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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Biomedical Engineering’s Liu Receives Outstanding Research Award

April 22, 2004

Dr. Hanli Liu, associate professor of biomedical engineering in The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering, has received the University’s Award for Outstanding Research Achievement or Creative Accomplishment. The award was presented during a faculty ceremony Tuesday, April 20.

The University recognizes a faculty member for achieving a particularly important research or creative accomplishment that has appeared in a public form appropriate to the nominee’s discipline during the past three years. In selecting faculty to be recognized, the University Research Committee places emphasis on the quality and importance of the research or creative accomplishment rather than on the quantity of publications or pages, number of performances or gallery showings, or number of creative objects produced.

Dr. Liu has been with UTA since 1996. Over the past three years, she has been the principal or co-principal investigator in research projects with grants totaling more than $2.5 million, and 10 of her technical papers have been published in journals. Her research is primarily in the areas of detection and treatment of tumors. Dr. Liu is also a recipient of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Houston Biomedical Engineering Society in 1998 and the Outstanding Young Faculty Award from the UTA College of Engineering.

Liu and her students invented an optical near-infrared spectral method to measure the oxygenation of small regions of living tissue. In one application, a 1.2-millimeter diameter optical fiber is inserted into the brain and is advanced to a region – the globus pallidus – that needs to be intervened for elimination of the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Neurosurgeons are able to quickly identify the lesion and initiate treatment (programmed electrical stimulation or ablation), saving hours of time in the operating room. In another embodiment, an external fiber optic pair is applied to the breast to non-invasively detect tumors and to assist therapy planning. As the technology matures, further rewarding clinical applications are expected.