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U of M Professor Receives National Award for Research in Imaging Science 
For release: April 24, 2009
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

Dr. PrezaDr. Chrysanthe Preza, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering, has received a $743,781 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award for her research to improve live cell imaging.  Over the next five years, Preza will develop an “Integrated Computational Optical Framework for Quantitative Space-Variant Imaging in Live-Cell Fluorescence Microscopy.”

Medical and biological scientists use live cell imaging techniques to analyze the behavior of healthy and diseased cell and tissue specimens.  This analysis requires access to complex imaging systems that combine advanced computational modeling and optical methods with high powered microscopes.  The goal of ongoing research is to develop systems that will provide increasingly more refined and accurate images, so that cell behavior can be better understood, resulting in enhanced medical diagnostics and treatments.  Preza’s work is designed to improve our ability to visualize structures at smaller scales and in new ways not available with current microscopes. As the science continues to advance, Preza sees live cell imaging growing into a new exploratory science that integrates a number of research fields, including engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, and biology.

The Career Award is the most prestigious award junior faculty members can receive from the NSF. It is designed to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

This award is the fifth such Career Award that faculty in the Herff College have received in the past 11 years.

Dr. Preza joined the U of M faculty in 2006. She currently leads the Computational Imaging Research Laboratory  and conducts research in the areas of imaging science and model-based estimation theory with applications in Multidimensional Light Microscopy, Multispectral Microscopy, Hyperspectral Imaging, and Biomedical Imaging. She has made significant contributions in the areas of quantitative phase imaging based on computational DIC (Nomarski) microscopy and Computational Optical Sectioning Microscopy (COSM). Dr. Preza collaborates with researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the University of Colorado and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis offers undergraduate programs in biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering, and in computer, electronics, and manufacturing engineering technology. Graduate programs are offered in biomedical (in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis), computer, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, and in engineering technology.

More information about Dr. Preza’s research is available online at http://cirl.memphis.edu

Dr. Preza is actively recruiting graduate research assistants and post-doctoral fellows.  She may be contacted by email at cpreza@memphis.edu

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