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Janet and Mike Greene

Pioneering Progress

An implant system that inhibits pain. A sensor that aids people with acid reflux disease. A gastrostimulator that helps diabetic patients digest food. These are just a handful of the projects that electrical engineering Professor J.-C. Chiao is undertaking to improve the quality of life for those suffering from serious medical conditions.

Mike and Janet Greene

Mike and Janet Greene at the dedication of the Janet and Mike Greene Research Quadrangle.

Dr. Chiao, who holds five patents with seven patents pending, has been named the Janet and Mike Greene Endowed Professor in the College of Engineering. The Greenes committed $125,000 toward the professorship, and their gift is being doubled in value through the University’s Maverick Match program, which uses natural gas royalties to leverage new commitments.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with UT Arlington,” says Mike Greene, a 1969 mechanical engineering graduate and retired vice chairman of Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU. “Janet and I are very pleased to be able to support the College of Engineering, its faculty, and students.”

Chiao, who also is the Jenkins Garrett professor of electrical engineering, joined the University in 2002 and holds a dual appointment as an adjunct associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has collected 11 major awards throughout his career, including the 2011 Tech Titans Technology Innovator Award.

His primary research has focused on the development of implantable sensors that can be used to treat acid reflux with fewer negative affects on patients. He won the 2011 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas for his pioneering achievements in medical devices.

Chiao’s work also has improved the ability to determine the effectiveness of drugs used to treat illnesses of the esophagus and stomach. In collaboration with psychology Associate Professor Yuan Bo Peng, he also has developed implants known as neurostimulators to detect and block pain signals by transmitting electric signals into neurons.