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CUNY Professor Wins Inaugural Britten Chance Biomedical Optics Award

March 6, 2012

Robert Alfano, CUNY Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at The City College of New York, has won the inaugural Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award.

The annual prize, awarded by the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), is given for work that has the potential to significantly contribute to new discoveries in biology or medicine. Professor Alfano’s team has developed optical tools that enable better detection and imaging of cancer cells by examiing the color of light emissions. Using their technique, there is no need to remove tissue (and no surgery or waiting period for test results) in order to detect cancerous cells.

The award also recognizes Professor Alfano’s co-discovery of the supercontinuum altrafast white light source. This discovery enabled research that was subsequently recognized in two Nobel Prizes.