Engineering Organizations Present Professor With High Honors


Erin D. McKenzie

Two engineering organizations earlier this year presented awards to Kirill V. Larin, assistant professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering, for achievements in his biomedical optics and imaging research.

The 2008 Outstanding Young Scientist Award was presented to Larin in February by the Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology. The award recognized him for significant success in his first five years of research.

In April, his achievements were honored again with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Herbert Allen Award, given yearly to an engineer 35 years of age or younger.

“I’m very proud,” Larin said, gesturing to the two new plaques hanging in his office. “It’s a great recognition of my research and efforts at the university.”

Larin, who is nearing his fourth year as a UH faculty member, is in the midst of a number of research projects. His most recent is research into the creation of noninvasive structural and functional imaging that would allow doctors and scientists to view the developing heart and vascular systems of embryos.

About one percent of embryos have a cardiac abnormality that develops in the womb, he said. His research sets out to find a procedure to better identify these problems by studying mice embryos using an optical coherence tomography technique – a non-contact, non-invasive method used to obtain high-resolution images.

In addition to this research, Larin is also developing an imaging device that could increase the success of patients attempting to have children through in vitro fertilization. The non-invasive, laser-based device will be able to better determine viable embryos for implantation into patients, helping to reduce miscarriages. The two projects are among about six he is currently working on. All were contributors to his most recent awards.

Larin received his master’s degree in laser physics and mathematics in 1995 from Saratov State University, Russia and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2002.


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