RichardsKortum to lead Rices bioengineering program

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade Boyd PHONE: (713) 348-6778 E-MAIL: [email protected] Richards-Kortum To Lead Rice’s Bioengineering Program UT Standout Bolsters Rice’s Growing Links With TMC Partners Award-winning biomedical researcher Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a pioneer in the development of non-invasive screening methods for cervical cancers and pre-cancers, has joined the faculty of Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering. Richards-Kortum will become the chair of Rice’s Department of Bioengineering in fall 2005, when she joins the faculty as the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering. She is currently the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #10 and a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. ”Dr. Richards-Kortum is a rising star and a dynamic leader,” said C. Sidney Burrus, dean of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. ”Her cutting-edge research in laser spectroscopy, biophysics and diagnostic imaging is complementary with the work of several groups in our Department of Bioengineering, and her strong ties to the Texas Medical Center further Rice’s goal of developing robust links between our bioengineering programs and those at research institutions throughout the Gulf Coast region.” Richards-Kortum’s research centers on new, non-invasive cancer detection technologies that use high-resolution, optical imaging; the use of fluorescent imaging agents for cancer detection; biophysical studies of the light-scattering properties of cells and tissues; and the use of fiber-optic sensors for in vivo detection of cancer. Just this month, Richards-Kortum received a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop miniature, disposable microscopes that doctors can use to rapidly diagnose tumor genotypes for lung, oral and cervical cancers without conducting a biopsy. The project — a collaborative effort with researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the British Columbia Cancer Agency, the University of Arizona and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston — involves the identification of unique molecular markers for each tumor type, the development of contrast agents that will bind to those markers and the development of the microscopic probes containing the markers. A laser probe developed by Richards-Kortum and M.D. Anderson’s Dr. Michele Follen is currently in multi-center clinical trials for early detection of cervical cancer and precancer. The probe uses fluorescence spectroscopy to develop automated methods of screening for pre-invasive cervical cancer. ”This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Rice,” said Richards-Kortum. ”I’m looking forward to playing an active role in helping to shape future collaborations with the Texas Medical Center and continuing to develop premier educational and research programs in bioengineering.” Richards-Kortum received a bachelor of science in physics and mathematics, with highest distinction, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1985. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in medical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and 1990, respectively. She joined UT Austin’s electrical and computer engineering department in 1990, and was one of the founding members of UT’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2001. Richards-Kortum has received numerous honors for both her teaching and research. These include the National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award (1991); the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow Award (1992); the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s Becton Dickinson Career Achievement Award (1992); the UT-Austin College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Teaching by an Assistant Professor Award (1994); the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award (1999), and the ASEE Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education, (2004). She was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor (2002), and a Piper Professor (2004), reflecting excellence in undergraduate teaching. ### AddThislast_img

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