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ADELPHI, Md. -- A researcher at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory has been selected as a SPIE fellow, a distinguished honor in the fields of optics and photonics.

Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum, ARL research chemist and an Essential Research Program manager, is being honored by the society for her achievements in bio and optical materials for military applications.

She has worked at the intersection of these fields with sensing, and her research accomplishments include robust sensor materials that address critical gaps in time to develop rapid countermeasures, to new and emerging threats and stability for use in challenging environments encountered in military operations.

More recently, Stratis-Cullum has been pioneering the use of synthetic biology to harness low routes for assembly of optical materials and development of living materials for advanced sensing applications.

According to its website, SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics that serves more than 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries. The society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth.

This year, SPIE will honor 88 new fellows who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging. More than 1,400 SPIE members have become fellows since the society's inception in 1955.

"I am really honored to have been promoted to the prestigious rank of fellow of SPIE and to be recognized for my leadership, scientific excellence and service to the field of optics and photonics," Stratis-Cullum said.

Stratis-Cullum has been involved in the society since graduate school, presenting her research at SPIE technical conferences and publishing her findings in the interdisciplinary forum.

For more than a decade, she has served on numerous conference programs and sessions predominately at the SPIE Defense Security and Sensing symposiums, working to bring together researchers across industry, academia and government.

In addition, Stratis-Cullum has authored over 20 SPIE publications, and has taken an active role in service committees to help further the society's promotion and recognition of scientists in the optical sciences for their contributions to the field.

"As a female scientist working in an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of biology and photonics, I aim to not only represent this minority and help inspire others to this field, but to encourage others to put their talents to work for the Soldier and national security," Stratis-Cullum said.

Stratis-Cullum will be recognized April 15 at the Defense Security and Sensing Conference fellow's Luncheon to be held in Baltimore, Maryland.


The CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

Related Links:

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

Army Research Laboratory

Army Futures Command

Army Modernization