Jennifer Barton: OCT and fluorescence spectroscopy lead to early cancer detection tools
Jennifer Barton is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Optical Sciences, and Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona (UA). She has served as department head of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Vice President for Research, Interim Vice President for Research, and is currently Interim Director of the BIO5 Institute, a collaborative research institute dedicated to solving complex biology-based problems affecting humanity.
Barton received her BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and University of California Irvine, respectively. She worked for McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) on the Space Station program before returning to The University of Texas at Austin to obtain her PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1998.
At UA, Barton develops miniature endoscopes that combine multiple optical imaging techniques, particularly optical coherence tomography and fluorescence spectroscopy. She evaluates the suitability of these endoscopic techniques for detecting early cancer development in patients and pre-clinical models. She has a particular interest in the early detection of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological malignancy. Additionally, her research into light-tissue interaction and dynamic optical properties of blood laid the groundwork for a novel therapeutic laser to treat disorders of the skin’s blood vessels.
She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal papers in these research areas. She is a fellow of SPIE and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She is also a member of the SPIE Board of Directors.