Date and place of birth 

9 May 1950 in Riga, Latvia


University of Latvia, Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy & Physics Department, Jelgavas 3/607, Riga, LV-1004,  LATVIA


+371 29485347






Degree received





Univ. of Latvia

M. Sc.



Univ. of Latvia

Ph. D.



Univ. of Latvia

Dr. Habil. Phys.

Technical Physics


Univ. of Latvia


Applied Optics and  Optoelectronics


Univ. of Latvia

State Professor

Laser Physics and Spectroscopy



Ph. D. thesis (1979):  

Study of the sensitized fluorescence of metal vapor mixtures at pulsed excitation

Dr. Habil. Phys. Thesis (1993):

Optoelectronic methods and devices for experimental research, technological control and information transfer


J. Spigulis graduated as physicist from the University of Latvia (UL) in 1973. He joined the Laboratory of Spectroscopy Problems at UL to study kinetics of the collisional energy transfer in metal vapor mixtures; results of this work have been summarized at his Ph. D. thesis (Riga, 1979). Later in 1980 - 1985 he dealt with ion mass analysis in laser excited atomic beams as well as with infrared emitter-receiver systems and pulsed optical radiation detection/calibration techniques. Since 1986 his research activities are focused to fiber optics, optoelectronics and biomedical optics. In 1997 J.Spigulis established and since then leads the Biophotonics Laboratory at Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (IAPS), UL. His recent work has been related to development of novel optical methods and devices for noninvasive clinical diagnostics and monitoring. J.Spigulis has supervised 10 defended PhD Thesis on the topics of biophotonics.

            Since 1973 J. Spigulis has been a staff researcher at University of Latvia in positions of Junior Research Associate (1973-1980), Senior Research Associate (1980-1986), Leading Researcher (1986-now) and Professor (1998-now). Over the period 2004-2012 he served as Director of IAPS. Dr. Spigulis has developed and teached lecture courses "Lightguide Physics", "Optoelectronics", “Laser Physics” and “Earth Physics” for BSc students, as well as "Fundamentals of Biomedical Optics", "Medical Lightguides", “Lasers in Physics and Medicine” and “Biophotonics” for MSc students. In 1995 he launched one of the first in Europe MSc programme on Biomedical Optics at University of Latvia and actively coordinated this programme over the following years until 2007. 

J.Spigulis has proposed, managed and supervised a number of research projects; the largest so far has been a 2M€ ESF project “Biophotonics Research Group” (2009-2012). As inventor, he is holder of a number of patents. The research results have been published in more than 200 scientific papers; his Hirsch index (Scopus) H = 20. Results were presented at numerous international conferences and seminars worldwide. He has been invited as keynote lecturer, committee member or session chairman at several international conferences and was actively involved in organization of regional conferences ADVANCED OPTICAL MATERIALS AND DEVICES (AOMD) in Riga (1996/2002/2008/2014), Vilnius (2000/2006/2011) and Tartu (2004). J. Spigulis chaired the AOMD-6, AOMD-8, “Biophotonics Riga – 2013”, “Biophotonics Riga – 2017” and “Biophotonics Riga – 2020” conferences and co-chaired the 14th Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics in 2008. He has also provided a number of expert services, i.e. as expert-evaluator of the EC FP-5, FP-6, FP-7 and H-2020 projects. In 1995 J. Spigulis was involved in a 6-month medical fiber optics research project at King's College London (UK), as well as in the EU TEMPUS project on Medical engineering and physics education in the Baltic states, the TEMPERE project on a similar topic with University of Patras (GR), two LEONARDO DA VINCI projects on vocational training, two VISBY projects with Swedish universities (Lund and Linkoping), Latvian-American research collaboration project with Columbia University (USA), Latvian-Lithuanian-Taiwanese project on cancer cell studies, sabbatical research and teaching at universities of Sao Paulo (BR) and Barcelona (SP), and others.

In parallel with academic activities, J. Spigulis has been involved in optics-related businesses. He was co-founder of two companies – SOMTA, Ltd. (1989) and ANDA OPTEC, Ltd. (1994), where he served as CEO and Board member, respectively. Dr. Spigulis has represented the photonics industry of Baltic countries at several SPIE exhibitions in San Jose and San Diego (USA); in 2012-2019 he has served in leadership of the Baltic Photonics Cluster.

J. Spigulis was the founder, chairman and co-chairman of the Baltic Chapter of SPIE – the International Society for Optics and Photonics; he has been also a member of Optical Society of America (OSA), European Optical Society (EOS), Latvian Union of Scientists, Latvian Physical Society and Latvian Society of Medical Engineering and Physics. Dr. Spigulis is chairing the Latvian regional committee of ICO – International Commission for Optics and represents Latvia in the Biophotonics4Life Worldwide Consortium; over the years 2016-2020 he chaired the Division of Physical and Technical Sciences at the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Contributions of J. Spigulis have been recognized by awarding the grades of Corresponding Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (2007), SPIE Fellow (2011) and Academician of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (2012). He has received the prestigious “Golden Owl” Grindex award (2007), Walther Zapp best inventor award (2013), Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers Distinction award (2015) and the Grand Medal of Latvian Academy of Sciences (2021).


Extended illustrated CV (in Latvian) is available here.