NEWS | February 12, 2013

Dennis Matthews elected SPIE fellow


Dennis Matthews, professor emeritus at UC Davis and director of the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology, was elected a SPIE fellow for achievements in biophotonics innovation and commercialization. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The society serves about 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries.

Photo of Dennis Matthews
Dennis Matthews

Each year, SPIE promotes members as new fellows of the society, in recognition of significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging. Sixty-nine new fellows were honored last week at a luncheon in San Francisco, during SPIE’s Photonics West annual conference.

Matthews is the director of the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology, and the associate director for biomedical technology for the Integrated Cancer Center at UC Davis. He is principal investigator of a number of grants, including the NSF- and industry-funded Ecosystem for Biophotonics Innovation and site director of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center and Center for Biophotonic Sensors and Systems. Matthews is a professor emeritus in the UC Davis Department of Neurological Surgery and a member of the Biomedical Engineering, Applied Sciences and Clinical Sciences graduate groups. He is also a previous program leader and division leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is currently in charge of developing new biotechnology program opportunities there.  

Matthews is the co-founder and chief scientist of the Tahoe Institute for Rural Healthcare Research, the University of California Biophotonics Alliance and the Biophotonics4Life Worldwide Consortium. He is also the sole proprietor of LifeLight Resources LLC, a biophotonics-based consulting company. While he is credited for inventing and developing x-ray wavelength lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Matthews' continuing interest is in the translation and commercialization of new physical science and engineering technologies for grand challenges in medicine and the life sciences. His current interests are in developing optical and x-ray technologies for disease diagnosis and treatment.  

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society of Photo and Industrial Engineers and the Optical Society of America. He has more than 275 publications and 30 patents and is the co-editor of the Journal of Biophotonics. Matthews is credited for raising more than $150 million in grant funds in his career, helping create 10 startup companies and for directing R&D programs as large as $35 million per year.