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ECE Alum Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Amir Amini

Amir Amini

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering has announced the pending induction of UMass alumnus Amir A. Amini, a professor and holder of the Endowed Chair in Bioimaging, Electrical, and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisville, to its College of Fellows. The AIMBE College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. According to a national press release issued by the AIMBE, Dr. Amini was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellowsfor outstanding contributions to cardiovascular imaging, medical image analysis, and magnetic resonance imaging of flow and motion.”

Amini was recognized during a formal induction ceremony held during AIMBE’s 2017 Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, DC, on March 20. Among many other honors, Amini was also elected in 2006 as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

“An accomplishment very dear to my heart,” says Professor Amini about his celebrated career, “is that I was the youngest graduate of UMass in my graduating class!” 

Amini received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UMass Amherst with high honors when, at 18, he was the youngest graduate of the university. He then went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1984 and 1990 respectively. After postdoctoral work on biomedical imaging (1990-1992), he was on faculty member at Yale University as an assistant professor (1992-1996). He then moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where he was an assistant professor and later an associate professor with tenure (1996-2006).

Since 2006, Amini has been at the University of Louisville, where he directs the Medical Imaging Laboratory. His research focuses on the physics and mathematics of medical imaging, cardiovascular imaging, MRI of flow and motion, image-based cardiovascular mechanics, and mathematical image analysis. Research conducted at the medical imaging lab involves development of novel bioimaging methods for both acquisition and processing of medical images with the goal of obtaining quantitative information related to disease pathophysiology. The lab’s current focus of activities is in the areas of cardiovascular MRI and ultrasound, imaging of cerebrospinal fluid flow, as well as lung X-ray CT. For additional information about his research and publication record, please visit Dr. Amini's Google Scholar Page.

Dr. Amini's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and several private foundations. Dr. Amini is the recipient of the NIH FIRST Award in 1998 (equivalent to NSF Career Award) and University of Louisville Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning for his course on medical imaging. He has edited a number of books and proceedings and has five provisional or issued US patents. His latest NIH award, which started in the fall of 2016, addresses novel 4D flow imaging methods with MRI imaging. The review panel considered it the best among proposals under consideration.

In 2013, Amini received the Distinguished Lecturer Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He will chair the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2018), which will take place in Washington, DC. He was elected by IEEE to the EMBS North American membership and in 2016 to the EMBS Ad Com (EMBS leadership group) representing North America.

Upon learning that UMass Amherst was starting a Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, Amini declared that biomedical engineering is a unique field in that it draws on advances in other areas of engineering and basic sciences to advance diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

“The fields of tissue engineering, medical imaging, and biomechanics are prime examples which are rooted in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering,” says Amini. “I am excited to see my alma mater starting a BME department. This shows the university's commitment and interest in advancing the field of BME. The new department will be a hub of activity for applications of engineering to medicine on campus and will provide innumerable opportunities for faculty and students to make an impact. I would be delighted to provide input and help as needed.”

Amini adds that “The new department and its faculty will be poised to make a significant impact in research and education in the field of biomedical engineering.”

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering in order to advance society. (May 2017)