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Fall 2008
Newly Named Cullen Professor Uses Mathematics to Benefit Heart Research
A University of Houston researcher who is bridging the fields of mathematics and biology has received one of the university’s most prestigious recognitions.

Suncica Canic, who is using mathematical models to improve artery stents in collaboration with a Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, recently was named a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in Mathematics.

Earlier this year Canic also became director of the newly formed Center for Mathematical Biosciences, which aims to integrate advanced mathematics with medical research to achieve medical breakthroughs. The center comprises three dozen UH researchers, including 14 bioscience mathematicians, and Rice University and Texas Medical Center collaborators.

Canic currently has research grants from the National Science Foundation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and UH totaling $2.16 million. This past summer she testified before Congress on behalf of the Coalition for National Science Funding.

Such notable achievements are among reasons why Canic merited the distinguished professorship, said John Bear, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

"She’s an emerging force in the field of biomathematics worldwide," Bear said.

Canic said the award is "recognition of excellence for the mathematics department at the University of Houston, together with me as a catalyst, to the interdisciplinary research at the interface between mathematics and cardiovascular sciences."

"I hope that we will live up to the expectation," she said, "and continue to unearth new scientific discoveries by using and developing sophisticated mathematics as a tool towards understanding why and how nature works."
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