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

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:

SAS Early Career Interest Group – Travel Awards

In 2022, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) will sponsor early-career scientists with a SAS Early Career Travel Grant to support travel and/or registration expenses to attend the SciX conference, Greater Cincinnati, Northern KY (Oct 2 – Oct 7, 2022). SAS defines an early career scientist as anyone who has graduated with their final degree (bachelors, masters, or doctorate) within the last five years. Grants will be awarded to Early Career scientists who demonstrate merit in the field of spectroscopy and/or those who demonstrate financial need. Recipients will be notified by July 15th.



Recipients will receive:

$750 to support the cost of registration, travel, and/or accommodation at the SciX conference, as well as a one-year SAS membership.

A feature on the SAS website as follows:Name, affiliation, abstract, and a brief bio



Applicants must meet the following criteria:

Must be an active member of SAS or apply for membership at the time of submission. Specific membership of the ECIG membership is not required.

Must not be enrolled in a degree-granting program at the time of application and/or SciX 2022, i.e., current students are ineligible for this award.Must be presenting research carried out as an early career scientist at the SciX conference, i.e. applicants who wish to present findings associated with their undergraduate and/or graduate research will not be considered for this award. Preference will be given to those who have submitted an oral abstract.


Application requirements

Applicants should submit the following 4 documents combined into a single PDF for consideration by June 15th.

1. A cover letter highlighting the applicant's accomplishments/credentials, their research impacts spectroscopy, and any financial need.

2. The scientific abstract detailing the research work to be presented at SciX.

3. Curriculum Vitae (CV).

4. One letter of recommendation from a supervisor, collaborator, or mentor.


A single PDF should be emailed to by June 15th.



Past events:

Thursday February 24 2022 at 11 am EST

Event Overview:

Are you wondering what career path to pursue once you finish your studies? Or considering switching from the path you have followed so far? Or just wondering what it’s like to work in different types of institutions or roles? Then this webinar is for you! The SAS Early Career Interest Group has gathered spectroscopists that represent a wide variety of different career trajectories to discuss their own personal career paths and experiences. This webinar includes spectroscopists representing careers in academia and government institutions, industry, including multi-national corporations, clinical trials management, business development, biotechnology, science communication, sales, and working abroad. Speakers will give a 5-7 minute presentation detailing their career so far followed by a panel discussion, and attendees will be able to pose questions to any of the panelists.

Key Learning Objectives:

Who Should Attend:

For any questions please contact Preranna Singh:

Past 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.