The Optical Society (OSA) has chosen Rebecca Richards-Kortum as the recipient of the 2014 Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award in recognition of her “exceptional contributions to advancing the applications of optics in disease diagnosis and inspiring work in disseminating low-cost health technologies to the developing world.”
Richards-Kortum is Rice’s Stanley C. Moore Professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering. She is director of both Beyond Traditional Borders and Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technology and oversees the Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging Laboratory.
Established in 2012, the Feld Biophotonics Award recognizes individuals for their innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics. It is named in honor of photonics pioneer Michael Feld and will be presented in October at OSA’s Frontiers in Optics Annual Meeting in Tucson, Ariz.
In December, Richards-Kortum was elected a fellow of the OSA, the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light.
For two decades, Richards-Kortum has focused on translating research that integrates advances in nanotechnology and molecular imaging with microfabrication technologies to develop portable optical imaging systems that are inexpensive and provide point-of-care diagnosis. This basic and translational research is highly collaborative and has led to new technologies to improve the early detection of cancers and other diseases, especially in impoverished countries.