SAS Early Career Interest Group


About Us:

In 2021, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) created an Early Career Interest Group (ECIG) and membership category to serve scientists who have graduated with their final degree (bachelors, masters, or doctorate) within the last five years. The SAS-ECIG is a diverse committee that is dedicated to providing members with a unique experience to help promote and succeed in their career. Together, we aim to support the professional development of early career scientists through award schemes, travel grants, as well as opportunities in leadership, outreach, networking, mentorship, volunteering, formal certification, and employment.


Mission Statement:

The Society of Applied Spectroscopy Early Career Interest Group (SAS-ECIG) aims to support the professional development of early career scientists through award schemes, travel grants, as well as opportunities in leadership, outreach, networking, mentorship, volunteering, formal certification, and employment.


The primary objectives of SAS-ECIG are to:

Offer funding opportunities to build, support and promote early career SAS members

Maintain a socially supportive early career community

Support early career professional development through mentorship, research collaborations, career development support, and publication opportunities

Recognize and promote the professional accomplishments and community contributions of early career professionals



Committee Members: Fay Nicolson (founding chair), Andrew Whitley, Beauty Chabuka, Anthony Stender, and Heather Juzwa. 

We are always looking for more committee members – if this is something you are interested in getting involved with please email for more information!


Upcoming events:

Event Overview:

Proactive Mentorship and Networking: This webinar will focus on informing attendees on how to grow and self-manage their professional network, and as well as manage mentor relationships. Attendees will review mentorship do’s and don’ts for effective mentor-mentee relationship and how to find and connect with a mentor through meaningful networking strategies. Attendees will also learn how to be proactive in managing relationships and mentorships in order to benefit their professional career development. Registration is free and open to anyone:






SAS Early Career Travel Award - 2021


SAS Early Career Travel Award

SAS-ECIG are pleased and happy to announce our first ever recipients for the SAS-ECIG travel grant to the 2021 SciX conference - Congratulations to Dr. Julia Gala de Pablo and Dr. Rupali Mankar! Each awardee will receive $750 to support the cost of registration, travel, and/or accommodation at the SciX conference, as well as a one-year SAS ECIG membership. More information on the awardees can be found below:


Name: Dr. Julia Gala de Pablo

Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, University of Tokyo

Abstract Title: High-throughput Raman flow cytometry for directed evolution

Abstract: Flow cytometry is an essential tool for single-cell analysis. Fluorescence-flow cytometry allows analyzing thousands of single cells based on their fluorescence signal using fluorescent staining. However, the need for fluorescent labels is problematic due to its low specificity for small biomolecules, cytotoxicity of staining protocols, and autofluorescence interference. Raman spectroscopy obtains a biochemical fingerprint of single cells in a label-free, non-destructive manner. However, its small cross-section results in slow signal acquisition and low throughput, hindering the interrogation of large cell populations. Coherent Raman scattering methods such as coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) enhance the light-matter interaction, enabling faster acquisitions and allowing high-throughput implementation. We use Fourier-transform CARS (FT-CARS) to obtain a Raman spectrum every 42 µs in the fingerprint region and analyze cells based on their vibrational characteristics. Integration of a rapid-scan FT-CARS spectrometer and a microfluidic device with acoustic focusing enables Raman flow cytometry at 200 cells/s. With this method, we demonstrated high-throughput flow cytometry of various microalgae such as Chromochloris zofingiensisEuglena gracilis, and Haematococcus lacustris based on their intracellular contents of carbohydrates, proteins, chlorophyll, and carotenoids. We also show that our FT-CARS flow cytometer can characterize differences in metabolic activity among Euglena gracilis clones generated by ion beam mutagenesis. We believe that the combination of ion-beam mutagenesis and Raman flow cytometry opens a new path to metabolic engineering, that is, creating and characterizing cells with specific phenotypes in a label-free manner.

Brief Bio: Dr Julia Gala de Pablo studied a BSc in Physics and a BSc in Biochemistry at the University Complutense of Madrid (Spain). In 2015, she moved to the University of Leeds (UK), defending her PhD in Raman spectroscopy of live single colorectal cancer cells in 2019. She is currently a JSPS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo in Goda-lab working in Fourier-Transform Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering for flow cytometry and sorting.






Name: Dr. Rupali Mankar

Affiliation: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston

Abstract Title: Polarization sensitive photothermal mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging of human bone marrow tissue

Collagen quantity and integrity play a significant role in understanding diseases such as myelofibrosis (MF). Label-free mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging (MIRSI) has the potential to quantify collagen while minimizing the subjective variance observed with conventional histopathology. Polarization-sensitive Infrared (IR) spectroscopy provides chemical information while also estimating tissue dichroism. Quantitative chemical and structural information can potentially aid MF grading and improve pathological agreement on the diagnosis by quantifying chemical and structural information of collagen fibers. We are presenting the first study of polarization-dependent spectroscopic variations in collagen from human bone marrow samples. We translate polarization-sensitive IR studies in animal models into a clinically viable method for analyzing human clinical biopsies. We developed a new polarization-sensitive optical photothermal mid-infrared (O-PTIR) spectroscopic imaging scheme that enables sample and source independent polarization control. The proposed imaging scheme allows tissue imaging at higher spatial resolution (0.5µm) with reduced imaging time. OPTIR provides 0.5µm spatial resolution, enabling the identification of thin (≈1µm) collagen fibers that were not separable using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) imaging in fingerprint spectral region at diffraction-limited resolution (≈5µm). We also propose quantitative metrics to identify fiber orientation from discrete band images (amide I and amide II) measured under three polarizations. In previous studies, for collagen fiber orientation, mid-IR imaging was collected using IR lights of multiple polarizations in the range of 00 – 1800. Imaging tissue with multiple polarizations is time-consuming, especially at high spatial resolution. Hence, we proposed a clinically viable imaging scheme to quantify collagen fiber orientation by imaging tissue at only two discrete bands and three polarizations (two orthonormal polarization and the third one at 450 from both orthogonal polarizations). The proposed imaging scheme provides sufficient information that can be translated into a quantitative metric using Jone's calculus. However, mid absorbance imaging with two orthogonal polarizations is inadequate for identifying collagen orientation in clinical samples since human bone biopsies contain collagen fibers oriented in multiple directions. Here, we address this challenge and demonstrate that three polarization measurements are necessary and sufficient to resolve orientation ambiguity in clinical bone marrow samples. Our study is also the first to demonstrate the ability to spectroscopically identify thin collagen fibers (≈1µm diameter) and quantify their orientations, critical for accurate grading of human bone marrow fibrosis.

Brief Bio: Rupali Mankar is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Houston. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. Her research focuses on combining IR spectroscopy and machine learning to improvise spectroscopy for clinical translation. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship award by the National Laboratory of Medicine (NIH-NLM) for her Biomedical Informatics and Data Science field. In her Ph.D. work, she has automated osteosclerosis (one type of bone marrow fibrosis) and currently working on overcoming the diffraction-limited spatial resolution of IR imaging for comprehensive evaluation of bone marrow fibrosis.