Ronald Belcher Award 2011 Winner

Basson 120
Paul Bassan 
University of Manchester

Awarded for his work on the scattering of IR radiation from biological cells and the development of a correction algorithm to remove the effects of resonant Mie scattering from IR spectra.  His work has transformed the field of biomedical IR spectroscopy.

About the Winner

Based in the department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at the University of Manchester, Paul Bassan studied for his PhD in research group of Dr. Peter Gardner. The subject of his PhD was to understand the effects of light scattering during infrared (IR) spectroscopic measurements of biomedical samples such as single biological cells and human tissue from biopsies.

The field of biomedical IR spectroscopy faced a challenge when trying to measure meaningful spectra from single biological cells due to their size (diameter between 10 - 50 Ám) which is of a similar magnitude to the mid-IR wavelengths ( 1 - 10 Ám) resulting in Mie-type scattering. This scattering resulted in a distortion of the pure chemical absorbance spectrum of interest making data analysis difficult and in some cases impossible. 

The spectral distortions were fully understood in 2009 in a collaborative effort between the University of Manchester and the Dublin Institute of Technology where experiments performed at the SOLEIL Synchrotron in France validated theoretical models. With an understanding of the mathematics of the scattering, and in further collaboration with Nofima Mat, UMB, Norway, a preliminary correction algorithm was written which is currently being used by over 45 research groups around the world.

Paul's recent research has involved the use of computational methods to investigate data from analytical chemistry techniques such as IR, Raman and Mass spectrometry, and the use of high throughput computing to deal with large datasets.

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