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Jena-Davis-Alliance of Excellence in Biophotonics will start January 2018

20 Nov | By Biophotonics.World
Jena-Davis-Alliance of Excellence in Biophotonics will start January 2018
Prof. Jürgen Popp



The Jena-Davis-Alliance of Excellence in Biophotonics (JEDIS) will promote the North American-German cooperation on research and development in the field of biophotonics that applies light-based technologies to medicine and life science. Through scientific conferences, a sustainable exchange program and summer schools, the project aims to intensify communication between scientists and to stimulate and improve cooperation between the German Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (Leibniz-IPHT) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis).  


Let’s light it up together! - Subject of joint research

Biophotonics is a growing, multi-disciplinary research field that applies light-based technologies to tackle issues in medicine and life sciences. Since current medical challenges are related to an aging society, pandemics and strained health care systems, biophotonics is a discipline of strong societal importance. The light-based technologies include modern microscopy and spectroscopy methods, but also the use of light in terms of lasers as tool, whether in cell biology or in surgery. In ophthalmology, biophotonic methods are already well established for clinical diagnostics and therapy. Such developments require a strong network of international scientists from different disciplines, as well as constructive and goal-oriented collaboration of clinical staff and technology developers. Both project partners, Leibniz-IPHT and UC Davis, build on joint research work in the field of biophotonics, in particular using different spectroscopic methods for tissue imaging in clinical diagnostics. The JEDIS initiative aims to accelerate this promising scientific collaboration in research and education. 

“The focus of our future research is on cancer diagnostics. Combining expertise at UC Davis in fluorescence lifetime imaging and expertise at Leibniz-IPHT in Raman-spectroscopy, will allow us to develop new tools for tumor margin detection as well as for staging and grading tumors. The fast and label-free techniques provide complementary information about morphological and chemical composition of tissue. Integrated in microscopes or micro-endoscopes, we hope to apply these biophotonic methods for tumor identification already during surgery”, explains Prof. Jürgen Popp, coordinator of the project and scientific director at Leibniz-IPHT. 


Transatlantic Alliance for Responsible Research and Education

Events in the three-year 240,000/ $ 280,000 JEDIS award include scientific conferences in Davis and Jena, a sustainable exchange program and two first-class summer schools. Prof. Laura Marcu, who is coordinating the project at UC Davis, emphasizes the importance of scientific exchange: “By establishing tandem activities between institutions in Germany and North America, we aim at promoting an exchange of views and dialogue at the interface of biophotonic science, innovation and societal benefit. This is urgently needed to tackle current and future global challenges in medicine and life science. To strengthen this exchange, we will also establish a joint research laboratory at UC Davis (Biomedical Engineering and Comprehensive Cancer Center)to bring in competencies in Raman-spectroscopy for clinical diagnostics.” 

The ongoing research work of the institutions involved is accompanied by three colloquia with international experts from research and practice. The joint research results, published in a number of publications, are presented at two conferences in Jena and Davis and discussed with representatives from research and practice. The measures are intended to give new stimulus to this promising transatlantic relationship.


The JEDIS project will officially start with a kick-off meeting in San Francisco at the end of January 2018. The first scientific event, a summer school with the topic “Clinical Biophotonics“, will take place in September 2018 at Leibniz-IPHT in Jena. The project is funded by the European Recovery Program, of which it is purpose to keep the memory of George C. Marshall alive and foster transatlantic partnership in line with his wishes.

Area of application: Other Areas of Application
Methods and Techniques: Other Methods and Techniques
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