BARRINGTON, N.J., Sept. 4, 2013 — A novel approach to imaging protein-protein interactions, a holography-based technique to studying disease, and a new kind of instrument for improving the largest ground-based optical telescopes were announced Wednesday by Edmund Optics as the first place winning projects in its 2013 Higher Education Global Grant Program.
The optical components provider will award more than $85,000 in products to the first-, second- and third-place winners in the Americas, Asia and Europe in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at nonprofit colleges and universities worldwide.
After receiving more than 800 applications, the company’s grant team evaluated each project’s technical merit and innovative use of optics before choosing 45 finalists from 21 countries (See: Edmund Optics Selects 45 Finalists for Grant Program
). Applications ranged from developing handheld OCT probes for noninvasive diagnostics in primary health care to real-time optical detectors for airborne asbestos detection. Winners were chosen after the grant team received more in-depth information about the projects.
The first-place winner in the Americas is the University of Illinois at Chicago, submitted by Simon Alford, for developing a novel approach to imaging protein-protein interactions using a combination of total internal reflection microscopy and fluorescence anisotropy. The project will receive $10,000 in EO products.
Receiving the Asia first-place award of $10,000 in EO products is YongKeun Park of KAIST in South Korea for the development of holography-based imaging techniques designed to study malaria, cancer and other neuro-diseases.
In Europe, the first place recipient of €7000 in EO products is the University of Cambridge, submitted by Craig Mackay, for building a new kind of instrument intended for the largest ground-based optical telescopes, which will deliver much higher angular resolution than any space-based images by combining a 5- to 10-m-class telescope with both Lucky Imaging and adaptive optics systems.
Receiving second place in the Americas, and $7500 in EO products, is Pennsylvania State University, submitted by Jennifer Yang, for an innovative laser ablation tomography and serial imaging system for a high-throughput plant phenotyping project.
Second place in Asia (receiving $7500 in products) was awarded to Li Heng from Shenzhen University in China for developing superresolution fluorescence imaging used in the analysis and nanopositioning of intact cells to achieve dynamic tracking methods.
Sarah Isabelle Ksouri of Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany was selected to receive €5000 in EO products as the second-place European recipient for developing new assembling techniques required to fulfill specifications in increasingly complex — and smaller — microsystems.
Third place winners of about $5000 in products in the Americas, Asia and Europe, respectively, are: The University of Pittsburgh (submitted by Yang Liu) for developing a clinically applicable optical microscopy system that integrates seamlessly into the standard pathology lab for analyzing standard cell and tissue biopsies; the Indian Institute of Science (submitted by Shilpa Dilipkumar), for research toward development of new fluorescence microscopy techniques capable of both temporal and spatial superresolution, such as multiple-excitation-spot optical microscopy; and Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata” of Italy (submitted by Luca Giovannelli), for developing a Fabry-Perot capacitance stabilized etalon, based on a monolithic approach, optimized for a satellite application.
On Oct. 9 the company will announce the winner of the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award, $5000 in products awarded to the program that best embodies the legacy of Edmund Optics’ founder.
To view a list of all 2013 finalists with links to their programs, visit: www.edmundoptics.com/grant