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  • Backgrounder: ASLMS & Laser and Other Energy – Based Technologies


    Lasers were first developed by the US military as weapons and guidance systems for planes and rockets in the early 1960s. At about the same time, lasers were introduced for industrial uses like the precise cutting of metals and plastics. During the next 20 years, laser design and engineering were advanced to better focus and separate the light beam and to produce short individual pulses of light energy – necessary for their use in medical care. Today, lasers have revolutionized patient care in medical disciplines as diverse as dermatology, ophthalmology, oncology, urology, and dentistry, to name just a few. In fact, laser therapy has become the gold standard of care for a wide range of medical therapies and aesthetic conditions.

    From corrective eye surgery, skin rejuvenation, and vein disorders to early detection of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and degenerative disorders, lasers and other energy sources offer patients an effective solution which is less invasive and reduces patient recovery time. In many instances, laser and related technology have allowed procedures to be performed in a physician’s office using only topical or local anesthesia, eliminating the need for general anesthesia. Other benefits of laser therapy include enhanced precision, less bleeding and faster healing than is generally the case with conventional surgery. The laser revolution has also helped to make certain treatments affordable and accessible to consumers from every walk  of life.


    New advances in photonics and laser design are being developed on an ongoing basis to better serve the needs of medical professionals. Similar to consumer electronics, laser and related technologies are driven by the demand for miniaturization. For example, diode laser technology replaced bulky equipment, making utilization by physicians easier and more precise. Advances in lasers and related technologies are also being made to improve patient safety and comfort. Devices and accessories that cool the skin surface and make skin flatter or more transparent allow for superior laser penetration. New designs also lead the way to new applications. For example, lasers for pigmented lesions, photoselective vaporization techniques for enlarged prostate symptoms, and laser treatment to reduce vision loss associated with glaucoma are now available for patient care, thanks to the scientific developments and technical progress emerging from laser and related technology engineering labs and research centers.


    The ASLMS was among the first organizations to develop practice guidelines and safety standards for the use of lasers by physician and health personnel in hospitals and office settings. The Society recommends training devoted to the principles of lasers, their instrumentation and physiological effects and safety requirements. An initial program should include clinical applications of various wavelengths in the particular specialty field and hands-on practical sessions with lasers and their appropriate surgical or therapeutic delivery systems. Further, the ASLMS promotes prudent selection of both procedures and patients appropriate for office-based and institutional laser procedures. To ensure safe and effective selection, ASLMS asserts that a comprehensive knowledge of the disease process and experience in management of patients with the disease is essential. In addition, each patient should have at minimum a brief history and physical examination by the physician. Medical records and the highest level of quality assurance should be maintained.


    The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the world’s preeminent resource for laser research, safety, education, and clinical knowledge. Founded in 1980, ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing product engineering and clinical applications of lasers and related technologies. Currently, ASLMS has over 4,200 members, including physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers. More information can be found on the Society’s website:

  • ASLMS Fact Sheet

    What is ASLMS?

    The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) was founded in 1980 and is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in patient care by advancing laser applications and other energy based technologies.

    Who belongs to ASLMS?

    Membership includes physicians and surgeons representing more than 50 medical specialties, nurses and allied health care professionals, scientists involved with product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry leaders and equipment manufacturers.

    ASLMS offers students, residents, fellows and PhD candidates free membership for the duration of their training, and waives the annual conference registration fee for them as well.

    How many members does ASLMS have?

    The Society currently has more than 4,000 members, 20% of which are located outside the United States.

    What does ASLMS do?

    The vision of ASLMS is to be the world’s preeminent resource for laser research, education, technology and clinical knowledge. The mission of ASLMS is to promote excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS works toward this ambitious mission by:

    • Conducting an annual conference for the multidisciplinary exchange of information on the latest discoveries, applications and research involving medical lasers and light energy sources
    • Publishing the world’s foremost laser journal, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine
    • Raising more than $1 million in the past five years for applied medical laser and related light energy technology research projects and grants
    • Establishing practice guidelines and safety standards for physician and non-physician use of lasers and related light-based technologies
    • Providing in-service education and testifying before regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    • Sponsoring professional networking opportunities to clinicians and suppliers
    • Supporting regional, national and international meetings of laser health care professionals
    • Disseminating public information about laser use that enhances patient care, including a website ( that features a physician locator service, New Beginnings: Radiation Mark Removal Program, and other information about lasers in health care.

    What is the ASLMS Annual Conference?

    • The annual conference offers the opportunity for all disciplines to come together to learn, share, investigate, and create ideas to advance biomedical application of lasers and energy-based devices.
    • One of the primary strengths of the Society is the diversity of membership. The ASLMS Annual Conference is one of the very few conferences driven by a common technology rather than a common specialty. Experts in one field can learn about exciting developments occurring in other fields and integrate them into their own research or clinical practice.
    • Hundreds of clinical studies are presented each year to highlight the latest advances and newest devices on the market.
    • The conference offers students, residents and fellows the opportunity to meet and learn from the industry leaders and pioneers, as well as the chance to present their research at a world renowned conference. ASLMS offers students, residents and fellows free membership for the course of their training, and waives the conference registration fee for them as well.

    What are some key topics presented at the conference?

    Hot Topics include:

    • The latest in laser therapy for skin conditions and scarring, as well as photoaging
    • RF needling devices, picosecond lasers, non-surgical body contouring and skin resurfacing
    • Innovative skin treatments by photodynamic therapy (PDT)
    • Photobiomodulation as a promising therapy for reducing pain and inflammation, wound healing, and tissue regeneration.
    • Advances in pediatric laser medicine, safety and efficacy of laser and energy-based devices in children’s health
    • Topic areas also include dental applications, veterinary medicine, optical diagnostics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and women’s health.
    • An emphasis on safety guidelines for lasers and other energy-based devices, as well as maximizing patient satisfaction.

    What do ASLMS members receive?

    • Multi-disciplinary Body of Knowledge
    • Discounts on Conference and Course Fees
    • Free Subscription to Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM) journal
    • Light Talk Podcast Series
    • Preceptorship Program
    • Physician Locator Service
    • Access to Research Grants
    • Worldwide Professional Network
    • Career Center
    • Credentials
  • 2019 Plenary Session Honorary Award Recipient Biographies

    Plenary Session | Friday, March 29| 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM


    Caroline and William Mark Memorial Award

    Bahman Anvari, PhDanvari-bahman

    Bahman Anvari received his B. A. degree in Biophysics from University of California, Berkeley in 1985, the M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from Texas A&M University in 1993.  He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, University of California Irvine, and later a research assistant professor of engineering at Harvey Mudd College. He joined the Bioengineering Department at Rice University in 1998 as an Assistant Professor, and became an Associate Professor in 2003. In 2006, Dr. Anvari joined the newly formed Department of Bioengineering at University of California, Riverside as a Professor. His scientific interests are in diagnostic and therapeutic applications of lasers, and the engineering of novel optical micro and nano-constructs for photomedicine. He is a co-inventor on several patents related to the cryogenic spray cooling technology used in specific dermatological applications. Dr. Anvari has published over 350 articles, and continuously received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and other agencies. He has been a member of ASLMS since 1998, and is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and The International Society for Optics & Photonics (SPIE). He has served as an Associate Editor for Annals of Biomedical Engineering, and is an Editorial Board Member of Journal of Biomedical Optics.

    Leon Goldman Memorial Award

    Paul M. Friedman, MDfriedman-paul-m

    Paul M. Friedman, MD, board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology, is the director of Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center of Houston, Texas, and also practices at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.  He was educated in dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine where he served as chief resident and was twice awarded the prestigious Husik Prize for his research in dermatologic surgery.  He completed a one-year fellowship in dermatologic laser surgery and Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and was the recipient of the Young Investigator's Writing Competition Award of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.  Dr. Friedman is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical School, department of dermatology, and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Weill Cornell Medical College, Houston Methodist Hospital. He is also on staff at Texas Children's Hospital and Memorial-Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center.  Dr. Friedman is a fellowship director for the ASDS-accredited cosmetic dermatologic surgery fellowship training program and also serves as faculty for the Procedural Dermatology Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Friedman has been a featured speaker of ASLMS, the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and other national and international audiences.   He served as Co-Chair for the Cutaneous Laser Surgery Section of the 2009, 2011, and 2018 ASLMS Annual Conferences and served as program co-chair for the 2015 ASLMS Annual Conference. Dr. Friedman’s abstract received the Dr. Richard E. Fitzpatrick Best Clinical and Innovations Award at the 2015 ASLMS Conference and he was awarded the Best of Cutaneous Applications Abstract Session Award at the 2016 ASLMS Conference. He served on the ASLMS Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018 and has served as chair of the public service committee for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery.  Dr. Friedman has published over 100 medical articles and book chapters and co-authored the book Beautiful Skin Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Better Skin. He is co-Editor of the textbook Lasers and Light Source Treatment For The Skin. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Dermatologic Surgery.  Dr. Friedman has been recognized as a leading physician and researcher in the field and also been involved in the development of several new laser systems and therapeutic techniques now commonly used throughout the world.

    Ellet H. Drake Memorial Award

    Gerald N. Goldberg, MDgoldberg-gerald-n

    Dr. Gerald N. Goldberg is an internationally recognized dermatologist with unique experience in laser surgery spanning more than 3 decades. Being board-certified in pediatrics and dermatology he has a special interest and expertise in the Laser treatment of vascular birthmarks in children as well as in laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Goldberg has lectured nationally and internationally in three languages on four continents on a variety of Laser related topics. He is a frequent speaker and session moderator for the ASLMS. He speaks French and Spanish. Currently Dr. Goldberg is certified in more than 30 Laser and light modalities. He brings his patients expertise based on more than 35,000 Laser surgeries to date. Over more than 34 years Dr. Goldberg has been in private practice at Pima Dermatology in Tucson, Arizona and works in a state of the art facility providing comprehensive dermatologic services spanning medical, surgical, cosmetic, and laser dermatology.  Dr. Goldberg graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1973. In 1978 he obtained his medical degree from the State University of New York at Syracuse, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed his residency in Pediatrics in 1981 and a fellowship in Dermatology in 1983 from the University of Arizona. Dr. Goldberg is a clinical professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center where he has been involved in resident and medical student education. He is a preceptor for Laser physician education for both the ASDS and ASLMS.  He has been involved in a number of dermatologic societies having been a past president of the Tucson and Sonoran dermatology societies in addition to being active in a variety of national dermatologic committees  and a reviewer for a number of national Dermatology journals.. He is the immediate past President of the Arizona State Dermatologic and Dermatologic Surgery Society and is on the board of directors of the ASLMS. Dr Goldberg is the 2017 recipient of the ASLMS Leon Goldman award for lifetime achievement in Laser Surgery. He has been honored with the presentation of the Nancy Esterly Memorial lecture for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology meeting in February 2019. Over the years Dr Goldberg has been instrumental in local community activities such as skin cancer screenings as well as doing volunteer medical missions in Mexico and Central America.  He is married and has two children and two beautiful grandchildren. His son currently is a board certified Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist in New York City, and his daughter has a doctorate in Public Health and resides in the bay area where she is a health management consultant. His hobbies are photography, tennis, sailing, running, cycling and hiking.

    Excellence in Laser Nursing/Allied Health Award

    Rebecca L. Sprague, RN, NP-CSprague-Rebecca-L-Thumb

    A nurse practitioner for the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern California, Rebecca earned her nurse practitioner/physician assistant certificate at the University of California, Davis. She is involved in peer and public education and speaks at professional organizations. Rebecca is a fellow member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Dermatologic Nurses Association, Society of Dermatologic Physician Assistants, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a recipient of ASLMS 2006 Excellence in Nursing/Allied Health Award. She served as Section Chair for the 2009-2010 ASLMS Nursing/Allied Health conference. Rebecca recently served a three-year term on the Board of Directors as a representative of Nursing/Allied Health section of ASLMS and is currently serving as a board representative.   Areas of interest include a variety of laser treatments, skin cancer monitoring, acne treatments and the use of neurotoxins and fillers.

    Dr. Horace Furumoto Innovations Professional Development - Young Investigator Award

    Judith Su, PhD

    Judith Su is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering and an Assistant Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is also a Visiting Associate in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at Caltech. Judith received her B.S. and M.S. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering and her Ph.D. from Caltech in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics. Her background is in imaging, microfabrication, and optical instrument building for biological and medical applications. In general, her research interests are to develop new imaging, sensing, and rheological techniques to reveal basic biological functions at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Recently her work has centered on label-free single molecule detection using microtoroid optical resonators with a focus on basic research, and translational medicine through the development of miniature field portable devices.


  • 2019 Celebration of ASLMS Women in Energy-Based Devices Speaker Biographies


    Suzanne L. Kilmer, MD kilmer-suzanne-l

    Dr. Suzanne Kilmer is the Founder of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Northern California, Clinical Professor at the University of California, Davis and past president of ASLMS. She completed her M.D. degree and dermatology residency at U.C. Davis Medical Center, then moved east for a laser surgery fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine.  She remained at Harvard as a faculty member for two more years researching the use of Q-switched lasers for treatment of tattoos and pigmented lesions and the rapidly pulsed CO2 lasers now popular for resurfacing.  Upon returning to Sacramento, Dr. Kilmer was a principal investigator in the original trials for laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal, pulsed dye and fractional lasers for wrinkles and scars, picosecond laser treatment of tattoos, pigmented lesions, acne scars and pico-toning, microwave technology for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, cryolipolysis, tissue tightening and body shaping devices, and several toxin and filler studies. She lectures annually at national and international dermatology meetings and directs several laser courses. Widely published and on numerous medical advisory boards, Dr. Kilmer has served on the Board of Directors for ASDS and ASLMS, as well as Past President and current Secretary for ASLMS. She was honored to be the 2008 Sturge-Weber Foundation roastee, the 2009 recipient of the prestigious ASLMS Ellet Drake lectureship award and the ASDS 2014 Iron Surgeon. When not playing in the electromagnetic spectrum, she loves to ski, surf, and play games with her husband and 3 children.



    ASLMS Leadership, Mentorship & Public Advocacy for Women in Medical Science Award

    Merete Haedersdal, MD, PhD, DMSc haedersdal-merete

    Dr. Merete Haedersdal is a consultant in dermatology and clinical professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is Visiting Scientist at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School focusing on the project “Laser-Assisted Drug delivery” in collaboration with Dr. R. Rox Anderson and his team. Dr. Haedersdal received her M.D. degree from the Medical School program of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and was authorized as a specialist in dermato-venereology in 2004. Dr. Haedersdal received her PhD degree in 1997 and became Dr. of Medical Science in 1999. Her theses covered aspects of side effects from dermatological laser procedures in animal and human experimental studies. Professor Haedersdal publishes and lectures internationally and her research team focuses on translational medicine in the field of laser dermatology, fractional laser-assisted drug delivery, photodynamic therapy, and treatment of skin cancer with light-based devices.



    Dana M. Hutchison, MShutchison-dana

    Dana Hutchison is a 2nd-year medical student at the University of California, Irvine. She holds a Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She’s currently involved in research under the guidance of Dr. Brian Wong, a facial plastic surgeon focused on translational surgical therapeutics and diagnostics. 

    Prior to medical school, Dana was a Technology Licensing Associate at the University of Southern California, where she worked to maximize the translation of university research into products for public benefit through licensing technologies, expanding industry collaborations, and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. 

    Through her journey of becoming a physician, she hopes to combine her passion for helping others with her desire to empower women to achieve their goals.





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Andrea Alstad

Marketing and Communications Manager


Emilee Green

Communications Specialist

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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