In the news / Bioimaging

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Dr. Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona professor of biomedical engineering and director of the BIO5 Institute, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health. The council advises the leadership of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, or NIBIB, on policies and priorities related to research, training and health information dissemination in the areas of biomedical imaging and engineering.
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With support from a grant from the National Institute on Aging, researchers will test a novel intervention that uses near-infrared light to enhance brain function and fight cognitive decline.
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To understand our ability to remember changes as we age in hopes of improving it, and preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia, researchers including Dr. Carol Barnes, Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute and BIO5 faculty member, envision a field of "precision aging.”
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The event, sponsored by the College of Medicine – Phoenix's Research Office, displayed the work of grant awardees from the Flinn Foundation, Valley Research Partnership (VRP) and Arizona Biomedical Research Centre. Dr. Jennifer Barton, Director of the UA BIO5 Institute, was the keynote speaker. She presented “Technology and Biology Advances: Enabling Progress toward Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer.”
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Arizona researchers including the BIO5 Institute's Dr. Eric Reiman, Executive Director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, contributed to a recent study of former pro football players in an effort to diagnose a degenerative brain disease in living patients.
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BIO5's Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, an internationally recognized expert on Alzheimer’s disease and Inaugural Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at UAHS, has received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Institute on Aging. With the funding, Brinton will develop a unique training program to cultivate a diverse pool of highly trained scientists from diverse fields who can effectively address the nation’s Alzheimer’s research needs.
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Dr. Gene Alexander, UA Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and BIO5 member, is researching the use of neuroimaging, or brain scans, to investigate who is likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.
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Women tend to have more youthful brains than their male counterparts — at least when it comes to metabolism. The finding is "great news for many women," says BIO5's Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, the Director of the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science, but she cautions that even though women's brain metabolism is higher overall, some women's brains experience a dramatic metabolic decline around menopause, leaving them vulnerable to Alzheimer's.
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Imaging and genomic technologies have dramatically increased the amount of information generated and used to make clinical decisions for diseases like Alzheimer's. “There is an untapped opportunity to leverage existing data from longitudinal cohorts, from the postmortem human brain, and from clinical trials to help the field advance our shared goals more effectively than we otherwise could,” said BIO5 member Dr. Eric Reiman, Executive Director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute.
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BIO5's Dr. Mohammed Hassan, UA Assistant Professor of Physics and Optical Sciences, wants the UA to be the first place where humans take a photo of an electron in motion. Thanks to $1.75M in grants, Hassan says he will make that happen in the coming years.
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Using an affordable, portable device that attaches to a smartphone, BIO5 member Dr. Dongkyun “DK” Kang, Assistant Professor in the UA Department of Biomedical Engineering and the College of Optical Sciences, and his collaborators hope to save lives of those suffering from cervical cancer in rural Africa.
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The UA's Data Science Institute, known as Data7, a unit of the Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation, is focused on connecting researchers, fostering collaboration and promoting literacy across campus. UA-TRIPODS, an integrated research and educational institute funded by the National Science Foundation, shares these goals and also is focused on developing new algorithms and foundational approaches necessary for large-scale data-driven research.
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Dr. Ted Trouard, BIO5 member and UA Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is leading a project to find how MRI technology can collect data faster and get higher resolution images. He says the research can help doctors make better diagnoses, evaluate therapies, and investigate progressions of disease.
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For the first time, scientists have detected a DNA structure inside living human cells that looks more like a four-stranded knot than the elegant double helix we know from biology textbooks. Dr. Laurence Hurley, a BIO5 member and professor of medical chemistry at the UA who was not involved with the study, said the new paper is important for chemical biology and molecular therapeutics.
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People with the rare disease called primary progressive aphasia may recruit intact brain areas for help with language, according to a new UA-led study. Aneta Kielar, BIO5 member and UA assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences and of cognitive science, is first author on the study.
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UA ecologist and BIO5 member Dr. Tyson Swetnam led an interdisciplinary team of U.S. researchers to discover that mountain forests are better at storing carbon than forests found on flat land.
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UA bioengineers, led by BIO5's Dr. Marek Romanowski, have created a novel microscope that will play an important role in aiding neurosurgeons operating on blood vessels, tissues, and tumors in the brain. The "real-time" 3D imaging will elevate neurosurgical precision, providing image technology analogous to that of "Google maps".
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BIO5's Dr. Jennifer Barton was elected to serve a three-year term on the SPIE board of directors. SPIE, is an international society for optics and photonics technology.