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SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoc Fellowship awarded to Ivan Kosik

06 Dec 2021

The $75,000 annual award will support research in developing an effective treatment for prostate cancer.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has announced Ivan Kosik, who received his PhD in 2018 from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, as the winner of the 2022 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship in Problem-Driven Biomedical Optics and Analytics. The annual award of $75,000 supports interdisciplinary research and provides opportunities for translating new technologies into clinical practice for improving human health.

Kosik’s research project, “Transrectal photoacoustic tomography for guiding nanoparticle-enhanced photothermal therapy of focal prostate cancer” – conducted in conjunction with Professor Brian Wilson at the University of Toronto/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Lab for Applied Biophotonics – will develop a new form of transrectal photoacoustic tomography (TR-PAT) in combination with thermal enhancement using multifunctional porphyrin-lipid nanoparticles.

Aim: safe, effective photothermal therapy

The goal is to create a safe, effective photothermal therapy (PTT) treatment platform that eliminates the necessity for intraoperative MRI and enables easier dissemination and clinical adoption. Kosik will be presenting aspects of this project during SPIE Photonics West in January.

“Being awarded the 2022 SPIE Hillenkamp Fellowship represents a high point in my career to date,” said Kosik. “The award will give me the opportunity to expand my work on applying photonics to guide cancer treatment. I have lost loved ones to cancer, so this has personal as well as professional impact for me. I have published numerous times through SPIE and will continue to do so with renewed vigor. I thank the Society for this honor.”

“This is a very exciting proposal from an excellent researcher working in a lab highly renowned for innovative biomedical and biophotonics research that translates into solving medical problems,” said the Co-Chairs of the Hillenkamp Fellowship Committee Rox Anderson and Gabriela Apiou.

“Ivan’s work has the potential to establish transrectal photoacoustic tomography as a novel technology platform to guide nanoparticle-enhanced photothermal therapy of focal prostate cancer, work that will ensure maximally-effective treatment while minimizing risk of collateral damage. We look forward to seeing the outcome of his project.”

Honoring the career of medical laser pioneer Franz Hillenkamp, the SPIE-Hillenkamp Fellowship is a partnership between multiple international biomedical laboratories — the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, the Beckman Laser Institute, the Manstein Lab in the Cutaneous Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Medical Laser Center Lübeck, and Boston University — and the Hillenkamp family. The endowment is funded through generous donations from the biomedical optics community, with SPIE contributing matching funds up to $1.5 million.

Applications for the 2023 SPIE-Hillenkamp Fellowship will open in the Spring of 2022.

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