These IPERT training programs are supported by an NIH R25 award (GM147294), the Beckman Laser Institute, UCI Graduate Division, Beall Applied Innovation, and the UCI Samueli School of Engineering. The key component of this IPERT program is a 12-day Annual Short Course in Multiscale Biophotonics (SCMB) held at the University of California, Irvine. Our customized curriculum consists of a collection of lectures, demonstrations, labs, workshops and team science activities aimed to develop technical, operational, and professional skills in Biophotonics for academic and industry researchers. The short course is followed by a year-long capstone Problem-Based Learning Project and supported by both technical and professional mentorship. These activities following the short course are aimed to solidify the trainees’ mastery of the technical content of the short course and advance the career development goals of each of the trainees.
Our focus on Biophotonics not only stems from our expertise but also driven by the economic impact of photonic technologies in life sciences and medicine which is estimated to exceed $90 billion annually. This economic impact is on strong growth trajectory due to increased demand for (a) Biophotonics-based assays in molecular/cellular biology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical sectors and (b) inexpensive, mobile, and point-of-care, personalized medical technologies. Thus it is vital to support the development of a qualified biomedical workforce to support this economic engine within the United States.
The target audience for our IPERT program is graduate student, post-doctoral, faculty, and industrial researchers developing new Biophotonics methods and technologies. Our intent is to support their technical training in Biophotonics modeling, computation, and experimentation as well as their professional development.