2014 Medal Winners | francais

The 2014 CAP-INO Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics

is awarded to

Melanie Campbell

"I am honoured to accept this award and I am pleased that I have had the opportunity to do the research that I love. I owe a great debt to all those who offered me early training and exposure to the excitement of research across boundaries. I would also like to acknowledge the key contributions of each of my collaborators." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Institut National d'Optique (INO) are pleased to announce that the 2014 CAP-INO Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics is awarded to Melanie Campbell, University of Waterloo, for her unique contribution to apply the methods of polarization and adaptive optics to the understanding of eye functioning and eye diseases. Among others, her contributions to a better understanding of short-sightedness and to improve retina imaging are likely to have a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of several eye diseases. announcement

The CAP/INO Medal is awarded to Melanie Campbell of the University of Waterloo in
recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of visual optics and improved imaging of structures within the eye. Campbell has elucidated fundamental optical properties of the crystalline lens and eye leading to practical outcomes which have and will continue to improve the vision and health of Canadians. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America. In 2004, she shared the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics which is awarded for “an initial idea (that) has been carried through to practical applications that have, or will, demonstrably benefit mankind”.

Melanie Campbell applied novel theoretical and experimental photonics techniques to evaluate the gradient refractive index (GRIN) in the crystalline lens. The resulting explanation of the loss of near vision with age (presbyopia) has spurred new techniques for its restoration. Understanding changes in the crystalline lens optics with age led a former student to invent a new intraocular lens which improves vision in the elderly.

Melanie Campbell has discovered putative optical signals to the direction of defocus in the eye which are needed for the eye to maintain a clear image during growth. A number of these signals increase in the presence of optical blur. This may lead to improved treatments for shortsightedness, thereby avoiding the associated pathologies.

Melanie Campbell’s understanding of the optical imperfections of human and animal eyes has
contributed to the development of techniques which allow the imaging of diseases in the living eye with higher resolution. In turn this is leading to earlier diagnosis, a better understanding of eye diseases and improved tracking of the effects of proposed therapies.

Melanie Campbell has patented methods for improved imaging of the eye and in microscopy.
Patented imaging of a protein marker in the living eye holds promise for the definitive, noninvasive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. nominator citation

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