UC Irvine's Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic has received $4.1 million from the National Institutes of Health to expand a program that gives access to advanced laser and optical imaging technologies to researchers worldwide.
The award supports the institute's Laser Microbeam and Medical Program for five years and represents a significant increase from the program's previous grant, which totaled $2 million over three years.
Researchers in the program use lasers, high-resolution microscopes and other optical technologies to examine body tissues, cells and molecules within cells. Research sheds light on causes of--and treatments for--breast cancer, brain tumors, wounds, genetic disorders and immunological diseases, among other maladies.
"The grant allows us to explore new optical methods and establish a foundation for developing the next generation of medical technology," said Dr. Bruce Tromberg, director of the laser program.
Beckman Laser Institute Director Michael Berns founded the program in 1979 to study how light affects cellular activity and interacts with molecules within cells.