The Fifth Annual Allan R. Oseroff Photomedicine Lecture

Thursday 10th of October 2013
Calit2 Auditorium
University of California, Irvine
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Reception to follow
(Pre-Lecture Meet & Greet with light refreshments at 3:00 p.m.)

Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Low-Cost, High-Performance Optical Technologies to Meet Global Health Needs

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University

Advances in the biosciences are responsible for dramatic gains in life expectancy achieved over the last century. Yet, the majority of the world has not benefited from this progress. Sustainable and scalable innovations to improve healthcare in low-resource settings are needed. Advances in optical technologies, molecular recognition, and low power sensors now offer the ability to design low-cost platforms for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics. Efforts to integrate molecular imaging together with miniature microscopes are now yielding new POC diagnostics for infectious and chronic diseases. Driven by advances in consumer electronics, high resolution imaging can be obtained with low cost devices; advances in digital signal processing provide the ability to automate analysis. We are using this technology to improve early detection of cervical, esophageal, colon, breast, and oral cancer; clinical trials are underway in Houston, Botswana, and China. This same technology is being used to create microfluidic technologies for diagnosis of infectious diseases at the POC, including inexpensive tools to determine HIV viral load.

About the Speaker:
Rebecca Richards-Kortum is Stanley C. Moore Professor and Chair of Bioengineering at Rice University. She earned a B.S. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Nebraska in 1985, and a M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and 1990. Dr. Richards-Kortum.s research integrates advances in nanotechnology and molecular imaging with microfabrication technologies to develop optical imaging systems that are inexpensive and portable, and provide point-of-care diagnosis in low-resource settings, with a focus on cancer, pre-cancer, and infectious disease. In 2006, Dr. Richards-Kortum established the Beyond Traditional Borders initiative with a grant from HHMI.s Undergraduate Science Education Program. BTB engages students in developing technologies in response to health care challenges identified by clinicians in the developing world. The program has been institutionalized as an undergraduate minor at Rice. BTB has won the Science prize for Inquiry Based Instruction and the National Academy of Engineering Prize for Real World Education. Richards-Kortum is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and served as an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for the National Institutes of Health (2002-2007). She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. She was named a HHMI Professor in 2002 and 2006. Her honors include the Presidential Young Investigator and Presidential Faculty Fellow awards from the National Science Foundation, the Chester F. Carlson Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Vice President Recognition Award by IEEE. In 2013, she and her colleague Dr. Maria Oden were honored with the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.

Co-Sponsored by: the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Institute for Clinical Translational Science, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering

About Dr. Oseroff