Katarina Svanberg Honored with SPIE Gold Medal of the Society

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Past President honored for biophotonics achievements in photodynamic therapy and tissue spectroscopy for cancer treatments and diagnostics

Katarina Svanberg

SPIE Past President Katarina Svanberg has been awarded the 2017 Gold Medal of the Society, the society's highest honor

Dr. Svanberg’s groundbreaking work on laser-induced tissue fluorescence -- evidenced by more than 250 journal and proceedings papers -- have made ’optical biopsy‘ a reality for many types of cancer.

Katarina Svanberg, professor and chief consultant of oncology at Lund University Hospital and also active at South China Normal University, is the recipient of the 2017 Gold Medal of the Society, awarded by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The award recognizes her contributions to biophotonics, in particular clinical work exploring and verifying the efficacy of phototherapy and in vivo diagnosis in treating cancer patients.

“Dr. Svanberg’s groundbreaking work on laser-induced tissue fluorescence -- evidenced by more than 250 journal and proceedings papers -- have made ’optical biopsy‘ a reality for many types of cancer. Now called ’translational research,’ her longstanding approach to medical science and technology has been a guiding light throughout her career and a beacon to others,” said 2016 SPIE President Robert Lieberman.

More important, Lieberman said, “this deep commitment to the practical application of optics and photonics for the diagnosis and treatment of disease has helped save and improve the lives of hundreds of individuals. Furthermore, her activities in the developing world have changed countless other lives -- by bringing hope.”

The award acknowledges Svanberg’s dedication to building scientific and medical infrastructure in Africa and inspiring young people across the world. She has trained medical personnel in the poorest regions of Africa in biomedical optical techniques. Her support for scientists in developing countries is apparent from her active and encouraging participation in programs at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) such as the Winter School for Optics.

Svanberg was also instrumental in founding the highly regarded Ven Summer School. This biennial school draws top faculty and students in biomedical optics from around the world for a concentrated high level interchange.

“Dr. Svanberg has tirelessly worked to transfer her knowledge and the application of biomedical optic techniques to developing areas,” said SPIE 2017 President-Elect Maryellen Giger. “The transfer of knowledge has occurred through academic and university functions as well as through various optical companies.”

Svanberg is a Fellow of SPIE, and served on its Board of Directors from 2005-2007, as well as serving on various SPIE committees. An editorial board member for the Journal of Biomedical Optics, she has co-authored more than 40 original scientific SPIE conference papers, and given invited talks at over 90 international conferences and over 30 universities. She is a recipient of the Prize for Interdisciplinary Science, Royal Society of Science, Uppsala University; the SKAPA Innovation Prize in the Memory of Alfred Nobel; and the Innovator Award from the Society for Industrial Development, Sweden.

The Gold Medal of the Society is the highest honor the Society bestows. Beginning in 1977, it has been awarded annually in recognition of outstanding engineering or scientific accomplishments in optics, electro-optics, or photographic technologies or applications, to recipients who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of relevant technology.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. http://www.spie.org

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