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2015 Robert Newcomb Interdisciplinary Team Science Award


This award was established to highlight and honor individuals who have played a formative role in bringing together teams of researchers from diverse, trans-, multi-, and interdisciplinary backgrounds in studies and projects that have advanced biomedical and clinical research. Bob (Robert) was a quintessential "team player." His many skills as an athlete and coach, his dedication to teaching, commitment to translational research at UC Irvine, and outstanding leadership in statistical analysis of complex problems uniquely positioned Bob to catalyze and incubate teams of investigators. Nothing was more delightful to Bob than to bring together talented and enthusiastic scientists, students, and staff in pursuit of finding real solutions and discoveries that would advance clinical care and research.

The UC Irvine Multimodality Intravascular Imaging Team

Team leaders shown from left to right: Zhongping Chen, PhD; Pranav M. Patel, MD; Qifa Zhou, PhD

The Intravascular Imaging Team is a transdisciplinary collaboration of three groups of investigators from three disciplines: OCT group (Dr. Chen from Department of Biomedical Engineering at UCI); IVUS group (Dr. Zhou from the NIH Transducer Resource Center at USC); and Interventional Cardiology group (Dr. Patel from the Department of Medicine and Division of Cardiology at UCI). The team evolved from the common goal to develop an integrated intravascular imaging modality that can detect, diagnose, and manage vulnerable plaques to prevent the lethal consequences of atherosclerosis. The team has significant synergies and complementary non-overlapping skills. Dr. Chen leads UC Irvine's optical coherence tomography research group which developed fundamental imaging systems that integrate OCT and other imaging modalities with complementary imaging contrast. Dr. Zhou from USC provides expertise in miniature ultrasound transducers and ultrasound imaging systems. Dr. Patel and his cardiology team leads in understanding the clinical problems and challenges, as well as in providing guidance and development of in vivo animal studies and clinical protocols. Together they have addressed the problem of designing and constructing a new intravascular imaging platform that integrates intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), optical coherence tomography (OCT), photoacoustic tomography (PAT), and acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography (ARF-OCE).

The team has received multiple NIH multi-PI R01 grants to develop and translate this technology for clinical applications. They developed and demonstrated the first integrated IVUS/OCT technology for in vivo imaging of vulnerable plaques, and the IP granted for this technology has been licensed by OCT Medical Imaging Inc. The technology has potential impact not only on cardiology, but also on ophthalmology in diagnosis of corneal diseases, and oncology in diagnosis of cancers in respiratory, urogenital, and gastrointestinal tracts. Finally, the intravascular PAT technology was recently published in Science Report, and the team received two multi-PI R01 grants within the past year. This team has truly shown the essence of Bob Newcomb's commitment to translational research at UC Irvine and the joining of researchers from diverse, trans-, multi-, and interdisciplinary backgrounds.


The 7th Annual ICTS Awards Dinner
"People Who Make a Difference in Human Health"

UCI Student Center Pacific Ballroom
Cocktail Reception.....................5:00 - 6:00 PM
Awards Dinner...........................6:00 - 8:00 PM

To register click here