AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, professor of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has received a $1 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2002 Professors Program grant.
The grants are awarded to professors who “show great promise for enriching undergraduate education and demonstrate innovative, compelling approaches for bridging research and teaching.” With her grant money, Dr. Richards-Kortum plans to develop courses for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, as well as courses to meet the general science requirement of students in other disciplines.
Working with fellow engineering professors in Austin and physicians from M.D. Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston, she will develop the courses “Principles of Biomedical Engineering” and “Quantitative Physiology.” She and her collaborators will also develop clinical engineering internships in biomedical imaging for biomedical engineering majors at The University of Texas at Austin, and will extend the internships to include science and engineering majors from Texas universities that have large populations of historically underrepresented minority students.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute invited 84 research universities to nominate faculty members. A panel of scientists and educators reviewed 150 nominees’ proposals and selected 20 professors.
Dr. Richards-Kortum is the Robert M. And Prudie Leibrock Endowed Professor In Engineering. She is also this year’s recipient of the 2002 Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas at Austin and a member of the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Her laser probe that detects cancerous cells in the cervix has been commercialized and is undergoing Federal Drug Administration approval. The same technology is undergoing clinical trials for use in cancer detection in the head and neck.
A photo of Dr. Richards-Kortum is available on the College of Engineering Web site.
For more information contact: Becky Rische, College of Engineering, 512-471-7272.