By Mark Dwortzan
The IEEE Photonics Society has named Assistant Professor Hatice Altug (ECE) the 2011 winner of its Young Investigator Award, which recognizes individuals who make outstanding technical contributions to the field of photonics prior to their 35th birthday. Altug will receive the award, which consists of a certificate of recognition and an honorarium of $1,000, at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics meeting in Baltimore in May.
A Boston University faculty member since 2007, Altug was honored for her groundbreaking achievements in confining and manipulating light at the nanoscale to dramatically improve biosensing capabilities. Initiating several advances in the fields of nanophotonics, nanoplasmonics and integrated nanofluidics over the past six years, she has developed state-of-the-art technologies for real-time, label-free and high-throughput detection of very low quantities of biological molecules such as proteins and viruses.
“Professor Altug’s novel nanophotonic and nanofluidic inventions could be very important for clinical applications, biomedical research and national defense,” said Selim Unlu, associate dean for Research and Graduate Programs. “With her creativity and fearlessness in tackling challenging new directions, she promises to be a leader in nanophotonics and nanobiotechnology”
Among Altug’s achievements are an ultra-sensitive infrared vibrational spectroscopy method enabling measurements of molecular signatures of single protein layers; and an ultrafast, portable biosensor that can directly detect, live viruses in solution; and the world’s fastest and smallest nanoscale laser.
“I am very honored to receive this highly prestigious award from IEEE at this stage of my career,” said Altug, who also won an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2010. “It’s wonderful to be recognized by the scientific community. I hope to continue to work on high-impact research problems and contribute my field.”