Nobel Prize Winner Donna Strickland Looks to Improve Laser Technology for Brain Tumor Treatment and Epilepsy
Madrid, Sep 29 (EFE) – Donna Strickland, the winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, visits Madrid this week to receive the Gold Medal from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and deliver a keynote lecture. She aims to improve the scientific foundations of laser ablation, a technique that has already revolutionized the treatment of eye diseases, to make it even more effective in treating brain tumors and epilepsy.
Strickland, a 64-year-old Canadian scientist, has become known for her groundbreaking work in ultrashort pulse lasers. She was fascinated by lasers since she first saw them during a high school field trip to the University of Ontario when she was just 16 years old. Her passion for playing with science in the lab, particularly with lasers, led her to develop the technology that ultimately earned her the Nobel Prize.
Despite achieving such a prestigious recognition, Strickland emphasizes that she never set out to win a Nobel Prize. Instead, she has always enjoyed experimenting with science and wants to continue doing so. She believes that science is not for everyone, but for those who find it easy and enjoyable to delve into the complexities of scientific research.
As the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in over a century, following in the footsteps of Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Strickland acknowledges the importance of encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers. She advises young girls to follow their passion for science if it truly amuses them and to be patient in their pursuits.
Strickland’s work in Pulse Amplification, which she invented at the age of 26, has been instrumental in perfecting short pulse lasers and has paved the way for advancements in various fields. For instance, her research has contributed to the development of more powerful lasers used in the treatment of eye diseases and even in the creation of smartphones with advanced capabilities.
Now, Strickland aims to refine her findings to manufacture high-intensity lasers with greater particle acceleration capacity, enabling deeper radiation treatments for brain tumors. She recognizes the urgency of addressing environmental challenges and emphasizes the need for collaboration between technological developers and environmental scientists to improve monitoring and understanding of environmental problems.
In addition to her scientific achievements, Strickland was recently appointed as a member of the Royal Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Francis. She appreciates the Pope’s concern for the environment and believes that her appointment reflects the Vatican’s expectation that scientific advancements should respond to the challenges of humanity and adhere to ethical standards.
As Strickland attends the award ceremony and delivers her keynote speech, her enthusiasm for science shines through. She embraces the opportunity to play and have fun in her scientific endeavors while acknowledging the responsibility that comes with her accolades to promote science and tackle challenges faced by humanity.
Overall, Strickland’s visit to Madrid serves as a testament to her remarkable achievements in the field of physics and her determination to improve laser technology for the betterment of healthcare and the environment.