Paras Prasad, Ph.D., executive director of the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics at the University at Buffalo (UB; Buffalo, NY), has been named a Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, effective January 1, 2018. The honor recognizes his contributions in biophotonics, nanophotonics, and novel biomedical technology.
At UB, Prasad is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, and Electrical Engineering, and an internationally known expert on the study of light. In the 1990s, he became a pioneer in the field of light-based nanomedicine, which uses tiny, light-activated particles to diagnose, monitor, and treat disease. He has also 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.
Paras Prasad (right), executive director of the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics at UB, with UB medicinal chemistry graduate student Julia Bulmahn (left).
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 traded company worth nearly €300 million.