Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center
Educational Opportunities
Educational Opportunities
For more information on any of the Life Sciences programs, contact Dan Frering, our director of educational programs.

Life Sciences in Lighting

How light impacts health, well-being, productivity,
and other areas of human life

Over the past twenty years, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) has been conducting ground-breaking research into the biological, physiological, and psychological aspects of light. The impact of lighting on human life has become a field of research involving a wide-range of professionals from many disciplines including medicine, psychology, cognitive science, human factors, biology, and other sciences. Now there is an educational program that brings all of this knowledge together into a single specialty in life sciences in lighting.

LRC faculty and students work with several scientific and academic institutions, as well as industrial firms to advance lighting science and technologies. The following represent some of the LRC’s recent collaborative efforts:

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center – cancer research
  • Skidmore College – animal studies
  • Harvard School of Public Health – epidemiology
  • Office of Naval Research – alertness studies
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – night vision
  • Russell Sage College – elderly trips and falls
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA – glare evaluation
  • NYSTAR – phototransduction research

LRC experts evaluate lighting’s effect on human alertness using electroencephalogram (EEG). Blood sera studies have been conducted to measure melatonin production levels under varying light spectra and intensities. Visit the LRC’s Light and Health program pages for a review of recent laboratory projects and research results.

The following educational options are available for those interested in further study in the life sciences in lighting:

  • Life Sciences in Lighting Institute – An intensive two-day summer seminar exploring the biological, physiological, and psychological aspects of light. View the institute outline for more information on this seminar.
  • Summer Internship for Undergraduate Students in the Life Sciences – An eight-week paid summer internship program for undergraduate students in degree programs within the life sciences who are interested in learning more about the impacts of light on human life. This could potentially lead to fully-funded graduate study in this area. View the program overview for more information and learn how to apply for this unique opportunity.
  • Graduate Study Concentrating in the Life Sciences in Lighting – The LRC’s existing graduate programs in lighting can be adapted to allow students to concentrate their masters or Ph.D. education and research in the area of the life sciences and lighting. Contact Dan Frering to find out more about this exciting opportunity.



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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