Andrew Berger, professor of optics, arrived in Rochester in July, 2000. He holds physics degrees from Yale (BS, 1991) and MIT (PhD, 1998). At the latter, Dr. Berger did his doctoral work in the G.R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory under the late Michael Feld, developing method to measure glucose and other chemicals’ concentrations in blood using laser spectroscopy. Prior to coming to the Institute of Optics, he spent two years developing handheld systems to analyze breast tissue content at the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Center in Irvine, CA, with Bruce Tromberg, thanks to a postdoctoral fellowship from the George E. Hewitt Foundation for Medical Research.
At Rochester, Professor Berger has been recognized with two of the university’s college-wide teaching awards, the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching (2007) and the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2016). He spent the academic year 2013/14 in Jena, Germany, as a guest professor and research alumni fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies and the Abbe Center of Photonics.
Professor Berger's area of interest is biomedical optics, specifically the development of diagnostic spectroscopic and imaging methods. The group's present research is centered upon:
- Raman (inelastic scattering) spectroscopy of bone, to estimate fracture likelihood nondestructively and noninvasively
- elastic scattering analysis of single cells, to detect early and subtle transformations in response to stimuli
- improved detection of bruising in dark-skinned individuals, to improve documentation of violence
More generally, Professor Berger seeks to apply lasers and spectroscopic methods (absorption, fluorescence, Raman, and scattering spectroscopies) to problems of medical interest.
The proximity of the Institute of Optics to the Medical Center offers opportunities for close interaction with clinical collaborators and patients. Professor Berger also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.