerships & Commercial Development from the UC Davis Functional Glycobiology Program presented a talk at CBST's Brown Bag Entrepreneur Series.
With support from the California Dairy Research Foundation and Edwin & Marion Kauffman Foundation, Dr. LoCascio leads the commercial development, industrial partnering and start-up activities of the Functional Glycobiology Program. In July 2009, Dr. LoCascio received his PhD in Microbiology at the University of California - Davis working with Dr. David Mills, Dr. Bruce German and Dr. Carlito Lebrilla. His doctoral research in the Functional Glycobiology Program focused on understanding the functional role of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), and spanned across analytical chemistry, microbial biochemistry and genomics. Dr. LoCascio worked on the metabolism of HMOs by bifidobacteria, a group of probiotic bacteria abundant in the distal gut of infants. Using comparative genomics and NanoLC-MS-FTICR analytical methods, Dr. LoCascio described the genetic and molecular mechanism underlying the metabolism of HMOs in bifidobacteria.         
Dr. LoCascio is interested in creating for-profit social ventures to address global health challenges at the interface between foods, health and lifestyle. In this seminar he illustrated how the UC Davis Functional Glycobiology Program is serving as a model for multidisciplinary translational research, and successful University-Industry partnerships. Additionally, he discussed various business models currently under consideration to support emerging start-up activities of the Functional Glycobiology Program.  
To read more, please click on  
Introduction to Patents and Intellectual Property Lectures Recorded by CBST
The Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) and its MedStart program ( recently held an educational seminar designed to educate medical technology entrepreneurs and inventors regarding some basic and advanced concepts in intellectual property law.
The lectures from four different speakers, and question and answer session were all videotaped, with underwriting provided by CBST.  Brad Heisler, a local patent attorney kicked off the presentations on June 30th, 2009 with a discussion of the key elements of a patent application.   Brian Ho of Morrison and Forrester, then followed with a discussion about patent prosecution.   David McGee, of UC Davis InnovationAccess  discussed patent licensing.  Lastly, John Chapman, a local inventor discussed the role of patenting in biomedical innovation.   All 5 videos (4 presentations and a Q&A session) are now available online at:   
~Tod Stoltz, MBA
To read more about SARTA MedStart, please click on
Awards and Recognitions
Weeks et. al. publish in Optics Express - The International Electronic Journal of Optics
Doubly-resonant four-wave mixing (DR-FWM) microscopy is a technique whereby a weak Raman resonance can be detected by essentially piggybacking it on a much stronger resonance. In this way, signals that are much too weak to use for CARS imaging can be amplified and possibly used for imaging with much greater sensitivity.
Tyler Weeks, Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, and Thomas Huser.  Raman Microscopy based on Doubly-Resonant Four-Wave Mixing (DR-FWM), Optics Express Vol. 17, Issue 19, pp. 17044-17051 (2009).
Biophotonics for Life (BP4L) Worldwide Consortium
The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology received a 3 year award supplement for developing the Biophotonics for Life (BP4L) Worldwide Consortium from the National Science Foundation.
Biophotonics has tremendous potential to solve healthcare, food and water challenges, from elucidating fundamental mechanisms of biological systems to noninvasive and minimally invasive technologies and devices, to food and water safety. The BP4L Consortium will provide a mechanism for concerted, international and interdisciplinary efforts to tackle such challenges. 
Gabriela Lee, MS, MBAMs. Gabriela Lee, MBA, MS, Associate Director of Partnerships and New Program Development at CBST, will work with communities of researchers, educators, and knowledge transfer from Consortium nodes worldwide to design and manage BP4L activities, under the leadership of Dr. Dennis Matthews (PI), Dr. Steve Lane, Dr. Marco Molinaro, and Mr. Tod Stoltz, MBA. The project includes further development of the portal to serve as a knowledge bank and foster engagement among academics, companies, and end-users.

For more information, please contact
CBST Education Awarded SEPA Grant
CBST Education has been awarded a five year, $1,000,000+ Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) to develop and disseminate four web-based curriculum modules.  These modules use National Cancer Institute health and clinical trials databases and educational resources to create challenging scenarios and problem sets that engage high school students with scientific research design and analysis. At the same time, students will become better informed about cancer science, health disparities research, clinical trials, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. The web-based modules will be designed to stand alone or incorporate into existing science, mathematics or health education programs. The three-year initial development phase will be followed by a national field test. Award partners include advisors from the UCD Cancer Center, California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), and several local school districts.
The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program funds grants for innovative educational programs. Such projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and K-12 teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations. SEPA is sponsored by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Marco Molinaro, CBST Chief Education Officer, and Jodie Galosy, Assistant Director, CBST Education Teacher Professional and Evaluation are Co-Principal Investigators of the SEPA project entitled: Science, Biostatics, and Cancer Education (SBCE).
Greg McNerney was Awarded a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Program Grant    
In science today, there is real push for multifaceted interdisciplinary work whose combinations are worth more than the sum of its parts. This can be seen throughout the first-tier journal articles to the rise in interdisciplinary departments/groups/labs to the recent funding mechanisms. The NSF Center for Biophotonics is probably a result at that and working here has defiantly immersed me in the interdisciplinary culture. To be successful in diverse sciences, studying and having collaborations in different fields are important, but one aspect often over-looked for various reasons is experiencing different scientific environments. And as a graduate student, or scientist in training, it is the perfect time for it.

In early June, I, along with my professor Dr. Thomas Huser, was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Program grant that fully funded 2 separate 75 day trips to the University of Jyväskylä in central Finland to receive training and conduct research that should strengthen my PhD thesis and graduate student experience. Coming here in mid-August was quite different from the very beginning, including learning how to pronounce Jyväskylä. Particularly to science, research is viewed and treated in a completely different matter. Everything from space allocation, time management, meetings, social interactions, and expectations in productivity are completely different than what I was used to. This opportunity has definitely opened up my eyes and given me a more mature perspective on scientific environments that I would only normally get from gaining a post-doctoral position somewhere unrelated to UC Davis. Furthermore, the work here is completely different (virology) to my background (optical science), which has allowed me to really appreciate how other fields operate and understand what are reasonable expectations of the field.

I would unequivocally recommend graduate students to write a travel grant (which is good experience anyways) to go to a completely different institution that does similar work to your research, but from a different perspective. I believe that this is a very useful step in scientific maturity in this multidisciplinary environment. I know I am gaining a lot form this, and I have only been here for a less than a month.
~Greg McNerney
Calendar of Events
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
Sept. 30 - BayBio 17th Annual Gene Acres Conference (8:30AM to 5:30 PM)
Where: South San Francisco Conference Center, 255 South Airport Blvd., South San Francisco, CA
Attire: Business attire suggested. 

Oct. 7 - BayBio Open House | Grand Opening (5-7 PM)
Where: BayBio, 400 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 221, South San Francisco, CA
Attire: Business casual
Meet BayBio staff and vendors to learn more about their services and tour the new BayBio offices. Leave with detailed insight into how BayBio can help your organization succeed. At the new BayBio facility in South San Francisco. 
Oct. 13 - BayBio
Medical Device Breakfast Series: Design for Manufacturing (8-10 AM)
Where: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Palo Alto Campus, 3175 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Attire: Business attire suggested. 

Oct. 14 - Brown Bag Entrepreneur Series at UCD (12-1 PM): Dr. Madhu Sharma - Marketing & Commercialization
Where: UCD Center for Biophotonics, 2700 Stockton Blvd., Suite 1400, Sacramento, CA 95817
Oct. 21 - SARTA's Leadership Series Presents: "Straight Talk: Communication Styles" (8:30-11:30 AM)
Sponsored by Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies
Where: TBD
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  
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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