Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp, honoree of the Charles Mann Awards (l.), and Prof. Dr. Igor Lednev, Professor at the University at Albany - State University of New York (r.)

The 2023 Charles Mann Award Goes to Jena

The ACP co-director and biophotonics expert Jürgen Popp was honored for pioneering research.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp, honoree of the Charles Mann Awards (l.), and Prof. Dr. Igor Lednev, Professor at the University at Albany - State University of New York (r.)
Image: Prof. Glen Jackson/SciX Conference
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Published: | By: English translation by Gleb Chupakhin

The honoree of this year’s prestigious Charles Mann Award of the American Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) is Professor Jürgen Popp, one of the leading experts in the world in the field of biophotonics. The award was conferred to the chemist and scientific director of the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies in Jena (Leibniz-IPHT) as part of the SciX conference on October 10, 2023, in Sparks, USA. The Abbe Center of Photonics co-director Popp was awarded in recognition of his prominent contributions to spectroscopy. FACSS especially valued Prof. Popp’s commitment to bringing research ideas to applications as well as his many years of involvement in improving disease diagnostics. 

Professor Dr. Jürgen Popp was honored with the Charles Mann Award by FACSS for his contributions and groundbreaking research in the field of optical health technologies and biophotonics. FACSS recognized Popp's work in Raman spectroscopic technologies and procedures spanning from fundamental research to the development of innovative Raman-based instruments. The award underscores Popp's dedication and highlights the core principle of Leibniz-IPHT, "From Ideas to Instruments": the transformation of successful ideas into practical systems. Professor Dr. Jürgen Popp has served as the scientific director at Leibniz-IPHT since 2006 and has been the director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at Friedrich Schiller University Jena since 2002.

Raman spectroscopy, as one of the most powerful analytical methods, offers enormous potential for chemical, physical, life sciences, and medical inquiries, as well as for environmental, pharmaceutical, and food analysis. Biological samples can be precisely characterized using their unique molecular fingerprint. When combined with smart, AI-based analysis methods, the Raman spectroscopic data obtained can be automatically evaluated, effectively supporting rapid and efficient diagnostics.

One particular focus of Popp's work revolves around Raman spectroscopic techniques for applications in oncology and infection diagnostics. For instance, Raman spectroscopic technologies can, in the future, assist physicians in tumor diagnostics by enabling them to assess during an ongoing tumor removal surgery whether diseased tissue has been completely removed and no tumor cells remain. In infection diagnostics, Raman spectroscopy-based tools can make additional crucial contributions to the identification of pathogens and the elucidation of interactions with medications.

Professor Dr. Jürgen Popp accepted the Charles Mann Award at the SciX 2023 international conference for analytical chemistry in Sparks, USA, explaining that:

"Receiving the Charles Mann Award is a wonderful confirmation and recognition of our past work, which is the result of the collaboration of a highly dedicated and interdisciplinary team. By being able to detect and diagnose diseases faster and more effectively through changes in biochemical compositions, valuable time can be saved – time during which pharmaceutical treatments can be initiated promptly and with precision, significantly improving the healing and survival chances of affected patients. Knowing that our work can make a valuable contribution to modern healthcare from which we can all benefit in the future motivates me every day.”