2012 FACSS Innovation Awards

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  • Published: Dec 3, 2012
  • Source: Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies
  • Channels: X-ray Spectrometry / NMR Knowledge Base / Atomic / Chemometrics & Informatics / Infrared Spectroscopy / Raman / Base Peak / UV/Vis Spectroscopy

Santa Fe, NM. November 30, 2012.

The Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 FACSS Innovation Award. This is a juried prize awarded to the most innovative, creative, and outstanding work making its world debut at the FACSS-organized SciX conference. The winner is selected in a special oral session featuring five candidates selected from the many talks contributed to the program. The 2012 Award Winner is Rohit Bhargarva, University of Illinois, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, for “Advancing Infrared Microscopy Instrumentation by Theory and Computation,” Rohit Bhargava, P. Scott Carney, Rohith Reddy, Kevin Yeh, Thomas van Dijk, Matthew Gelber, Matthew V. Schulmerich; University of Illinois, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Rohit Bhargava

Dr. Bhargava presented a recently developed theoretical framework for understanding light propagation in microspectroscopic imaging systems that upends the widely held belief that vibrational spectroscopic imaging is a simple combination of spectroscopy and optical microscopy. This new theory and resulting modeling has allowed for the design and construction of instruments with new capabilities, enhancement and interpretation of spectral data, and the realizing of models for real-world samples. Fundamental understanding of light–matter interaction in complex systems recovery has also been advanced, allowing ultimate optimization of system performance for the first time.

Professor Rohit Bhargava is the Bliss Faculty Scholar and an Associate Professor, Engineering and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Bhargava received dual B.Tech. degrees (in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science and Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and his doctoral thesis work at Case Western Reserve University was in the area of polymer spectroscopy.

Subsequently, he worked as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the area of biomedical vibrational spectroscopy. Research in the Bhargava laboratories focuses on fundamental optical theory for vibrational spectroscopic imaging, developing new instrumentation, application of spectroscopic imaging to biomedical and polymer problems, and numerical analyses. Dr. Bhargava’s work has been recognized with several research and teaching awards, including Applied Spectroscopy’s Meggers Award, and he is routinely nominated to the list of teachers ranked “excellent” at Illinois.

P. Scott Carney

Professor P. Scott Carney is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. He is a theorist with research interests in inverse problems, imaging, coherence theory and other branches of optical physics and works closely with a number of great experimenters. Prof. Carney is widely respected for having written the seminal papers in the field of near-field inverse scattering. His current interests include problems in inverse-scattering, the statistical optics of fast pulses, and spectroscopy. Prof Carney holds a BS in Engineering Physics from UIUC (1994), and a PhD in Physics from the University of Rochester (1999, advisor: Emil Wolf).

Matthew Schulmerich

Matthew Schulmerich joined Prof. Bhargava’s laboratories at the Beckman in 2009 after a working at SABIC Innovative Plastics. Matthew received a B.S. in Chemistry (2004) and a B.A. in Biology (2004) from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) and earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry (2008) from the University of Michigan where he used Raman Spectroscopy, novel optical probe configurations, and multivariate signal processing to noninvasively recover spectra of targets below several millimeters of light scattering material including plastics and tissue. His current research includes building instrumentation for spectroscopic mapping, imaging and tomography. Matthew’s interests involve integrating IR and Raman methods in a multi model-approach to obtain accurate disease diagnosis of excised tissue. Towards this effort he has developed Dark Field Raman microscopy as a method for rejecting signal from substrate fluorescence. He has also recently applied his expertise in transmission Raman spectroscopy to analysis of soybeans in a pilot study to assess the feasibility of using Raman measurements to quantify the concentrations of protein, oils, and amino acids in whole soybeans. Other research interests involve working with spectral basis sets to quantify tissue components by using multivariate signal processing towards noninvasive diagnostics.

Thomas Van Dijk

Dr. Thomas van Dijk joined the University of Illinois as a Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellow in 2011 after receiving a Ph.D. in Physics at Vrije University in Amsterdam. His dissertation has a focus on theoretical and experimental studies in optical coherence theory, while his main areas of research include computed imaging, inverse problems, statistical optics and plasmonics. Thomas is interested in exploring the theoretical frontiers in bio-optics, which uses light to study, manipulate, and treat biological samples, toward advancing the design of experimental methods and analysis of results. He plans to concentrate his work on problems in the imaging and diagnosis of disease in order to meet both clinical and research needs.

Rohith Reddy

Rohith Reddy received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in signal processing from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, India. His research in Prof. Bhargava’s group is focused on creating and enhancing midinfrared spectroscopic imaging techniques for biomedical applications. He has developed methods for prostate and breast cancer detection using FT-IR spectroscopic imaging. His latest work involves the conception and design of infrared instrumentation and entails a deep integration of theoretical, computational, and experimental aspects of optics. In recognition of his research in infrared imaging and spectroscopy, he has received several national and international awards including the Tomas Hirschfeld Award (2012), William G. Fateley Student Award (2011), Society of Applied Spectroscopy Student Award (2011) and Coblentz Student Award (2011) among others. Kevin Yeh received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and started as a graduate student in Prof. Bhargava’s laboratories in 2011. His research interests involve developing technologies for mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging. His current work involves Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry and Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL)-based imaging systems.

Matthew Gelber

Matthew Gelber received his B.S. in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and joined Prof. Bhargava’s laboratories as a graduate student in 2012. His research focuses on the development of high-throughput methods for both developing and imaging engineered 3D tissue. Using a combination of spectroscopic imaging and molecular biology, Matt hopes to enable better experimental characterization of the multi-dimensional interactions at play in degeneration, regeneration, and cancer.


The Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) was established in 1973 as a federation with initial aims of combining many small meetings previously organized by individual member societies (organizations) into one joint internationally-recognized conference that covers the whole field of Analytical Chemistry and supporting meetings and activities consistent with the federation’s mission. Member organizations have representatives that sit on the Governing Board of the Federation. Member organizations include both United States-based and international societies. Currently FACSS consists of 11 member organization including the AES Electrophoresis Society, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Analytical Division, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS), the Association of Analytical Chemists (ANACHEM), the Coblentz Society, the Infrared and Raman Discussion Group (IRDG),the International Society for Automation (ISA) – Analysis Division, the North American Society for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (NASLIBS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Analytical Division, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS), and the Spectroscopical Society of Japan (SpSJ). Additional information is available at www.facss.org. Future North American conferences presented by FACSS will carry the name SciX – the Great Scientific eXchange. Additional information on SciX and the 2013 SciX conference is available at www.scixconference.org.

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