News | April 12, 2012

New OSA Award Named In Honor Of Michael S. Feld

Award will recognize significant contributions to the field of biophotonics

The Optical Society (OSA) and the OSA Foundation (OSAF) are pleased to announce the establishment of the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award, honoring Professor Feld's fundamental contributions in the field of laser science and applied physics for solving biomedical problems. The OSA Foundation has begun fundraising efforts to permanently endow the award.

The Feld Award, which will be given out annually along with OSA's 18 other awards and recognitions, will recognize individuals for innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics, regardless of their career stage. The scope of the award encompasses all areas of biophotonics, ranging from fundamental optics discoveries in biology to the development of new theoretical frameworks and novel instrumentation to clinical translational research for biomedicine. A substantial and growing number of OSA members select a technical group in the Biomedical Optics Division as their first choice.

"Professor Feld was a true visionary in the field of biophotonics and it is only fitting we honor his legacy with this award," said Philip Bucksbaum, OSA vice president and chair of OSA's Awards Committee. "Many members of our field are engaged in ground breaking and important research in the area of biomedical optics and I am delighted OSA now has this ability to formally recognize their accomplishments."

Feld, who passed away in 2010, founded the Laser Biomedical Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985 with the support of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. His research in Raman spectroscopy to diagnose tissues and image diseases via endoscopy and optical tomography led to numerous accomplishments and pioneering work in the field, including diagnosing atherosclerosis and detecting breast cancer; non-invasive glucose measurements; detecting precancerous changes in the colon, esophagus, oral cavity and cervix; detecting neural activity; 3-D imaging of cells; and detecting malaria. In addition, Feld strongly valued an ethnically diverse scientific environment and actively sought to achieve this goal.

Nominations for the inaugural award, to be given in 2013, are now being accepted. Nominations are initiated by OSA members and reviewed by a committee of topical experts whose recommendations are submitted to the OSA Awards Committee.

For more information on the fundraising efforts for the Feld Biophotonics Award, including information on how to donate, visit the OSA Foundation's website.

About OSA
Uniting more than 130,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

About the OSA Foundation
The OSA Foundation (OSAF) was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society's (OSA) mission. The OSAF is concentrating its efforts on programs that provide career and professional development resources and support awards and honors that recognize technical and business excellence. The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity. For more information, visit

SOURCE: The Optical Society