Optics and Photonics: Critical Tools in the Fight Against COVID-19


Optics and Photonics: Critical Tools in the Fight Against COVID-19

8 May 2020, 13:00 - 14:00

In this webinar, 2009 OSA President Thomas M. Baer, Stanford University, and OSA member Christina E. Baer, University of Massachusetts Medical School, will talk about the role that optics and photonics technologies have played enabling advances in rapid screening, diagnosis, tracking and control of infectious agents such as the COVID-19 virus, SARS-COV-2. They’ll also look at research being pursued today to take those advances further, and opportunities to bring cost-effective optical technologies to resource-limited settings in the fight against the disease.

A video of this webinar, with an accompanying audio transcript, has been posted.

About the Speakers

Thomas M. Baer, Stanford University

Dr. Thomas Baer is the Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, an adjunct professor in the Applied Physics Department, and an associate member of the Stem Cell Institute at Stanford University, USA. His laboratory develops instrumentation for life science and biomedical research employing custom optical, mechanical, microfluidic and electronic design. His research focuses on developing imaging and biochemical analysis technology for exploring the molecular basis of human developmental biology and regenerative medicine, optogenetics, and developing new technologies for protein engineering. He holds over 75 patents, and his commercial products have received many industry awards for design innovation. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and The Optical Society, for which he served as president in 2009.

Christina Baer, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Christina Baer is the Director of the Sanderson Center for Optical Experimentation (SCOPE) and an assistant professor in the Microbiology and Physiological Systems department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), USA. Her research involves the use of cutting-edge optical techniques to answer fundamental questions regarding cellular growth and division and intracellular signaling in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. Her experience with wide-field, confocal, and multiphoton imaging and with molecular tools development and quantitative image analysis allows Dr. Baer to provide essential scientific support to the UMMS research community. Under her leadership, SCOPE has become a catalyst for optical experimentation at UMMS, serving as a site where engineers and biologists interact to develop innovative instruments and analysis methodologies that are readily accessible to the community. She has been an OSA member since 2006.