Dr. Brian Wilson
Professor of Medical Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technologies for Health Care, University Health Network, Toronto
Topic: Translational Research in Biomedical Optics and Nanobiophotonics
Biography: Brian Wilson holds a PhD in Natural Philosophy from University of Glasgow and worked in biomedical research and clinical physics in the UK and Australia before moving to Canada in 1981, initially at McMaster University/Hamilton Cancer Center and then at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University of Toronto, where he established a translational program in biomedical optics. He has also held Visiting Professorships at Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Western Australia and in China and Brazil. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers and is the recipient of the 1994 Mark Award of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, an NIH Award for Bench-to-Bedside Research (2006), the Robert L. Noble Award of the Canadian Cancer Society (2009) for his work in translational cancer research, the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award of the Optical Society of America (2013), and the Britton Chance Biomedical Award of the International Society for Optics & Photonics (2014). He has trained over 50 graduate students and postdoctoral/clinical fellows. He has been a cofounder of two spin-off companies in biomedical optics and has worked with over 30 companies in biophotonics commercialization and translation. He has been on advisory boards of many research organizations, both nationally and internationally.
Abstract: As suggested by 2015 being the UNESCO International Year of Light, optics-based techniques and technologies are having increasing impact across many academic, societal and industrial sectors, including biomedical research and health care (biophotonics) in which the diverse interactions between light and biomolecular structures are exploited. The preclinical applications include biosensing/bioanalytics, optical microscopies and in vivo imaging, as well as micromanipulation at the cellular and subcellular levels. Clinical applications span analytics, diagnostics and therapeutics. In addition, there is strong convergence between biophotonics and other biomedical technologies/life sciences, such as nano, robotics, microfluidics and imaging. Following an overview of the field, several examples will be given from our current R&D program, focusing on the development and translation of novel biophotonics and nanobiophotonics to address specific unmet clinical needs, particularly in cancer. These include various forms of optical image-guided surgery and other therapeutic interventions, image multiplexing and non-linear techniques for endoscopy, and nanoparticle-enhanced, light-based cancer treatments. Opportunities to impact global health problems are also illustrated.