National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) commemorates decade of innovation

July / August 2012 | Volume 11, Issue 4

A decade of innovation was celebrated as the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) marked its tenth anniversary with a symposium and technology showcase on the NIH campus.

The NIBIB was established to carry out and support research that would improve the detection, treatment and prevention of disease. By assembling diverse teams of scientists and engineers, NIBIB has fostered cutting-edge medical therapies and technologies.

Open briefcase shows padding, wrapped up inside is wires with a fiber-optic probe
Photo courtesy of Rice University

To mark its 10th anniversary, the NIH’s National
Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
Bioengineering celebrated innovative projects it
has supported, such as this portable, battery-
powered fiber-optic microscope that provides
accurate cervical cancer diagnoses in remote
settings.

One of the Institute's priorities highlighted during the symposium was the development of low-cost technologies that can improve health in low-resource settings. One product demonstrated was a battery-powered, portable, fiber-optic microscope that is bringing quick and accurate cervical cancer screening to women in China and Botswana. Women with HIV are particularly at risk but are often not diagnosed until the cancer is advanced. "Right at the point of care, you can have a diagnosis that is an accurate diagnosis and enables immediate outpatient therapy," according to Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum of Rice University, who developed the technology with NIBIB funding. Meanwhile, a palm-sized ultrasound imaging system - produced by General Electric with support from NIBIB - is helping identify medical problems in Tanzania and rural India.

In recognition of the NIBIB's many accomplishments, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution marking the anniversary. "The NIH is an engine in America's innovation economy," said Senator Barbara Mikulski, who represents Maryland. "And it is a hope for those with loved ones suffering from a disease or condition that has no cure. I'm proud to support research and innovation at the NIBIB creating new treatments and cures to save lives and keep families healthy."

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