25 May 2005 ICFO students make it to the final of the OSA- New Focus/Bookham Student Award 2005

(left) Dr. Pablo Loza and PhD student Ivan Amat

Ivan in the set up, in the Nonlinear Microscopy Lab

Ivan during the project presentation at CLEO

Ivan Amat amongst the seven best students in Photonics for his work on ultrashort laser pulses for biological applications
Ivan Amat, a student doing his PhD at ICFO, was chosen to be one of the seven finalists for the OSA New Focus/Bookham Student Award 2005. The Grand Prize, judged in Baltimore this 25th of May in Baltimore (USA), during the CLEO/QELS Conference, went to Ms. Gretchen Campbell, who is currently conducting research at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in Boston (USA). The award was established in 1997 to encourage research excellence, presentation prowess, and leadership in the optics community among OSA Student Members worldwide.

Ivan Amat got an Engineering Telecom degree from the UPC and a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, USA, and since then he is working in his PhD thesis in the field of high resolution nonlinear microscopy for biological applications in Pablo Loza\'s group at ICFO.

Ivan\'s research project addresses the characterization of ultrashort laser pulses. This has been successfully achieved by using a specially cheap nonlinear material, namely starch, and by developing a new analytical technique that overcomes serious drawbacks of more conventional approaches. This innovative method can lead to optimized pulses for nonlinear microscopy and provide a significant advance in imaging of life sciences, where imaging living cells requires an optimized light-cell interaction response with a minimum amount of light to avoid photodamage.

Ivan will now spend six months at the Wellman Labs for Photomedicine, Harvard University, where he will be expanding his education by doing cutting-edge research in biomedical optics, more specifically, in skin cancer diagnosis.