Russell S. Witte

  • Faculty Affiliation: Joint Professor
Associate Professor of Medical Imaging
Professor of Optical Sciences
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Office Location: 
Bioscience Research Lab 248
Mailing Address: 


University of Arizona
1230 N Cherry Ave
BSRL Bldg. #248
Tucson, AZ 85721

Phone Number: 
  • Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2002
  • M.S., Arizona State University, 2000
  • B.S., The University of Arizona, 1993

July 2013-present

  • Assistant Professor  (Department of Medical Imaging, University of Arizona)
  • Assistant Professor  (College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona)
  • Assistant Professor  (Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona)


  • Founder/Chief Scientific Officer (ElectroSonix LC, Tucson, AZ)

2007-June 2013 

  • Assistant Professor  (Department of Radiology/Medical Imaging, University of Arizona) 
  • Assistant Professor  (College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona)
  • Assistant Professor (Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona)
Professional Affiliations and Activities: 
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Member
  • Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE): Member
  • Society for Neuroscience (SFN): Member
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES): Member
Awards and Honors: 
  • Certificate of Merit, Excellence of Educational Exhibit (RSNA), 2014
  • Best Paper Award (ITEC), 2014
  • Top 10 Researcher and Innovator in Neuroradiology (ASNR), 2016
  • Tech Transfer Challenge Finalist (BMES), 2017
  • Hackathon Winner (ICSMS), 2017
OPTI 522
OPTI 638
Specific Research Interests: 
  1. Hybrid Imaging with Ultrasound
  2. Photoacoustic Imaging, Acoustoelectric Imaging, Elasticity Imaging
  3. Electrical Mapping of the Heart and Brain
  4. Smart Contrast Agents for Biomedical Imaging and Therapy
Research Summary: 

My Experimental Ultrasound and Neural Imaging Laboratory develops hybrid imaging modalities and related tools that combine ultrasound with other forms of nonionizing energy (e.g., light, electricity, magnetism) to solve grand challenges in biology, physics, engineering, and medicine. Acoustoelectric Imaging is a novel approach towards noninvasive, high resolution imaging of physiologic currents in the body. I recently founded ElectroSonix LC, a medical device company focused on commercialization of acoustoelectric cardiac imaging for mapping arrhythmias. My research group is also building a prototype for acoustoelectric imaging of the human brain with better spatial resolution than EEG. Photoacoustic imaging, on the other hand, employs a short laser pulse to generate ultrasonic waves, which are detected to form maps with contrast proportional to the absorption of light. This approach enables deep imaging (>1 cm) and spectroscopy for specific contrast related to the tumor microenvironment and tracking delivery of therapeutic agents. I recently published a review paper in Clinical and Experimental Metastasis on the future of ultrasound and photoacoustics for diagnosing and staging cancer. I am also a mentor on six federally-funded training grants, including PI on an R25 NIH project to train the next generation of young scientists in neurotechnologies--past, present, and future.

Current Student(s)