Steven L. Jacques, Ph.D., received a B.S. degree in Biology at M.I.T., and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Ph.D. degree in Biophysics and Medical Physics from the University of California-Berkeley (1984), where he used dielectric microwave measurements to explore the in vivo distribution of water in the stratum corneum of human skin. His postdoctoral work was at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, rising to the position of Lecturer in Dermatology/Bioengineering, Harvard Medical School. His team developed the use of Monte Carlo computer simulations to study optical transport in biological tissues, which is now widely used in the field of biophotonics.
In 1988, he joined the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer as an Assistant Professor of Urology/Biophysics and established a laboratory developing novel laser and optical methods for medicine, later achieving a tenured position as Associate Professor. He developed a hand-held spectrometer and the analysis software to noninvasively measure hyperbilirubinemia in newborns. This device was patented, licensed, and FDA approved to replace painful heel stick tests, and is now in practice in neonatal care. As of 2009, over 20 million newborns had been tested with the device. In 1996, he joined the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, where he now serves as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Dermatology. His work continues on developing novel uses of optical technologies for both therapy and diagnosis.