Published September 25, 2017
In the 1990s, UB researcher Paras Prasad became a pioneer in the field of light-based nanomedicine, which involves the use of tiny, light-activated particles to diagnose, monitor and treat disease.
Three decades later, he remains one of world’s most prominent thinkers in this area, and his work is being recognized by awards from three national or international scientific organizations.
The honors come from the American Chemical Society, IEEE (a worldwide technical professional organization for the advancement of technology) and the Optical Society. They recognize Prasad’s work in advancing the fields of optics, photonics and biophotonics, laying the foundation for new, light-based technologies in areas including cancer treatment, drug delivery and deep-tissue imaging.
At UB, Prasad serves as executive director of the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics. He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering.
The awards he is receiving are:
“Professor Prasad’s receipt of these major awards is a testament not only to the impact of his work, but also to the broad range of disciplines, from biotechnology to nanoscience to photonics, in which he has made seminal contributions,” says David Watson, chair of UB’s chemistry department. “It is fitting also that the awards recognize Paras’ excellence as an educator and mentor, and his role in promoting science.”
A prolific inventor and researcher, Prasad has received numerous regional, national and international awards for his lifetime achievements.
At UB, Prasad has worked with colleagues to develop or study a wide range of new materials that could advance technology in health care and other fields, ultimately improving lives around the world.
These materials include miniature luminescent crystals that could be used in image-guided surgery, light-activated particles that could enable the development of new bioimaging technologies for disease detection, and onion-like nanoparticles whose specially designed layers could convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and ultraviolet light efficiently — an advancement that could improve the performance of technologies ranging from deep-tissue imaging to security inks used for printing money.
In addition to conducting research, Prasad has mentored numerous students and researchers in the fields of optics and photonics. Notably, he helped guide the work of a UB postdoctoral researcher who went on to found a UB spinoff company in France called Nanobiotix, which is now a publicly trading company worth more than 300 million Euros.