Couple carries research links to the limit

Jeff explains that his research uses X-Ray fluorescence to measure lead in human bone. The work is not directly done on humans. Instead, his research focused on the design and fabrication of tissue surrogates for human muscle and bone that are used to calibrate devices for measuring lead levels. The calibration devices were awarded a U.S patent that Jeff shares with some of his colleagues. "We're looking at ways to improve measurement precision. The XRF method is used to measure occupationally and environmentally exposed populations. There's been some thought given to using this method to measure lead levels in exposed children."

Camille's research involved mathematical simulations using Monte Carlo analysis to investigate the uncertainty associated with X-ray fluorescence measurements of lead in human bone. The computer code Monte-Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) was modified for simulating photon interactions associated with X-ray fluorescence of lead in bone. She utilized MCNP to help determine variation in lead measurements that may occur due to slight differences between individuals. These differences include variations in the thickness of tissue overlying the bone and the density of the bone. "This is important in improving the precision of the X-ray fluorescence for use in epidemiological studies," she said.

Their same UC advisor, Henry Spitz, director of graduate studies for the College of Engineering, first brought them together in 1998 as they shared the same lab space in UC's Old Chemistry Building. "I don't think we really spoke with each other for the first couple of months," Camille says. "We did travel together to a conference for the American Nuclear Society, and that's when I think I discovered that we had a lot in common. Plus, we had such a fun time together. I felt like I could really be myself around him."

They married in 2001 and have worked ever since to reach each of their own milestones this summer: their doctoral degrees. "It

Contact: Dawn Fuller
University of Cincinnati

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