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09 June 2015

Entrepreneurship is the theme for Biophotonics '15 on Ven

Guest blog from Ven: Jacqueline Andreozzi, a PhD candidate at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, is blogging from the Biophotonics Summer School on the island of Ven, off the southern coast of Sweden, this week. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and COST, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, are among sponsors of the school.
Also supporting the school are DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark; Lund Laser Centre; NKT Photonics A/S; Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, through its Nobel Institute for Physics; and Thorlabs.

    “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the
    work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Biophotonics '15 participants arrive by ferry for the
summer school week on Ven.
This quote, cited in Dr. Eric Swanson’s keynote lecture series at the 2015 International Summer School in Biophotonics, embodies the opportunity to learn, network, and perhaps most importantly, inspire, that the organizers of this event have so brilliantly orchestrated.

The biannual school, currently in its seventh iteration, has brought together young investigators from around the world with top researchers and experts in the ever-growing field of biomedical optics.

After a brief address from Dr. Anne L’Huillier, professor at Lund University and Chairwoman for the Nobel Committee for Physics at the Swedish Academy for Sciences, the group of 58 students was ferried over to the small island of Ven, Sweden, for the weeklong course.

As of Tuesday, the fourth day of the course, the students have already benefited from in-depth lectures on entrepreneurship (Dr. Swanson, Acacia Communications Inc.), tissue optics (Dr. Steve Jacques, Oregon Health and Science University), photoacoustic tomography (Dr. Lihong Wang, Washington University in St. Louis), and fiber-based lasers for biophotonics applications (Dr. J. Roy Taylor, Imperial College).

Monday evening brought a poster session in the
Spirit of Hven conference hall.
Further facilitating the exchange of ideas and information, every student presented his or her own research as part of a series of three poster sessions spread out over two days.

As a tool to garner feedback from both peers as well as the present experts, the poster sessions proved to be a huge success.

Following the spirit of this year’s school theme -- entrepreneurship -- the students have also been busy preparing for an internal enterprise pitch competition, which was revealed to the students on the Sunday evening.

Entrepreneur challenge participants Naomi McReynolds
(SPIE University of St. Andrews Chapter President)
and Elin Malmqvist (Lund University) work diligently
to prepare their pitch.
On breaks, in addition to riding the provided bright yellow bicycles around the stunning sites of the island, small groups of students can be found congregating in every imaginable nook, both inside and out, to maintain secrecy as they formulate their spontaneous enterprises. With a €200 prize, a certificate, and of course bragging rights on the line, pressures are high to come to the table Wednesday night with the best possible business pitch. The following article will be sure to provide an update on which group of students won this coveted prize.

About the author: Jacqueline Andreozzi is a PhD candidate at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and an M.S. in Optics and Photonics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her current work, under the guidance of advisor Dr. Brian Pogue in the Optics in Medicine Laboratory, employs Cherenkov imaging to improve accuracy and safety in clinical radiotherapy for cancer treatment. In a strong collaboration with doctors and researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the research group is pioneering a novel prototype system intended to provide real-time radiation beam-tracking and dose verification, and advance quality of care for radiotherapy patients.

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