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Winners of the 2018 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2018 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Claire Bedbrook, advised by Professors Frances H. Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in engineering proteins capable of controlling and reading out neural activity to advance neuroscience research. Nicholas Dou, advised by Professor Austin Minnich received the prize in Nanotechnology. Nicholas focuses on developing and characterizing novel nano-architected materials that are exceptionally lightweight, mechanically resilient, and thermally insulating. Xiaoqi Ren, advised by Professor Adam Wierman received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources. Xiaoqi’s research is focused on optimization of today's large-scale data centers, including online scheduling, energy usage and sustainability, and new market mechanisms for electricity markets and data clouds. Daniel C. Bowden, advised by Professors Joann M. Stock and Victor Tsai has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Daniel has worked on a range of projects relating to the propagation of seismic waves in the Earth's crust. Colin Cook, advised by Professor Yu-Chong Tai has receive the prize in Entrepreneurship. Colin is working on a phototherapeutic contact lens to treat diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness.

Tags: MedE CMS Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Xiaoqi Ren Colin Cook Claire Bedbrook Daniel Bowden Nicholas Dou

Wireless Pressure-Sensing Eye Implant Could Help Prevent Blindness


Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering and Executive Officer for Electrical Engineering, Yu-Chong Tai, Anna L. Rosen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering, and colleagues have developed a new pressure-sensing implant for the eye that could help prevent one of the leading causes of blindness. The implant could help glaucoma patients monitor their condition by wirelessly sending data about the eye to the patient or medical professionals. Patients at risk for glaucoma are required to make regular visits to an ophthalmologist to have their intraocular pressure (eye pressure) checked. The disadvantage is that patients are only able to measure pressure while visiting their doctor. With a wireless implant, a patient has access to their eye pressure data at any time, and continuous monitoring will allow intervention sooner if needed. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Yu-Chong Tai Azita Emami

Laser-sonic Scanner Aims to Replace Mammograms for Finding Breast Cancer


A laser-sonic scanner, which uses photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) developed by Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, can find tumors in as little as 15 seconds by shining pulses of light into the breast. The laser-sonic scanner provides a safer way for finding breast cancer compared to mammogram technology. Mammograms expose patients to X-ray radiation and requires their breasts to be painfully pressed between plates. Many women avoid having their mammograms taken as often as they should because of the discomfort involved. PACT can provide a clear view of structures as small as a quarter of a millimeter at a depth of 4 centimeters. Mammograms cannot provide soft-tissue contrast with the level of detail in PACT images. The PACT scan is quick, and a clearer image can be developed. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Lihong Wang

Butterfly Wings Inspire Light-Manipulating Surface for Medical Implants



Professor Hyuck Choo along with postdoctoral researchers Radwanul Hasan Siddique, and graduate student Vinayak Narasimhan working in the Choo lab have developed a synthetic analogue for eye implants that makes them more effective and longer-lasting. The work was inspired by tiny nanostructures on transparent butterfly wings. The eye implant is shaped like a tiny drum, the width of a few strands of hair. When inserted into an eye, its surface flexes with increasing eye pressure, narrowing the depth of the cavity inside the drum. That depth can be measured by a handheld reader, giving a direct measurement of how much pressure the implant is under. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Hyuck Choo Radwanul Hasan Siddique Vinayak Narasimhan

Glowing Contact Lens Could Prevent A Leading Cause of Blindness


Hundreds of millions of people suffer from diabetes worldwide, putting them at risk for a creeping blindness, or diabetic retinopathy. Existing treatments, though effective, are painful and invasive, involving lasers and injections into the eyeball. Graduate student, Colin Cook working in Professor Yu-Chong Tai’s laboratory has invented a contact lens that when worn during sleep interrupts the process that destroys cells of the retina. He hopes his contact lenses will offer a solution that patients will be more willing to try because the effort involved is minimal, as are the side effects. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Yu-Chong Tai Colin Cook

Third Place At TigerLaunch


MedE graduate student, Colin A Cook, has won third place at the 2017-2018 TigerLaunch Finals for his pitch on a phototherapy contact lens he has been developing with his advisor Professor Yu-Chong Tai. TigerLaunch is a national entrepreneurship competition, dedicated to building student founder networks. It is the largest student-run competition of its kind with events in Chicago, NYC, Paris, Seattle, and Princeton.  It had over 300 applicants in 2017 and over $30,000 in prizes.  Colin learned about the competition and was encouraged to apply while taking Professor Ken Pickar's class E/ME 103: Management of Technology. [ENGenious feature on Colin Cook]

Tags: honors MedE Yu-Chong Tai Ken Pickar Colin Cook

Gift Enables Transformative Advances in Health Care


The Heritage Medical Research Institute (HMRI), a nonprofit founded by physician and Caltech trustee Richard Merkin, has extended its partnership with Caltech for a minimum of three more years. “I firmly believe that one person can change the world. Imagine what nine, focused HMRI investigators can do for understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases,” says Merkin, who has served on the Caltech Board of Trustees since 2007. Caltech’s current HMRI investigators include EAS Professors Hyuck Choo, and Azita Emami. [Breakthrough story]

Tags: EE MedE Hyuck Choo Azita Emami Richard Merkin

Professor Wang Receives Biophotonics Award


Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has received the 2018 Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award from the Optical Society (OSA) for “invention of the world’s fastest two-dimensional receive-only camera; enabling real-time imaging of the fastest phenomena on earth.” The award recognizes individuals for their innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics, regardless of their career stage. [OSA release]

Tags: EE honors MedE Lihong Wang

Engineered Metasurfaces Replace Adhesive Tape in Specialized Microscope


The latest advance in a new type of optics aimed at improving microscopy started with a game of tennis three years ago between Mooseok Jang a graduate of Professor Changhuei Yang's lab and Yu Horie working with Professor Andrei Faraon. "The hope is that our work will prompt further interest in this area of optics and make this type of microscopy and its advantages feasible for practical, everyday use—not just as a proof of concept," says Josh Brake, a graduate student in Yang's lab who continues to work on the project with Faraon and Yang. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights Changhuei Yang MedE alumni Andrei Faraon Mooseok Jang APh Yu Horie Josh Brake

New Process Allows 3-D Printing of Nanoscale Metal Structures


Professor Julia Greer and graduate student Andrey Vyatskikh have created complex nanoscale metal structures using 3-D printing. The process, once scaled up, could be used in a wide variety of applications and opens the door to the creation of a new class of materials with unusual properties that are based on their internal structure. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE MCE Julia Greer MatSci Andrey Vyatskikh