Claude Boccara graduated as an engineer from École supérieure d'optique, Paris (1965). He began his research work by studying dichroism in the physics laboratory of the ESPCI and obtained his doctorate in physical sciences in 1971 at the Université Paris-VI. He then worked at École Polytechnique and the University of California in Los Angeles. He started teaching at ESPCI in 1969 and in 1982 he succeeded Jacques Badoz as professor of optics.
Professor Boccara has contributed to the advance of optical sciences as Director of Laboratoire d’optique, then Dean of Research with Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (Physique Nobel Laureate) and Jacques Prost. His pioneering work on understanding the physics of small objects has led to extremely sophisticated technologies in microscopy and spectroscopy. Based on his work, new kind of microscopes have been developed to increase depth and lateral resolution much below sub-wavelength limits (picometers in depth and nanometers in lateral). Professor Boccara’s expertise in optical sciences has been a great success in the biomedical arena. As an example, Professor Boccara has designed a unique Full Field Optical Coherence Tomography system for biological tissue characterization and function, in-vivo, and being a real engineer, he has been involved in bringing this unique technology to the bedside through industrial partnership. Professor Boccara is the recipient of ten scientific awards, including the prestigious Leon Brillouin Price, a major honor of the French Optical Society. As an outstanding teacher, he has been involved in mentoring scientists at all stages of their careers and helping establish pathways for career growth at one of the most respected scientific institutions in the world.