Internationally recognized N.Y. professor honored by Brazilian university

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Professor Paras Prasad of University at Buffalo (Photo: University at Buffalo)

A leading Indian-American researcher in optics and photonics, from the  University at Buffalo (UB), was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) in Brazil.

Professor Paras Prasad, internationally recognized for his expertise in the field, received the award on July 6. He is the executive director of UB’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB),

Prasad has published more than 750 scientific papers, eight edited books and four monographs, and has been named the inventor or co-inventor on numerous patents. He has been extremely active in launching startup companies and partnering with industry for co-development of technologies to create new companies. His efforts have led to 9 different companies worldwide, according to a July 20, press release from UB.

The latest honor stems from a 19-year ongoing partnership that Prasad — a State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor in UB’s departments of chemistry, physics, medicine and electrical engineering — formed with the Brazilian university.

“Working with UFPE has been one of the most gratifying experiences in my career,” Prasad is quoted saying in a press release from UB An early pioneer in nanomedicine, which uses super-small particles, materials and devices to treat and diagnose disease, Prasad develop some novel materials including miniature luminescent crystals that could be used in image-guided surgery; light-activated nanoparticles that could enable the development of new bioimaging technologies for disease detection; new nanoneurotechnologies for monitoring and enhancing brain functions; and magnetic and laser-activated nanoparticles that could be used for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

He has received numerous regional, national and international recognitions for his lifetime achievements, including the Morley Medal; Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal; Guggenheim Fellowship; Sloan Fellowship; Western New York Health Care Industries Technology/Discovery Award; and Excellence in Pursuit of Knowledge Award of the Research Foundation for SUNY. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society, OSA (the Optical Society) and SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics), the press release said.

In 2005, he was named one of the “Scientific American 50,” the magazine’s list of “visionaries from the worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for everyone.” Prasad has received several other honorary doctorates.

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