April 01, 2005 —
Dedicated to the memory of a noted professor, filled with presentations of solid
research by both faculty and graduate students, observed and supported by members
of the Southern California biomedical community, the 9th Fred S. Grodins Graduate
Research Symposium scored an impressive success March 26.
Robert Kalaba 1926-2004
Michael C. K. Khoo, event chairman, said that the symposium, a nearly decade-old
tradition for the USC Viterbi School’s department of biomedical research provided
an occasion to review current work and to look back on recent progress.
Khoo, chair of the departmnt who holds the Dwight C. and Hildegrad E. Baum chair,
noted that "in the past year we were lucky to have recruited professor Ellis Meng
to our faculty…and saddened by the passing of professor Robert Kalaba."
Professor Gerald Loeb (blue shirt) talks to (from left) Dr. Todd Whitehurst,
Virginia Shemanski and Mike Faltys of Advanced Bionics, which is marketing devices
based on Loeb's bion research.
A special part of the day-long program was devoted to a tribute to Kalaba, who
died September 29, 2004, and whose wife Wilma and children attended as guests
A protege of legendary mathematician John von Neumann, Kalaba “had been with
the the department since its earliest days, and we are indebted to him for his
role in helping USC-BME develop is reputation as an internationally renowned center
of expertise in biomedical modeling and systems physiology,” said Khoo.
Industry participation was prominent, thanks to hard work by organizers in spreading
information about the event. Advanced Bionics, for example, which is marketing
the bion technology invented by Professor Gerald Loeb, sent a three member team
to the event.
Nineteen full-scale lecture presentations, dealing with a wide range of research
in building medical devices, devising sophisticated modeling systems for biological
systems, and new insights leading to potential paths toward imaging or therapeutic
systems, were part of the event, held at the Midtown Radission hotel.
As is traditional for the symposium, graduate students used the occasion to present
their research on posters – 35 of them, on such subjects as “The effect of Talker
Variability in Cochlear Implants,” “Feasibility of Acoustical Tweezers,” “Image
Processing for a Retinal Prosthesis Using a Digital Signal Processor” and “Datamining
for Average Images in a Digital Hand Atlas.”
Professor Michael C. K. Khoo (left) discusses symposium progress with Ph.D candidate
Winston Tran, a member of the student coordinating committee that helped to stage
The top presentations and posters were singled out for recognition.
The Grodins Graduate Research Award went to Zexun (Susan) Zhou, for her work
on "Intracellular Phosphorylation of Lamivudine."
For Oral Presentations:
- 1st prize: Pramod Butte, "Intra-Operative Time-Resolved Laser Induced Fluorescence
Spectroscopy of Human Glial Tumors"
- 2nd prize: Olga Ivanova, "Cardiorespiratory Variability in Normal and Sleep
Disordered Breathing States: A Comprehensive Model"
- 3rd prize: Kuo-Chih (Vincent) Liao, "Design and Fabrication of Disposable, Percutaneous
For Poster Presentations:
- 1st prize: Ramakrishnan Iyer, "Bioreactor for Developing Tissue Engineered Mitral
Valve Chordae under Applied Tension"
- 2nd prize: Peman Montazemi, "Control of Movement using Spinal-Like Regulators"
- 3rd prize: Wenli Wang, "Cardiac Autonomic Function of Mild Sleep-Disordered Breathing"
click on the image to download a pdf copy of the proceedings.
The day's presentations were supported and observed by members of the area’s
biomed industrial companies, including Advanced Bionics, Amgen, Medtronic-Minimed,
Vivometrics, Midmark Diagnostics Group, and Second Sight.
Supporting organizations included the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biomimetic
MicroElectronic Systems, the Alfred Mann Institute, the Neuroscience Graduate
Forum, the USC Engineering Graduate Student Association, the USC Graduate and
Professional Senate, and the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency
Control student chapter.
Members of the 9th Grodins Committee, which orgainized the event, were Zexun
(Susan) Zhou, Winston Tran, Aditi Ray, Zheng Lin, Emanuel Gottlieb, and Bardia
The department of biomedical engineering is now home to 14 professors, 180 graduate
students, and 248 undergraduates,
Biomed's Designing Women: Clockwise from lower left: Neha Parikh, Yalin Yuksel, Rachel Bitton, Ronalee
Lo, and Aarti Shetty discuss their research in the student poster session.