Message from the Director
Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D.

The Beckman Laser Institute (BLI) is a 37,000 square foot multi-disciplinary center for research, teaching, clinical medicine, and technology transfer located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine. The BLI is a division in the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine and an important unit in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering.

Students from nearly every science and engineering department have trained at the BLI, and interdisciplinary collaborative programs are ongoing between BLI faculty and a substantial portion of campus, including the Schools of Engineering, Physical Science, Biological Science, and Information and Computer Science; the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Institute for Nanoscale Research and Fabrication (INRF), the John Tu and Thomas Yuen Functional Onco-Imaging Center, the Epi-Center, the Brain Imaging Center, the Center for Mitochondrial Medicine, the Center for Biological Complexity, and many clinical departments in the School of Medicine.

The BLI faculty reflect this diversity with individuals who have appointments in the Departments of Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pulmonology, Dermatology, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering; and training in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Mathematics.

A few "facts and figures" about BLI:

  • Current BLI faculty are editors-in-chief or topical editors of 3 important peer-reviewed journals: The Journal of Biomedical Optics, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, and Applied Optics.

  • Eighteen BLI-trained students and fellows are now faculty members in basic science, engineering, and medical school departments at leading institutions around the world.

  • BLI investigators currently operate 4 major "center of excellence" grants from the NIH (3) and DOD (1) that link UCI with several programs around the country, including Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and the University of Illinois.

  • More than one dozen BLI patents have been issued with approximately the same number in the "pipeline". Several BLI technologies have been successfully licensed to industry and have been used to establish four spinoff biomedical companies.

  • Our Laser Surgery Clinic has approximately 4000 patient visits per year and supports over 20 clinical research protocols.

Broadly speaking, BLI technologies and discoveries have had a major impact on cutaneous disease and treatment, cellular micromanipulation, intraluminal endoscopic imaging, functional imaging of cells and thick tissues, targeted phototherapies, and multi-modality imaging. Although applications of BLI technologies have touched on most major areas of biology and medicine, our work is just beginning.

Enjoy exploring our website. Opportunities to study at BLI exist through all science and engineering departments. Please let us know if you are interested in finding out more about our programs. A great way to learn about our field is to attend our seminar program, co-sponsored with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, held on most Thursdays at noon. See you there!

Bruce J. Tromberg
BLI Director