Industry Program Biographies
Stephen A. Boppart, Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, USA
Prof. Boppart graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1990 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an option in Bioengineering. Continuing at UIUC, he completed his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1991, where he developed microfabricated multi-electrode arrays for neural recordings. From 1991 to 1993, at the Air Force Laser Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas, he conducted research on laser-tissue interactions in the eye, helping establish national laser safety standards. Prof. Boppart then went on to MIT, receiving his Ph.D. in 1998 in Medical and Electrical Engineering. His doctoral studies included the development of optical coherence tomography in Prof. Jim Fujimoto's laboratory. As part of a joint program between MIT and Harvard, Prof. Boppart completed his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in June 2000. Currently, Prof. Boppart is a full professor with appointments in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medicine at UIUC. He is Head of the Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and along with a team of 25 researchers, is investigating novel optical diagnostic imaging technologies for basic science and translational clinical applications. From 2006-2008, he served as Founding Director of the Mills Breast Cancer Institute, and holds a joint position with Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Clinic Association in Urbana, Illinois. His efforts included constructing a new building and developing new infrastructure to support translational research and technology development in breast cancer research between UIUC and Carle Foundation Hospital. Currently he is initiating efforts to direct a campus-wide Illinois Imaging Initiative intended to leverage the strengths and diversity of over 100 faculty working in all aspects of imaging science, technology, and application.
David Cuccia, CTO and CEO, Modulated Imaging, Inc., USA
David Cuccia Ph.D. is CTO and CEO of Modulated Imaging, Inc, founded in 2005, which is developing a non-invasive tissue imaging system, the OxImager™, for assessment of tissue health in applications of surgical guidance and wound care. David developed the underlying technology (spatial frequency domain imaging, or SFDI) as the subject of his PhD dissertation in the Biomedical Engineering department at UC Irvine. In collaboration with UC Irvine faculty has raised approximately $6.5M in SBIR/STTR grants and contracts to bring the technology to market. He is a co-inventor of the SFDI technique with four awarded patents, and a co-author of over 40 SFDI-related publications.
Robert Nordstrom, Program Director, Cancer Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute of NIH, USA
Dr. Robert Nordstrom received his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1974 for work in nonlinear laser spectroscopy. After several years of post-doctorate work in high resolution Fourier transform spectroscopy and as a Program Manager at Battelle Columbus Laboratories, he accepted a position to work with Dr. Ali Javan at laser Science, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. There, he worked on extreme frequency stabilization of lasers for optical clock applications. After Dr. Javan’s retirement, Dr. Nordstrom became the Chief Science Officer of the company and developed an interest in the application of optics and spectroscopy to biomedical research. He initiated NIH-funded projects in optical interaction with tissue while at Laser Science, Inc. This interest led him to join a start-up company in the Boston area developing and commercializing the use of optical methods to detect precancerous lesions of cervical cancer in women. As Vice-President for Research at MediSpectra, Inc., Dr. Nordstrom was responsible for algorithm development and product updates. His interest in translational research stems from years of industrial research and development.
At the present time, Dr. Nordstrom is a Program Director with the Cancer Imaging Program of the National Cancer Institute of NIH. His responsibilities include management of a substantial portfolio of academic research grants, the direction of a national network called the Network for Translational Research, and management of a network for promoting the use of quantitative imaging in clinical trials. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publication, holds 9 US patents, organized and chairs the SPIE conference “Design and Performance Validation of Phantoms Used in Conjunction with Optical Measurements of Tissue” for the past five years, served as an Associate Editor for the Biomedical Optics Express, and was a member of the Fast-Track Action Committee on Optical and Photonics for the National Science and Technology Council.
Kevin O'Connell, Vice President, Field Deployable Technologies Practice, In-Q-Tel, USA
Dr. Kevin P. O’Connell is Vice President with IQT’s Field Deployable Technologies Practice. He has been with In-Q-Tel since 2007. His 28-year career began in applications of molecular microbiology to problems in agriculture, and progressed to research and development projects in biological defense. He was a scientist and principal investigator with a Department of Defense laboratory for 10 years, where he focused on pathogen detection and genetic characterization. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other publications, edited a book on biological defense, and holds eight patents. Dr. O’Connell holds a B.S. degree in Life Sciences from MIT and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Luis Garcia-Rubio, Co-Founder, President & Chief Scientific Officer, Claro Scientific, USA
Dr. Luis García-Rubio, the inventor of the licensed Spectrophotometric technique, is an internationally renowned researcher whose work has been featured in more than 300 papers and proceedings in the fields of polymer chemistry, sensor development, and modeling of complex biological systems.
With a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and a Masters and Ph.D. fromMcMaster University Hamilton, Canada, Dr. García-Rubio held technical positions at Hoechst (MX), PEMEX(MX) and Xerox (CAN) before moving to the University of South Florida in 1984, where in addition to supervising more than 20 Ph.D. candidates and generating 18 patents & invention disclosures, he has served as a consultant to Smith & Nephew, Perkin-Elmer, Ortho Diagnostics, Kimberly Clark, Beckman-Coulter, Waters, and SC Johnson, amongst others.
In addition to his academic and research work, Dr. García-Rubio was also a Principal and Co-Founder of Ocean Optics, Inc., a manufacturer of high-resolution spectrometers.
Upon completion of the sale of Ocean Optics to Halma PLC in June, 2004, Dr. García-Rubio was able to focus his attention toward Claro and his lifelong goal of expanding the use of Biophotonics into disease detection and diagnosis.
Dr. García-Rubio has built a network of partnerships with other leading, key institutions to facilitate the development of this technology during his time at USF. These partnerships led to $12 million in research and development grants from several major companies and agencies to advance the technology and support 21 doctoral dissertations and over 50 Master’s theses.
Dr. García-Rubio is the author of eight patents awarded during his tenure at the University of South Florida. Dr. García-Rubio, who is currently on leave of absence from USF, led the formation of Claro Scientific. He serves as the Company’s Chairman, President, and Chief Scientific Officer and leads the scientific and product development efforts.
Victor Yang, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering and Biophotonics, Ryerson University; and Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Canada
Dr. Yang earned a Masters degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto in 1998 and completed the MD-PhD (Medical Biophysics) program at the University of Toronto in 2006, for which he was recognized by a Governor General’s Gold Medal award for highest academic standing at the University in Sciences and Engineering.
He then entered the Neurosurgery residency program at the University of Toronto while continuing his engineering focus at Ryerson University, where he managed a very productive laboratory focusing on ultrasound imaging, endovascular Doppler optical coherence tomography and medical devices design.
In 2007, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Ryerson, where he was awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering and Biophotonics the following year. Dr. Yang completed his neurosurgical residency training in June 2012 with an in-folded clinical fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2012, as well as completing the European Examination in Neurosurgery with an Outstanding Performance Prize.
In 2013, he was recruited to the Division of Neurosurgery with a staff appointment at Sunnybrook Hospital. He is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and at Ryerson University.
His interests lie in high-resolution neurosurgical navigation, multimodality intraoperative imaging guidance, endovascular imaging and minimally invasive therapeutics for carotid disease, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.