ICALEO 2015 – Opening Plenary Recap

LIA Executive Director Peter Baker started us off by welcoming everyone including first time attendees. Peter also reminded everyone to join us next year in San Diego.

Following Peter Baker was current LIA President Robert Thomas who thanked everyone for their support during his presidency.  He also recognized the ICALEO SponsorsVendors,  and Attendees.  Mr. Thomas also discussed peer reviewed papers and the added value they bring to the ICALEO event. <Watch the video here>

Silke Pflueger had a few opening words and introduced the conference chairs. An important point that Dr. Pflueger made was the lack of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. She challenged us all as individuals, as companies, and as a society to encourage young women to pursue interests in these fields.

Dr. Ellen Townes-Anderson highlighted the Plenary and set the laser tone of the conference with her presentation “Welding” Nerve Cells Together with Laser Tweezers. Dr. Anderson is one of four daughters of laser pioneer Charles Townes and niece of LIA’s founding father Arthur L Schawlow. Ellen provided a personal perspective of her father as she shared how he wrote her a note regarding the use of lasers in biomed applications as early as 1962 and how he worked up until two months of his death this year.

After our morning break Adela Ben-Yakar made a presentation on Clinical Femtosecond Laser Microsurgery guided with Multiphoton Microscopy. Her presentation was very interesting and it is amazing how a once debilitating surgery can be performed with less long term negative effects. One example she cited was surgery performed on the larynx to remove cancer that traditionally would have required the larynx to be removed.

Our final presenter of the day, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, discussed translating light based technologies to patient care. Lasers can be used in medical care for much earlier detection of health related problems. Earlier detection not only helps save lives, but can make recovery time much shorter. Anita also discussed ways to apply technology in clinical applications.

Heading into the lunch break one thing is certain, the speakers have started ICALEO off in the right direction with one minor caveat; If all the technical sessions are as interesting, informative, and captivating… it is going be difficult to choose between them.