“Photons in the Bio-Nanotech Era”
Dr. Sadik Esener
One of the important scientific missions over the next decade will be the exploration of the “Inner Space” at the cellular and molecular levels. Indeed developing a detailed understanding of the “Intra Cellular Nanoworld” appears to be the key for fighting many major diseases including cancer. This mission to the biological Nanoworld is dictated on one hand by the desire to understand life at the molecular level and on the other hand by the need to reduce suffering, death, and the economic burden of these diseases on the society. Since the invention of the microscope optics and biology have been strongly tied together with the uncovering the cellular structure of biological tissues. However, as the research interest shifts from micro-systems to nano-systems for the exploration of the “inner space” new challenges and opportunities emerge in the use of photons. This presentation will first summarize the techniques we are developing at the NanoTumor Center at UCSD and its partner institutions established by NCI to investigate the use of Nanotechnology to fight cancer. Challenges and opportunities to photonic techniques when compared to these new techniques will be discussed. Several on going experiments and related results will be highlighted.
Bio: Sadik Esener is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from UCSD (1987). He is the Director and PI of the UCSD Cancer Nanotechnology Center funded by the National Cancer Institute. Previously he served as the Director of the Center for Heterogeneously Integrated Photonics Systems (CHIPS), a multi-university DARPA funded opto-center for biophotonics and nanophotonics. From 1997 to 2001, he has served as the director of the Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors (OESP) industry/university consortium on Free Space Optical Interconnects and on the integration of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser arrays. From 1998 to 2001, he also was the Director of the Fast Read-out Optical Storage consortium on parallel accessing optical disks, partially supported by DARPA and partially by Industry. He has authored several book chapters, and organized and chaired scientific international conferences. Esener is also a co-founder of several companies including Nanogen Inc. that relates to his work on electrically addressed gene chips, Call/Recall Inc. that relates to his work on multilayer optical disk storage, Optical Micro Machines and Ziva Inc. that relate to his work on all optical switching and free space optics, and Genoptix Inc., that relates to his more recent work in biophotonics. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America.