Date and place of birth 

9 May 1950 in Riga, Latvia


University of Latvia, Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy & Physics Department, Raina Blvd. 19, Riga, LV-1586,  LATVIA


+371 6722 8249






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 of 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; he established and leads the Biophotonics Laboratory at Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (IAPS), UL. His recent work has been related to design and investigation of medical light guide systems and new types of the side-glowing optical fibres, as well as to development of novel optical methods and devices for noninvasive clinical diagnostics and monitoring.

            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 (1986-1994, 2011-now) and Professor (1998-now). Over the period 2004-2012 he served as IAPS director. Dr. Spigulis has developed 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. 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 a holder of a number of patents.

            The research results have been presented at numerous international conferences and seminars worldwide. In 1995 J. Spigulis was involved in a 6-month medical fiber optics research project at King's College London, UK. Other international activities include participation 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, Greece, two LEONARDO DA VINCI projects – on vocational training with Vilnius University and on clinical research course with Austrian colleagues, and two VISBY projects with Swedish universities (Lund and Linkoping), as well as Latvian-American research collaboration project on functional diagnostics with Columbia University, Latvian-Lithuanian-Taiwanese project on cancer cell studies, and others. 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 and “Biophotonics Riga – 2013” 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 and FP-7 projects.

In parallel with academic activities, J. Spigulis has been involved in optics-related businesses. He is co-founder of two companies – SOMTA, Ltd. (1989) and ANDA OPTEC, Ltd. (1994), where he served as CEO and Board member, respectively. He has represented the optics industry of Baltic countries at several SPIE exhibitions in San Jose and San Diego (USA). Currently J.Spigulis serves as a Board member 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 is also a member of European Optical Society (EOS), Latvian Union of Scientists, Latvian Physical Society and Latvian Society of Medical Engineering and Physics. Spigulis is presiding the Latvian regional committee of ICO – International Commission for Optics and he represents Latvia in the Biophotonics4Life (BP4L) Worldwide Consortium. and chairs the Department of Physics and Technical Sciences at 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) and Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers Distinction award (2015).