The limits of our understanding of the basis of disease are largely a function of the limits of our observational imaging tools. Imaging has the capacity to continue to revolutionize our understanding of biology from molecular to human scale. Bioimaging is enabling fundamental new discoveries in areas such as brain connectivity and function, as well as empowering patient-specific clinical treatment strategies. Research is guided by the vision of integrating physical science and technology development with the clinical mission of the UA, and pushing the frontiers of medical imaging technology in order to advance new diagnostics, technologies, and spinout companies. Increased imaging capabilities allow us to pursue the ultimate goal of translating basic science innovations and developments into clinical applications that impact patient care.
The UA has tremendous strengths in imaging and optical sciences, imaging technology development, imaging methods, and clinical translation to further enable new scientific discoveries and improve clinical outcomes. This has allowed us to secure extramurally funded pre-clinical and clinical research programs that have fostered multi-disciplinary collaborations within the UA (e.g. optical sciences, biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, psychology, physiological sciences, speech and hearing sciences, applied mathematics, cancer biology, and chemistry), as well as with other universities, industry, and the military. BIO5 serves as the hub and intellectual center for expanding collaborations and cultivating tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion in the increasingly important areas of molecular imaging, multi-modality imaging, and clinical translation.
Dr. Jennifer Barton has spent much of her career on the quest to engineer technologies for the early detection of cancer — especially ovarian cancer — which kills more than 14,000 women in the United States each year, largely because there remains no good way to catch it early. She is developing a novel device that can be inserted in the vagina to capture high-resolution imaging of fallopian tubes, ovaries and the uterine wall and reveal abnormalities. When available, the screening procedure could be conducted under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. Effective screening for early detection is a compelling problem and a fantastic technical challenge because there’s no perfect solution today. Dr. Barton’s work will save many lives.