In the field of Biomedicine, the linear transport equation serves as the most frequently adopted “gold standard” for solutions, and the Monte Carlo method is an easily implemented solution technique. Model-based computer algorithms enable a quantitative analysis of any approximate transport solution. The “Friday morning meeting” – or the Modeling and Computation Group – meeting, launched at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic in 1997 under the guidance of Dr. Jerry Spanier. Initially, the meeting mostly addressed current developments involving Monte Carlo modeling. More recently, the topics for discussion have broadened to include any modeling and computational aspects of biophotonics research. The Virtual Photonics Technology Initiative grew out of the Modeling and Computation Group.


The Virtual Photonics Technology Initiative (VPTI) was created and supported from April 2008 to March 2019 by the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program (LAMMP), a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Biomedical Technology Resource Center at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic.

The Virtual Photonics Technology Initiative was established to:

  • Serve as a central resource in support of the laboratory-based technologies at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic.
  • Develop model-based computational algorithms to describe and visualize the interactions of light with tissue, from individual cells to whole organs.
  • Make use of applications in advanced image analysis and pattern recognition to create optical diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.

These methodologies are used to:

  • Develop optical technologies that accurately model cells and tissues.
  • Create new medical devices to diagnose and treat disease.
  • Enhance the information content from measurements by diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

Now in its 14th year, the Virtual Photonics Technology Initiative remains active and welcomes contributions, collaborations and support from potential academic and industry stakeholders.