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NIH imaging expert Tromberg set for Discovery Lecture

Nov. 5, 2020, 8:58 AM


by Bill Snyder

How the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative is accelerating development of COVID-19 testing will be the topic of this fall’s second web-based Discovery Lecture.

Bruce Tromberg, PhD

Bruce Tromberg, PhD, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the NIH, will discuss the RADx initiative at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, via Zoom. All participants need to register in advance to receive the webinar instructions.

RADx was launched on April 29, days after the NIH received an emergency supplemental appropriation of $1.5 billion from Congress to scale up the development of innovative rapid-testing technologies.

To date, phase 2 contracts have been awarded to support manufacturing expansion and clinical development of 22 rapid-testing technologies. The goal is to accelerate COVID-19 testing in the United States from its current level of about 1 million tests a day to more than 6 million a day by the end of 2020.

Tromberg, who has directed the NIBIB since January 2019 and who leads the institute’s RADx initiative, is a pioneer in the fields of biophotonics and biomedical optics, the use of light in imaging and therapeutics at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels.

He received his undergraduate training in chemistry from Vanderbilt University and his master’s degree and PhD in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, where he also was a U.S. Department of Energy/Oak Ridge Associated Universities Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Prior to his appointment at NIBIB, Tromberg was a professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

As director of UCI’s Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic from 2003 to 2018, he oversaw the development, application and dissemination of optical technologies in biology and medicine. At UCI he also was principal investigator of the Laser Microbeam and Medical Program, an NIH P41 National Biomedical Technology Resource Center.

Tromberg has co-authored more than 450 publications and holds 18 patents for biophotonics technologies and their applications in areas such as cancer, neuroscience and vascular disease. He specializes in new technology development as well as the “bench to bedside” clinical translation, validation and commercialization of bedside and wearable devices.

Tromberg’s lecture is sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science. For a complete schedule of Discovery Lectures, archived video of previous lectures, and the webinar registration link, go to

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