Early Cancer Detection with Nanotechnology
Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering
Dr. Richards-Kortum's research group is developing miniature microscopes and spectrometers to enable early detection of precancerous changes in living tissue. Her research group is currently developing fluorescence-based techniques for the diagnosis of cervical pre-cancer in vivo, and in collaboration with Dr. Michele Follen has carried out clinical trials of this technique involving over 1,500 patients at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In collaboration with Dr. Michael Descour at the University of Arizona, her group is developing miniature confocal microscopes to visualize the microscopic changes which accompany precancer. In collaboration with Dr. Konstantin Sokolov at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, her group is developing contrast agents for in vivo molecular imaging of changes associated with precancer including expression of epidermal growth factor reception. Also under study are spectroscopic techniques for improving and automating screening for precancer of the oral cavity in collaboration with Dr. Ann Gillenwater. In addition to being named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in 2002, her awards include, Presidential Young Investigator, National Science Foundation (1991), Presidential Faculty Fellow, National Science Foundation (1992); Becton Dickinson Career Achievement Award, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (1992); Outstanding Engineering Teaching by an Assistant Professor Award, College of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (1994); Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award, Bioengineering Division, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1999). In 2001, she was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas at Austin and received the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award for 2002. She also currently serves on the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for the National Institutes of Health.