University of Tennessee’s alum Bruce J. Tromberg, PhD was recently appointed director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). At the developmental forefront of biophotonics, Dr. Tromberg currently maintains dual appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery at the University of California at Irvine (UCI). Additionally, he spends time as director of UCI’s Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, an interdisciplinary research, teaching and clinical center for optics and photonics in biology and medicine. Though not currently a member of the NIH, he is expected to join in the coming year. Dr. Tromberg’s research focuses on biophotonics and biomedical optics, two rapidly growing fields that use light to image and conduct therapy at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. He has co-authored more than 450 publications and holds 18 patents for biophotonics technologies and their applications. He specializes in new technology development as well as clinical translation, validation and commercialization of promising methods designed to improve human health.
As director, Dr. Tromberg will be charged with overseeing the NIBIB’s annual budget of approximately $378 million. The NIBIB supports multidisciplinary research in the physical, mathematical and computational sciences. Though there are allocations to NIH Laboratories, the majority of the research budget is dispersed to over 800 active grants. These have been awarded to universities to help fund research both across the nation and around the world. He will head a team of approximately 230 staff members who work directly with the development of new biomedical imaging and bioengineering technologies and techniques. These cutting edge developments aim to fundamentally improve the detection, treatment and prevention of disease.