Bruce Tromberg: The 2022 SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award
Bruce Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has long been a highly regarded scientist, prolific inventor, and transformative leader across biomedical optics and photonics. His translational focus in the field has generated a comprehensive network of devices that have led to fundamental biomedical insights as well as the successful implementation of new tools for clinical practice. His most noteworthy scientific impacts have been in the fields of fiber probes for tissue sensing; photodynamic therapy dosimetry; laser microbeam microscopy; diffusing wave spectroscopy of tissue; spatial-frequency domain imaging of tissue; and tissue physiology and pathophysiology measurement.
The range of his developments within optics and photonics technologies for biomedical imaging and therapy has been extremely broad and deep. In his NIBIB role, Tromberg oversees all research programs focused on developing, translating, and commercializing engineering, physical science, and computational technologies in biology and medicine. Prior to joining the NIBIB, he was the director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic where he invented, patented, and translated biomedical optical systems for both clinic and industry use. More recently, he's led NIH's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx Tech) initiative to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing.
His leadership, scholarship, and organizational efforts have been equally wide-ranging. He has co-authored more than 450 publications and holds more than 20 patents in new technology development as well as in bench-to-bedside clinical translation, validation, and commercialization of devices. He has trained more than 80 students, is co-founder of the biophotonics company Modulim, and has served on numerous advisory boards across academia, industry, government, and private foundations. He has been an SPIE board member twice (2004-6, 2010-12), and was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics from 1999-2009.
"I met Bruce when I was a postdoctoral fellow in Britton Chance's lab," says Duke University's Director of Global Women's Health Technologies and Robert W. Carr Professor of Biomedical Engineering Nimmi Ramanujam. "Bruce was a frequent visitor to the Chance lab and Brit and Bruce had many mutual interests in the area of diffuse optics and breast cancer. Brit pioneered the field of biomedical optics with his myriad accomplishments, and I would argue that Bruce is of a similar caliber: his accomplishments have been as wide-ranging as Brit's, and Bruce, too, has pioneered many ‘firsts' in our field. He is a visionary who continues to profoundly impact the role of biomedical technologies in numerous medical applications, as well as providing leadership within the biomedical optics community and beyond."