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Monday, July 08, 2013 - OU professor earns NSF grant for medical research
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant


Gopalan Srinivasan, Ph.D., has been awarded a three-year $345,000 grant from the National Science Foundation that will support research into streamlining innovative medical imaging procedures.

The research will focus on emerging technologies known as Magnetocardiography (MCG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) that help diagnose conditions such as arrhythmia, migraine headaches, and epilepsy. Current procedures utilize superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) sensors to detect the magnetic fields associated with the heart and neural activities.

These sensors pose a number of difficulties for researchers, mainly their unwieldy size and cost. Dr. Srinivasan’s work will pursue alternatives that minimize those concerns.

“Our efforts will focus on the synthesis of novel ultra-sensitive magnetic sensors made of magneto-electric composites and miniaturization of the sensors for imaging applications,” said Dr. Srinivasan, a distinguished professor of physics.

His colleague, Hongwei Qu, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering, is co-principal investigator on the project. The pair will work to develop miniature, low-cost, room-temperature sensors that could potentially replace SQUIDs for medical imaging. The investigators plan to collaborate on the imaging aspects of the project with the Neurology Department at Henry Ford Hospital.

Additionally, Dr. Srinivasan has obtained external funding from the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, and the Petroleum Research Fund to support undergraduate research on magnetic materials. His research has attracted more than $4.9 million in grant awards to date.

Dr. Srinivasan joined the OU faculty in 1988 in the Department of Physics and quickly cemented a reputation as an outstanding teacher and prominent researcher. At OU, Dr. Srinivasan’s laboratory supports researchers ranging from visiting professors to undergraduates. In addition, Dr. Srinivasan mentors high school students performing original research in Materials Science during summer programs.

Oakland’s School of Engineering and Computer Science supports programs in the Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering departments. To learn more about courses and research opportunities, view the website at oakland.edu/secs.

Dr. Srinivasan holds four patents, has contributed more than 240 refereed journal articles and wrote or contributed to nine books. His collaborators include prominent researchers from the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Alabama and University of Illinois. Researchers from India, China, Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine also have contributed to his programs.

To learn more about the research of Oakland faculty and students, view the website at oakland.edu/research.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.