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Welcome to BME!

Logo for the University of Arizona department of biomedical engineering
Established in 2009, the department of biomedical engineering in the UA College of Engineering department reflects a long-standing tradition of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of medicine, science and engineering.

Our faculty boast a variety of backgrounds and research interests, but all are dedicated to improving human health through the application of engineering and scientific principles.

The BME Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, which is administered by the UA Graduate College, offers the research and teaching expertise of more than 60 faculty in 17 departments.

Barton Honored with SPIE President's Award

Jennifer Barton onstage after receiving the 2016 SPIE President's Award; photo courtesy of SPIEJennifer Barton – cancer researcher, professor of biomedical imaging and interim director of the BIO5 Institutereceived the 2016 President's Award from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

A member of the SPIE board of directors, she was recognized for her "inspirational leadership, excellence in research and dedicated involvement in governance."

Image courtesy of SPIE

UA Receives First NuPET Scanner in the Nation

Two Cubresa researchers insert a mouse into the NuPET system on July 28. The UA was chosen as the first U.S. institution to receive the technology; image courtesy of Cubresa Inc.Joint BME faculty members Mark "Marty" Pagel and Julio Cárdenas-Rodríguez have joined with the Canadian company Cubresa Inc. to bring NuPET technology to the University of Arizona

The UA team are pairing the compact positron emission tomography scanner with a dynamic MRI technique to develop a novel preclinical approach for characterizing cancerous tumors

The dual-mode system aims to provide a more precise image and, ultimately, a quicker diagnosis.

"A single imaging mode is not enough to reveal all the permutations and gain a diagnostically useful understanding of what’s going on inside the tumor," said Pagel. “But, as we refine our approach, I’m confident that better interpretations will be made, and that could translate into better outcomes for patients.”

Image courtesy of Cubresa Inc.

UA Engineering Faculty Develop Device to Improve Screening for Ovarian Cancer

Raymond K. Kostuk exhibits the bench-top VHIS at work in his lab located in the University of Arizona’s department of electrical and computer engineering. Photo by Taylor Hudson/Tech Launch ArizonaJennifer Barton, professor of biomedical engineering and interim director of the BIO5 Institute, collaborated with Raymond Kostuk of the department of electrical and computer engineering to develop a novel method and device to detect and diagnose ovarian cancer. Their approach is based on a volume holographic imaging system.

They have successfully completed a clinical trial using a bench-top version of the device and are currently developing a handheld rigid endoscope version.

Image courtesy of Taylor Hudson/Tech Launch Arizona

Retina Researcher Eggers Sheds Light on Vision’s Mysteries

Rod and cone photoreceptors in a human retina. Photo courtesy of Dr. Robert Fariss, National Eye Institute, NIH
Associate professor of physiology and biomedical engineering Erika Eggers recently received two prestigious federal grants, totaling $2.8 million, to reduce the specter of blindness for millions with diabetes and deepen insight into how we see.

She is principal investigator of a $1.9 million project funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the International Retinal Research Foundation, to study "Retinal Neuronal Signaling in Early Diabetes."  

She was also awarded a 2016 Faculty Early Career Development Award of $900,000 from the National Science Foundation, the agency’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members.

Photo courtesy of Robert Fariss, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health

Gmitro Helps Push the Boundary of Radiology with Biophotonics

Portrait of Art GmitroBiophotonics – the development and application of optical techniques for the study of biological molecules, cells and tissue – is expanding the scope of radiology by bringing clinicians and researchers new tools for noninvasive imaging of cancer and other diseases.

Department head and professor of biomedical engineering, medical imaging and optical sciences Art Gmitro is a pioneer of the interdisciplinary field, which incorporates medicine, biology, physics, engineering, technology and more. 

“Biophotonics is somewhat like magnetic resonance: a rich technology that can measure many different things,” he said. 

Students Create Cost-Effective, Easy-to-Use Medical Device

Engineering Design Team 15024 with their project posterAn incorrectly inserted nasogastric feeding tube can lead to serious injury or death.

But a UA College of Engineering senior design team featuring four biomedical engineering students is helping to mitigate the danger.

In May, they produced a working prototype of an instrument that gives instant feedback on tube placement.

University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020