Ernestina Domey awarded Two Optica Scholarships

April 12, 2024

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Ernestina Domey, a first-year BME masters student working in the Baran Lab, has achieved an impressive milestone by receiving two prestigious Optica scholarships! Earlier this year, she was one of 10 students to be awarded the Optica Amplify Scholarship. More recently she was also selected as one of 20 Optica Women Scholars. These nominations were based on the innovative nature and potential impact of her research in the field of biomedical engineering and optical sciences.

Domey's research focuses on developing a fluorescence spectroscopy system, aimed at monitoring the treatment efficacy of pyropheophorbide a (Ppa)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT). Specifically, the system is designed to track the photobleaching of the Ppa photosensitizer in response to laser irradiation during murine breast tumor PDT. Furthermore, the research aims to explore the relationship between Ppa photobleaching and tumor response. 

Optica (formerly OSA - The Optical Society of America), was founded in 1916 and is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement.

The Optica Amplify Scholarship is awarded annually to 10 Black undergrad and master's students.  They receive a US$7,500 scholarship to help ease the financial burden of college. Additionally, other benefits include a one-year members to Optica, access to mentors, and an invitation to the 2024 Amplify Optics Immersion Program. 

Optica Women Scholarships are awarded annually to 20 undergrad and master's students. The program provides visibility, community, and resources for women in optics and photonics via financial support, professional development, and establishing a global network as they enter the field. The scholarship is awarded based on need, academic performance, and demonstrated potential.  Each of the twenty scholars recognized will receive a US$10,000 scholarship, allowing them to focus on their academic goals. In addition to the funding, scholars gain access to a global network of mentors and the supporting companies.

domey_linkedin.jpg"I’m incredibly grateful for these opportunities and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my mentor and recommenders for their invaluable guidance and support. Your belief in me has been instrumental in achieving these milestones.  

Here’s to the power of perseverance and the endless possibilities that lie ahead! Indeed, resilience is the silent force behind every success."      

~ Ernestina Domey

We are immensely proud of Ernestina and eagerly anticipate the exciting research ahead! 


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