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New Chair Named for Electrical and Computer Engineering

By: 

Lindsay Lewis
Roysam
Roysam

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Roysam to boost neuroscience research at UH.

The University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering has named Badrinath "Badri" Roysam from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute the new chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering, effective Oct. 1. In addition to his administrative role, Roysam will serve as Hugh and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor.

"Dr. Roysam brings a wealth of experience, expertise and fresh ideas to our programs," said Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean and Professor. "We are excited to have him lead our largest department."

Roysam currently serves as professor of electrical, computer and systems engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's School of Engineering. He is the associate director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, and co-director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software.

“I was impressed by the dynamism of the leadership at UH, especially Dean Tedesco, Provost Antel and President Khator” said Roysam. “I hope to chart a new course for the ECE department that will significantly elevate the department’s standing by focusing on the signature thrust areas in energy and biomedicine. Houston offers unique opportunities in both of these areas.”

Much of Roysam's federally-funded research supports his study of algorithms and high-speed computing for imaging and image analysis with applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. Specifically, he is working on the tissue reactive response to implanted neuroprosthetic devices, mapping of gene transcription activity, automated neuron and vessel tracing, biological image change analysis, laser retinal surgery and assay automation.

Currently, Roysam is the principal investigator of a $2.4 million National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Partnerships grant as well as a $5.4 million Histology for Interface Stability over Time (HIST) grant to study brain tissue surrounding neuroprosthetic devices from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

In addition to grant funding from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, NIH and the U.S. Army, his research is supported by private foundations such as Cure Huntington's Disease Initiative and by various corporations including Siemens, MBF Biosciences and the Pfizer Alliance.

Beyond research, Roysam is actively involved with K-12 outreach as well as with his graduate and undergraduate students. In fact, one of his student teams recently scored the top spot at the DIADEM Challenge for automated tracing of neuroanatomy. The DIADEM Challenge is a competition for computational and experimental scientists to develop computational algorithms to advance neuroscience research.

Roysam received a B. Tech. in electronics engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1984, and an M.S. and D. Sc. in electrical engineering from Washington University, St. Louis in 1987 and 1989, respectively.

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