March 9, 2015

Alumni Dan Christensen co-author of award winning paper that received Newcomb Cleveland Prize from AAAS

We are proud of alumni Dan Christensen '08 (MS Optics) '13 (PhD Optics), now OEM Application Manager with TOPTICA Photonics, who, as a PhD student here, was one of the co-authors of a paper that just received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The paper, "Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain," (Science, Oct. 18, 2013) shows how, during sleep, the brain clears out harmful toxins or waste that build up during the day. In-vivo two-photon imaging was among the techniques used to observe the flow of fluids in the brains of mice as they slept or were awake. Joe Vornehm, who just completed his PhD in Optics here, notes: "This is a great example of how optics is an enabling technology for all sorts of areas, from medical research to manufacturing. The laser was once called 'a solution in search of a problem,' but so much of modern life wouldn't be possible without lasers."