Laser research revolutionises the diagnosis and treatment of dementia and cancer

Friday 14 July 2017

EPSRC M Squared Lasers - University of St Andrews Biophotonics Nexus
Innovative research using ultra-pure lasers, led by the University of St Andrews and M Squared, could benefit researchers looking for new ways to diagnose and treat dementia and cancer.

Laser-based imaging techniques using light scattering will be applied in medical research for early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, together with research into measurement techniques which use light scattering and interference. It is hoped that the results will transform current diagnosis and treatment capabilities.

Funding for the revolutionary research will come from the Prosperity Partnerships, a new £78 million government fund from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The Prosperity Partnerships create exciting opportunities for industry and academia to work together on strategically significant problems to address societal needs. Collaborative research will focus on light sheet imaging to develop new technologies that will give a better understanding of issues in neuroscience and dementia.

Kishan Dholakia, Professor of Physics at the University of St Andrews, said: “The potential for us to drive forward new research ideas with the goal of creating real tangible benefit for UK’s societal needs is very inspiring. This is a very timely and exciting venture that builds upon our very strong relationship with M Squared that aims to rapidly transfer new innovations from the University into real-world impact.”

Dr Graeme Malcom OBE, CEO and co-founder of M Squared, said: “Biophotonics and laser-based innovations can have a huge impact in medicine. Our work with research partners, and in particular the University of St Andrews, brings our technology much closer to the sectors – including medicine, industrials and even quantum computing – where our work can have the largest impact. We have a lot of confidence in this project, made possible by the EPSRC.”

As part of the Prosperity Partnerships programme, 10 universities will lead on 11 projects that range from the future networks for digital infrastructure to offshore wind, partnering with businesses operating in key areas of the innovation landscape. These include household names such as Siemens, BP and Unilever but also firms like M Squared that are leading in new areas such as quantum technologies.

The Prosperity Partnerships will receive £31 million of government funding from the EPSRC and the ISCF. This will be matched by a further £36 million from partner organisations in cash or in-kind contributions, plus £11 million from universities’ funds, totalling £78 million in all.

Notes to news editors/Interview requests

Dr Kishan Dholakia is available for interview via the Communications Office – contacts below.

St Andrews has an in-house ISDN line for radio and a Globelynx camera for TV interviews. To arrange an interview please contact the Communications Office in the first instance.

Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE is available for interview via Seven Hills. Please contact Betsy Jones on 020 7199 6181 or [email protected].

Notes to picture/Online editors

Photographs are available from the Communications Office – contacts below.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467 320 or 07526 624 243 or [email protected].

About M Squared Lasers

Photonics technology company, M Squared Lasers is a leading force in the laser and photonics market. From its headquarters in Scotland, the company designs and manufactures a range of award-winning laser systems for scientific researchers, supplying world-leading institutions such as the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham in the UK and MIT, Harvard, NIST and JILA in the USA.

Through its dedicated Innovation Group, M Squared partners with research bodies and commercial partners globally to develop novel light-based applications that have the potential to tackle global problems.

Since starting out in 2006, M Squared has established itself as one of Britain’s most innovative, disruptive technology businesses. It has been recognised by the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, Deloitte EMEA Fast 500, Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and Sunday Times SME Export Track 100.

This year alone, the company was selected by Bloomberg as one of its Business Innovators for 2016 and by Everline as a Future 50 business, and was awarded ‘Samsung Innovator of the Year’ at the Lloyds National Business Awards. A year ago, M Squared received the prestigious 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

The Scottish company now employs more than 85 staff globally and has a worldwide customer base supported via a global network of distributors, representatives and local offices, including its subsidiary M Squared Inc. in the USA.

Category Research

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