Kai Wu and Hamza Farooq Awarded Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is proud to announce that two of our doctoral students have been awarded the highly coveted Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year, by the University of Minnesota. The ECE awardees are doctoral candidates Hamza Farooq and Kai Wu. The award honors their excellence in their academic work, as well the professional promise they hold in their fields of specialty.

Kai’s research is titled “Giant Magnetoresistance-based Biosensing Device for Virus and Veterinary Disease Early Detection and Prevention.” ECE faculty Prof. Jian-Ping Wang’s group has successfully detected protein biomarkers for variety of human diseases such as lung and prostate cancers, and heart disease, besides environmental issues such as mercury pollution, using the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) based biosensing system. Kai’s work focuses on viral hemorrhagic septicemia and influenza type A virii. The goal is to bring accurate and sensitive biosensing equipment to non-lab settings such as clinics and homes. The GMR biosensor is expected to be an easy-to-use handheld device that can test for multiple diseases in a single step using a single body fluid sample. Kai Wu is a doctoral candidate working under the guidance of Prof. Jian-Ping Wang.

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship honors Kai Wu and Hamza Farooq for their academic excellence and professional promise in the area of diagnostic research.

Hamza’s research is titled “Brain Tissue Microstructure Imaging by Multi-compartment Models Estimation from Diffusion MRI Data.” His work focuses on estimating brain tissue microstructure from diffusion MRI data. Diffusion MRI detects patterns of water molecules diffusing inside brain tissue and can help characterize the microstructure of the tissue. A critical part of the process is to fit bio-physical models of brain tissue to the data. Additionally, current diffusion MRI data-acquisition protocols can be significantly optimized to improve the microstructure detection procedure. Hamza’s research will address these issues and will have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis related to brain tissue, and non-invasive methods of exploring tissue structural development. Hamza is a Fulbright Fellow and is working under the guidance of Prof. Tryphon Georgiou (ECE), co-advised by Prof. Christophe Lenglet.