HOUSTON, Jan. 8, 2007 The Department of Defense (DOD) has named Rice University the recipient of a $3 million award for a five-year program to develop miniaturized molecular imaging technologies for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast cancer. The program, which will be conducted in collaboration with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, calls for the development of microendoscope and needle-compatible fiber optic systems that doctors can use for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic breast cancer imaging needs, ranging from early detection to guiding surgery to monitoring the efficacy of radiation therapy and targeted drug treatments.
The program's principal investigator, Rice bioengineer Rebekah Drezek, is one of three U.S. scientists chosen by the DOD for this year's Era of Hope Scholar Award, which is given annually by the DOD's Congressionally Directed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP).
The award recognizes "exceptionally talented, early-career scientists who have demonstrated through their extraordinary creativity, vision and productivity that they are the best and brightest in their fields."
Drezek, associate professor in both bioengineering and in electrical and computer engineering, was selected for her translational research developing miniaturized photonics-based molecular imaging technologies for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast cancer. She is the first Rice faculty member to receive the Era of Hope Scholar Award and is the only principal investigator chosen this year that is not at a medical institution.
"Medical imaging plays a critical role in all aspects of breast cancer care," Drezek said. "From initial screening and diagnosis to guiding and monitoring therapeutic interventions, doctors use a variety of imaging technologies like x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. But all of these technologies provide low-resolution, non-specific anatomic im
Contact: Jade Boyd