Colloquium: Russell S. Witte

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    "On the Outside Looking In: Shaking Up Biomedical Imaging with Light, Sound, and Electricity"


    The interaction of different forms of energy can be exploited for novel contrast in biomedical imaging. This colloquium will explore special effects with light, sound and radiofrequencies that enable imaging of optical absorbers in tissue, volumetric mapping of current source densities in the heart, and quantifying elastic properties in normal and diseased human tendon in vivo. While the physical mechanisms behind these noninvasive techniques were first described decades ago for other applications, they are now at the forefront of a new frontier to visualize anatomical and functional features inside the body in new ways, while pushing the limits of spatial and temporal resolution.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Russell Witte, a native Tucsonan, received a BS degree with honors in physics from the University of Arizona in Tucson (1993). Following travel abroad in Europe and Brazil, he began graduate studies in bioengineering at Arizona State University. His doctoral thesis (PhD, 2002) exploited chronic microelectrode arrays to describe sensory coding and cortical plasticity in the mammalian brain. He then moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to develop novel imaging contrast mechanisms as a post doc in the Biomedical Ultrasonics Laboratory. Dr. Witte moved back to Tucson in 2007 and is currently Associate Professor of Medical Imaging, Optical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. His research strives to exploit advantages of ultrasound imaging (e.g., excellent resolution and penetration) ultrasound, while overcome its limitations, especially poor contrast in soft tissue. By combining different forms of energy (e.g., light, sound, electricity, microwaves), the Experimental Ultrasound and Neural Imaging Laboratory (EUNIL) exploits special effects, specifically the photoacoustic, thermoacoustic, and acoustoelectric mechanisms, to noninvasively image optical and microwave absorption deep in tissue, current source densities in the beating heart, and mechanical properties in human muscle and tendon. We work closely with collaborators in the Colleges of Engineering, Optical Sciences and Medicine, as well as industry, to develop cutting-edge imaging technologies that potentially improve patient care. Dr. Witte is also a member of the Arizona Cancer Center, Sarver Heart Center and School of Mind, Brain, and Behavior, as well as the Neuroscience, Applied Mathematics, and Biomedical Engineering graduate interdisciplinary programs (GIDPs).