Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will take an academic sabbatical for the upcoming fiscal year, effective July 1, 2016. During this time, Dr. Rea will focus on developing two new LRC initiatives, the Glenn W. Bailey Memorial Fellowship, which supports activities that integrate the business of lighting into the education of graduate students at the LRC, and a program related to plant pathology and horticultural lighting. He will also continue to work on existing funded research projects, such as Warning Beacons for Front Line Service Worker Safety.
Mariana Figueiro, LRC Light & Health program director, has been named acting director and will lead the center during this time. Dr. Figueiro has been with the LRC for 20 years, where she started as a graduate student in the LRC’s Master of Science in Lighting program. She continued as a staff scientist at the LRC and in 2004, obtained her Ph.D. from Rensselaer. In 2006, she was offered a tenure-track position as an assistant professor and in 2014, was promoted to full professor.
Dr. Figueiro is among the world’s leading experts in the area of light and health, with a focus on bridging basic science to applications. Through her research and publications, she has made a significant impact on this developing field and continues to actively expand her influence through translational research and teaching. Dr. Figueiro has brought attention to the significance of light and health as a topic of public interest through her recent TEDMED talk, among numerous other invited presentations and outreach. Earlier this year, she was selected to be an invited speaker and panelist at the National Institutes of Health Workshop: Shift Work at Night, Artificial Light at Night, and Circadian Disruption. Her research is regularly featured in national media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, The Economist, and NPR. For more information on Figueiro’s research at Rensselaer, visit: https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/