Dr. Carl Herickhoff awarded NSF CAREER, NIH R15 Grants

Carl Herickhoff - Assistant Professor of BMEBME faculty member Dr. Carl Herickhoff and his lab, whose research focuses on ultrasound imaging devices and systems, have recently been awarded grants from both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The NSF award is through the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) for his proposed project, "Super-Resolution 3D Ultrasound Imaging of Brain Activity."  The 5-year NSF CAREER Award of $593,248 allows Herickhoff and his lab to develop a dual-frequency transducer array and associated algorithms to non-invasively locate microbubbles in the brain in 3D with high precision.  This platform technology will be able to track subtle changes in neurovascular blood flow in response to brain activity brought on by various stimuli.  Imaging this functional activity in an in vivo rodent brain will demonstrate the platform’s utility as a practical and affordable neuroscience research tool.  This advanced 3D neuroimaging capability will enable neuroscientists to study brain organization and determine the underlying causes of many neurological, developmental, and behavioral effects (e.g., dopamine regulation, language and literacy, aggression and addiction, etc.).

The NIH award is an Academic Research Enhancement Award for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15) for his proposed project, "Transcranial Ultrasound Algorithms and Device for Rapid Stroke Determination by Paramedics."  The 3-year NIH R15 award of $413,755 allows Herickhoff and his research team--composed primarily of undergraduate students--to study and precisely model ultrasound propagation through the skull, and design custom algorithms and a transducer array device to quickly detect a large-vessel occlusion (LVO--i.e., blockage of a major artery to the brain, leading to a severe ischemic stroke).  This system could significantly improve upon existing transcranial Doppler ('TCD') approaches to streamline stroke care and improve overall morbidity and mortality outcomes.

Both of these projects have a significant outreach component and/or emphasis on providing biomedical research experiences for undergraduate students.  Please reach out to Dr. Herickhoff if you are an undergraduate BME student interested in getting involved in research!