A New Day for Lighting Research

2021 01 lighting research mt. sinai lrc.jpg

The new research center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and its broad mission to provide valuable lighting research

In 2020 Lighting Research Center (LRC) Director, Mariana Figueiro, PhD, announced that she would be leaving the LRC and that other key personnel from the LRC would follow her to a new research center.

After plans to have other LRC team members stay in Upstate NY and work remotely at Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research were scrapped (due to New Jersey state law limiting remote work at the state university for out-of-state residents), Dr. Figueiro announced that she would join the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Last week, inside.lighting learned that official announcements relating to the LRC, Mount Sinai and their staffs should be issued this week, but the industry received a preview of some of the plans from the LRC’s Dr. Mark Rea who was recently a guest on the Get a Grip on Lighting podcast.

The Light and Health Research Center:
The name of Mount Sinai’s research center is the “Light and Health Research Center.”  The Lighting Research Center name belongs to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and will be retained by the university.

The Staff:
According to Dr. Rea:

  • Dr. Nadarajah Narendran, Jean Paul Freyssinier and Dr. Indika Perera will stay at the LRC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
  • Everyone else is transitioning to the Mount Sinai.  We believe that most of the transitioning staff will be located in Upstate NY.

The Benefits:
Some of the benefits of the new Light and Health Research Center include:

  • Lab space will be located in the Greater Albany area -- which has significant overhead expense advantages compared to a lab that would have been located at Mount Sinai in New York City.
  • Being associated with a hospital instead of a university has significant advantages that can help transform the industry with increased focus on lighting products designed for health and wellness.
  • Mission will remain broad, focused on many aspects of light including disinfection, circadian, glare, energy efficiency and sustainability.

Big Picture:
Lighting research is good for our industry and all living things.  There are many sources of credible lighting research throughout the world.  We are excited to see three major entities emerge in the U.S. with varying affiliations:

  • Academia:  The continuation of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
  • Health:  The emergence of the Light and Health Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • Government:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy and continues to enrich the industry with valuable research.


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January 19, 2020

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