On the move
On the Move
  • NSM Student Developing Skin Cancer Detection Device
    Doctors might soon be able to detect skin cancer simply by waving a handheld device over a suspicious-looking skin lesion thanks to the work of a UH graduate student.

    Eric Stotzer, a computer science Ph.D. student, is developing software that could help primary care doctors more quickly and accurately diagnose melanomas, the fastest growing type of skin cancer in the U.S.
    The pocket-size device would capture a digital image of the skin and analyze its size, texture, color and blood vessel characteristics. Using a vast database of skin lesion images, the software will be programmed to recognize cancerous features and provide a numerical probability that a lesion is malignant.

    Stotzer, a part-time student, also earned his master’s degree from UH and works at Texas Instruments, where he is developing a set of general software tools that can be used in a variety of handheld medical imaging devices.

    Stotzer is part of a UH research team led by George Zouridakis, associate professor of computer science. The group has filed a patent for the device and could have a working prototype ready in a year.

  • Chemistry Professor Wins Award for Research
    A UH chemistry professor won the 2007 American Chemistry Society Southwest Region award, which was presented this past November.

    Xiaolian Gao received the award for her outstanding research in parallel chemistry synthesis. She is professor of chemistry and biology and biochemistry.

    Her lab team conducts interdisciplinary research covering important areas in chemistry and biology, including single-cell molecule DNA sequencing, bioinformatics of nucleic acids and proteins, and parallel synthesis and digital photochemistry of bio and organic molecules.

    Gao received a plaque and a $2,000 award at the ACS Southwest Regional Meeting in Lubbock last week.

    She received her undergraduate degree from Beijing Institute of Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

  • NSM Researchers Fight Obesity With Biosensors

    Wearing a portable instrument to monitor metabolism in the fight against obesity and its related health consequences may be on the horizon thanks to collaborative research being performed at UH and Methodist Hospital.

    John Miller, professor of physics, recently received a three-year, $623,000 exploratory research grant from the National Institutes of Health in a joint program with the National Science Foundation on biosensors for energy balance and obesity.

    Miller is also the director of the High-Temperature Superconducting Device Applications and Nano-Biophysics Laboratory at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston.
    His collaborators include Willam Widger, professor of biology and biochemistry at UH, and two endocrinologists at Methodist Hospital.

    The group is targeting metabolic syndrome, a pernicious complication of obesity that affects 20 percent of obese individuals and greatly increases the likelihood of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Their long-term goal is to develop innovative technologies that detect metabolic activity for research and clinical applications.
  • UH Represented at Chinese Physics Research Facility Groundbreaking
    Two UH physics professors were on hand for a groundbreaking at a nuclear facility near Hong Kong last fall to kick off one of the largest cooperative scientific projects between the United States and China.

    The Daya Bay Collaboration – a project seeking to unlock the mystery of subatomic particles known as neutrinos –comprises 35 institutions, including the University of Houston.

    Recently, scientists have found that neutrinos, previously thought to be totally devoid of any mass, do in fact have a tiny amount of mass. The Daya Bay effort to learn more about neutrinos could help scientists understand why antimatter is largely missing from the universe. The absence of antimatter makes our existence possible.

    Professor Kwong Lau and Lawrence Pinsky, physics department chair, attended the Oct. 13 groundbreaking ceremony in the Guangdong province of southern China. Lau is the principal investigator for the project at UH.

    The project is supported by both Chinese and U.S. government agencies.
© University of Houston 2007