September Luminary: Bruce Tromberg

With this series, SPIE celebrates the work of people who have “lit the way” for research in optics and photonics
01 September 2021
Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health Bruce Tromberg is the SPIE luminary for September.

The SPIE Luminary Series

In 2021, SPIE celebrates the work of those who have "lit the way" for research in optics and photonics. Each of these luminaries has made a significant impact on the development of a field that is core to SPIE, including biomedical optics, electronic imaging, optical systems, lens design, neurophotonics, light-based energy research, remote sensing, medical imaging, and nanophotonics. A different luminary will be featured each month.

Many of these luminaries have published with SPIE for decades, while others are newer to our community. To highlight their contributions to the literature, SPIE will make all of their SPIE-published research open access for one month on the SPIE Digital Library, including SPIE Proceedings and journal papers.

September Luminary: Bruce Tromberg

Across his three-decades-plus career, Bruce Tromberg has worked at the nexus of biomedical optics, physics, biology, chemistry, and engineering. In that time, he has developed, translated, and commercialized pioneering technologies in areas such as breast cancer, vascular disease, and metabolism, using light to image and conduct therapy at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Among other achievements, he has pioneered the development of multiscale tissue optical spectroscopy and imaging technologies for label-free functional imaging. Technical achievements aside, he is also an active advocate of optics and photonics public policy initiatives such the National Photonics Initiative and the US Congressional Optics & Photonics (O&P) Caucus.

Currently the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tromberg's previous titles include professor of biomedical engineering and surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI); director of UCI's Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLIMC); principal investigator of the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program (LAMMP) at BLIMC; co-leader of the Onco-imaging and Biotechnology Program in UCI's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and member of the SPIE Board of Directors (2004-2006, and 2010-2012). More recently, he's led NIH's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx Tech) intiative to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing.

Tromberg, an SPIE Fellow, is also actively engaged in leadership, mentorship, and organizational efforts. He has trained more than 80 students, is co-founder of the Biophotonics company Modulim, Inc., and has served on numerous advisory boards across academia, industry, government, and private foundations. Between 1993 and 1999 he helped organize the SPIE BiOS conference, and, from 1999 to 2012 he held the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

"The range of Bruce Tromberg's developments within optics and photonics technologies for biomedical imaging and therapy has been extremely broad and deep," notes Journal of Biomedical Optics Editor-in-Chief and Dartmouth's MacLean Professor of Engineering Brian Pogue. "But he is just as committed to his colleagues and his scientific community on a societal level, and, in that role, has had a transformative impact on the advancement and visibility of the field."

For the month of September, all of Bruce Tromberg's papers in the SPIE Digital Library will be open access to honor his contributions to biomedical optics.

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