• 1970s
  • Biotechnology Resource Program Funding
    Late 1970s

    Dr. Michael Berns applies and receives funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch a Biotechnology Resource Program that later becomes the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program (LAMMP). The award is renewed multiple times until Congress sunsets the grant in 2017.

  • Visit from Dr. Arnold O. Beckman
    January 1979

    Dr. Berns hosts his first open house for industry leaders to demonstrate the power and promise of a new technology – lasers. On this rainy day in January, Drs. Arnold O. Beckman, founder of Beckman Instruments Inc. and Richard Nesbit, chief technology officer of Beckman Instruments Inc., attend.

  • 1980s
  • Small Business Innovation Research Program
    January 1980

    The Small Business Innovation Research Program launches in the Bayh-Dole Bill. The program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization.

  • Beckman Funding
    January 1982

    Dr. Beckman, through the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation, provides the original financial gift to establish UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic. Dr. Beckman funds half of the $5 million needed to build what is now the Institute with the agreement that the remaining funds will be raised through private support.

  • Department of Defense Funding
    January 1985

    A Department of Defense grant brings fundraising to within $200,000 of the total needed to finish construction of UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic.

  • Construction Complete
    June 1986

    Construction on UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic is complete. The building houses basic research with a medical clinic, designed to speed innovations to a clinical setting.

  • Doors Open
    September 1986

    UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic opens as one of five national Beckman Institutes supported by Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation with others at: California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and City of Hope Hospital and Medical Center.

  • Lasers to Manipulate Cells
    April 1988

    “Laser Scissors and Tweezers,” publishes in Scientific American. This article authored by Dr. Berns describes the promise of laser technology to, “grasp single cells and tinier components in vises of light…offer[ing] new ways to investigate and manipulate cells.” This technology is still in use today.

  • New Course in Biophotonics
    September 1988

    Dr. Berns teaches a course on biophotonics with 10-15 students enrolled each quarter. Ten years later, approximately 100 students enroll in the class per quarter.

  • 1990s
  • Erasing Tattoos
    Early 1990’s

    UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic partners with the Orange County justice system to launch a program that helps rehabilitate former gang members by removing their tattoos.

  • Laser Surgery
    June 1991

    “Laser Surgery” publishes in Scientific American. In the article, Dr. Berns discusses the potential for the use of lasers in surgical procedures for urinary tract calcification, vascular birthmarks, diabetic retinopathy and photodynamic therapies for cancer.

  • Dr. Beckman Makes a Statement
    September 1992

    In an address to UCI’s Chief Executive Roundtable, Dr. Beckman shares his passion for funding “risky ventures,” or those that government agencies do not typically fund.

  • Laser Microbeam and Medical Program
    January 1994

    In renewing the Laser Microbeam Program (LAMP) grant funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a second “M” is added to LAMP to indicate the Institute’s further specialization in medical applications. In the late 1970’s, Dr. Berns established the Laser Microbeam Program (LAMP)  with the goal of developing tools for selectively altering small regions of living cells to study cell and organelle function.

  • Photonic Incubator Launch
    January 1996

    The Photonic Incubator opens as one of the first incubators in the UC system for technology commercialization. This industrial initiatives program supports start-up companies and fosters a collaborative environment between Institute researchers and affiliated professionals.

  • Dynamic Cooling Device Patent
    September 1998

    Dr. J. Stuart Nelson, UCI professor of surgery and biomedical engineering, patents the Dynamic Cooling Device and the technology is licensed to industry.  It has become the standard-of-care for the treatment of port wine stains, hemangiomas and other vascular birthmarks in infants and young children.  Today, the technology is available on more than 25,000 medical lasers worldwide, has been used to treat millions of patients and has generated more than $56 million in royalty revenue.

  • Institute Expansion
    January 1999

    Spurred by the $1 million U.S. Department of Commerce grant, UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic constructs a $3 million addition to the existing facility, adding a second operating and recovery room and ample space for the Photonic Incubator.

  • 2000s
  • New Leadership
    November 2003

    Dr. Bruce Tromberg is appointed as the second director of Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic and Dr. J. Stuart Nelson is appointed as the medical director.

  • Lifetime Achievement
    January 2006

    Dr. Berns receives the lifetime achievement award from the biomedical optics arm of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

  • OCT Medical Imaging
    January 2006

    OCT Medical Imaging, a company hosted in the Photonic Incubator, licenses its state-of-the-art cardiovascular imaging technology.

  • 2010s
  • Dr. Michael Berns Honored
    June 2012

    Dr. Berns is honored at SPIE for his outstanding achievements in the field of biomedical engineering.

  • 30th Anniversary
    June 2014

    The Institute celebrates its 30th anniversary with the launch of the Convergence Optical Sciences Initiative (COSI). The Initiative is a campus-wide effort to drive the creation, clinical translation and commercialization of cutting-edge optics and photonics technologies that will transform human health.

  • Vascular Birthmark Foundation Partnership
    March 2017

    Vascular Birthmark Foundation hosts its first comprehensive clinic at the Institute, providing much needed treatment for children with vascular birthmarks.

  • Foundation Matching Funds
    December 2017

    Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation and UCI team up to offer a $3.5 million matching fund in support of COSI and the UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic building renovation and expansion.

  • Michael W. Berns Recognized
    March 2018

    The Michael W. Berns Laser Microbeam Program Lab is established in recognition of a donation from Beckman Laser Institute, Inc. non-profit corporation.