SPIE Vice President Jennifer Barton named a University of Arizona Woman of Impact

The new recognition honors 30 women this year for outstanding research and innovation
15 June 2022
Jennifer Barton in the lab at BIO5, University of Arizona. Credit: Deanna Sanchez
Jennifer Barton in the lab at BIO5, University of Arizona. Credit: Deanna Sanchez

The 2022 SPIE Vice President Jennifer Kehlet Barton has been named as one of the inaugural University of Arizona’s Women of Impact. The new honor recognizes outstanding women in research and innovation connected to the university and was announced earlier this year during Women’s History Month by the University of Arizona’s Office of Research, Innovation & Impact.

SPIE Fellow Member Hong Hua, a professor at the Wyant College of Optical Sciences, and SPIE Members Meredith Kupinski, an assistant professor of optical sciences, Judith Su, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and optics, are also included in this first-ever Women of Impact cohort.  The 30 women were selected from more than 400 nominations submitted by university faculty and staff: eligibility criteria included leadership and success across a variety of research and technical innovations, as well as proactive support of others.

“Seeing the accomplishments of the other women being honored here makes me particularly proud to be included in this group,” says Barton whose university positions include the directorship of the BIO5 Institute as well the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Biomedical Engineering. “As a biomedical engineer, my hope is always to make an impact on human health through my work, to potentially save lives, and to offer a better quality of life to others. I find this recognition from my fellow university peers and colleagues incredibly affirming.”

Barton is known for her development of miniature endoscopes that combine multiple optical imaging techniques, particularly optical coherence tomography and fluorescence spectroscopy. Her research into light-tissue interaction and dynamic optical properties of blood laid the groundwork for a novel therapeutic laser to treat disorders of the skin's blood vessels, and some of her latest discoveries include technology that enables minimally invasive and early detection of ovarian cancer.

As well as acting as this year’s SPIE Vice President, Barton is co-chair of SPIE Photonics West BiOS conference. She will serve as the Society’s President-Elect in 2023, and as SPIE President in 2024.

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