Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Ireland hosts International Biophotonics and Imaging Conference

18 October 2010


BioPIC 2010 showcases innovations in the rapidly expanding sector of optics and photonics with benefits for healthcare and disease prevention.

The BioPhotonics and Imaging Conference (BioPIC) 2010 opens today in Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Co Meath and continues until Wednesday 20th October. The conference is hosted by the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIP Ireland) in affiliation with the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS). The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is the local organiser of the event.

Professor Brian Harvey, RCSI Professor of Molecular Medicine and NBIP Ireland Coordinator

Collectively the attendees at the conference have driven research in the ‘Biophotonics and Imaging’ field forward over the past thirty years providing tremendous insight to areas including the beginnings of life, biological processes involved in its progression, disease development and prevention.

Annual growth rates in industries in the optics and photonics sector far exceed those of the overall economy, highlighting the potential benefits for Ireland’s investment in research in this area.

Professor Brian Harvey, RCSI Professor of Molecular Medicine and NBIP Ireland Coordinator said: “Biophotonics and imaging research and technologies are key contributors to the Irish economy as well as having important applications to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular and neuro-degenerative diseases.”

Biophotonics and Imaging is an emerging area of scientific research that use light and other forms of radiant energy to understand the inner workings of cells and tissues in living organisms. The approach allows researchers to see, measure, analyse and manipulate living tissues to detect, diagnose and treat diseases in a way that are non-invasive to the body. Biophotonics and Imaging plays a crucial role in limiting health-care costs and appropriately addressing the accelerating challenges associated with population aging and the consequent increase in age-related diseases.

Prof Harvey continued “Ireland’s confidence in this sector’s potential for economic growth is highlighted by the investment of €30 million in NBIP Ireland with a further €1 million investment from the Marie Curie COFUND for NBIP Ireland’s postdoctoral fellowship programme (CEMP), confirming EU confidence in Ireland’s ability to perform in this area. The benefit of continued funding will reap dividends in the form of the technological developments coming out of novel research in biophotonics and imaging contributing to Ireland Inc., the Irish economy and a more rapid recovery from economic recession. The conference provides an opportunity to promote Ireland as a European and global leader in biophotonics and imaging.”

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) allocated €30 million to NBIP Ireland under PRTLI Cycle 4. 

The conference will also strengthen Ireland’s position for inclusion in ESFRI Euro-BioImaging, an integrated platform of research, training and education in this field and may impact the strategic development of biophotonics in the upcoming EU Framework Programme 8, which will be a major opportunity to fund further research in this emerging field. NBIP Ireland is the national coordinator for Ireland’s participation in the Euro-BioImaging bid.

Among the presentations at the three-day conference are:

‘In vivo imaging of the injured brain’ - Prof Nikolaus Plesnila, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

‘New optical techniques in vision science and the clinic’ -Prof Chris Dainty, NUI Galway and President-Elect of The Optical Society (OSA)

‘Raman Spectroscopy for cancer diagnosis, a cervical cancer study ' - Ms Kamila Ostrowska2, Ms Alison Malkin2, Dr Cara Martin1, Dr Aidan Meade2, Prof John O’Leary1, Dr Kelvin Poon2, Ms Nosheen Rashid2, Prof Hugh Byrne2, Dr Fiona Lyng21Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital and 2Dublin Institute of Technology

‘Computer aided detection for biomedical applications’ - Prof Paul Whelan, Dublin City University

 ‘Smartphone as a portable optical heart activity monitor’ - Dr Enock Jonathan and Prof Martin Leahy, University of Limerick


For further details and to view the conference programme visit: