Mahadevan-Jansen elected a director of international optics society

Anita Mahadevan-Jansen has been elected to the Board of Directors of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Her three-year term begins Jan. 1, 2014.


Mahadevan-Jansen, an acknowledged leader in biomedical photonics, is the Orrin H. Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of neurological surgery. As director of optical diagnostics research in the Biomedical Photonics Laboratories at Vanderbilt, Mahadevan-Jansen develops technologies that can be used in clinical care for cancer diagnosis and guidance of therapy.

The professor, who joined the School of Engineering in 1997, has received numerous awards and patents on her devices and has pioneered techniques in laser spectroscopy. She discovered a unique, natural fluorescent signature to parathyroid glands, which allows a simple and reliable optical detector to positively identify the glands during endocrine surgery. The discovery was reported in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Surgeons use her laser spectroscopy techniques during delicate brain tumor surgery and her optical techniques are also used in breast cancer surgery. She is pursuing spectroscopy techniques to aid early detection of cervical cancer.

Mahadevan-Jansen is an associate editor of the Journal of Biomedical Optics and has served as a reviewer of more than 20 journals, and served as chair of more than 20 professional conferences, and authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications and presented over 175 abstracts and conference presentations.

Mahadevan-Jansen is a fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), a fellow of SPIE, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Research Award at Vanderbilt. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Bombay, India; a master’s and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas-Austin.

SPIE is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 and serves more than 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries.