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UTSA, UTHSC host biophotonics symposium Nov. 11-12

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Nov. 10, 2005)--The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio host the 2nd annual Biophotonics Symposium Nov. 11-12 in Main Building Room 0.302 on the UTSA 1604 Campus.

The symposium will feature presentations on DNA repair and replication, tissue diagnostics and biosensor development for use in living animals. Top scientists in biomedicine and biophotonics will discuss advancements in technology that use light and other energies to better understand and work with biological materials such as cells and tissues.

Biophotonic technology potentially has application in the development of medical lasers, DNA sequencing, identifying and imaging molecules within cells, and the development of photodynamic drug therapies.

Scheduled speakers include Dennis Matthews, director of the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, Monique Cosman, biosciences directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Scott Prahl, Oregon Graduate Institute School of Science and Engineering, and Brian Wilson, Ontario Cancer Institute at the University of Toronto.

UTSA is one of 10 institutions nationwide collaborating in the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) at the University of California, Davis. Established in 2002 with a $40 million, 10-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the center is comprised of multiple research projects conducted by scientists at the collaborating institutions.

UTSA is represented by physics professor Dhiraj Sardar, whose laboratory students study laser-light interactions with biological materials and the optical characterization of tissues to understand the interaction. Sardar's research focuses on the development of non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tools for medical application.

Other collaborating institutions include Stanford University, Louisiana State University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Alabama A&M University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco.

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