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                             Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Troy, NY -  5/9/2000

Center Wins Grant to Develop Course on Lighting and Health

Summary: The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, has been awarded a $20,000 grant to develop a graduate-level course in lighting and health.

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) will use a grant from the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education to research, develop, and teach a class on the influence of light on physical and psychological health and well-being. The course will become part of the LRC's MS in Lighting curriculum and serve as a model curriculum for other universities and continuing education programs.

"We know that lighting can have a significant impact on health and well-being. This course will offer information from experts in both fields, and lighting will benefit from expanded expertise," said LRC Director Mark Rea, PhD. "We are happy that the Nuckolls Fund recognizes the importance of this addition to lighting education."

The LRC is matching the two-year Nuckolls grant. "Light and Health" will present information on the visual and nonvisual effects of light on human health and well-being. For example, studies show lighting can help in treatment of seasonal affective disorder, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. Other research shows lighting may affect the risk of breast cancer in some women by altering production of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep.

The Nuckolls Fund was established in 1988 in memory of lighting designer and educator Jim Nuckolls. It supports educational programs that provide students with an understanding of lighting and prepare them for careers in lighting.

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC has been pioneering research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, and energy efficiency for more than 30 years. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. LRC researchers conduct independent, third-party testing of lighting products in the LRC's state of the art photometric laboratories, the only university lighting laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America's first technological research university. The university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science "to the common purposes of life."