Dr. Kristen Maitland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. She has been awarded the NSF CAREER Award, the TEES Select Young Faculty Award, and is a Senior Member of SPIE and IEEE. Her research focuses on the development of optical instrumentation for improved detection and diagnosis of disease, primarily cancer and bacterial infection.
To improve detection of early cancer, Dr. Maitland’s lab has developed a multi-scale multi-modal optical imaging system currently being evaluated in a clinical trial. Fluorescence lifetime imaging is used for macroscopic guidance, followed by reflectance confocal microscopic detection of cellular changes associated with precancer development. Technical advances focus on miniaturization of the device and increased scanning speed using a tunable focus lens or spectral encoding of depth. This research is supported by the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Maitland is developing optical sensing and imaging technologies to enable rapid diagnosis of bacterial infection, specifically tuberculosis. Optical fibers are used to excite fluorescence of novel near-infrared optical reporters inside the lung to detect and measure levels of bacterial infection. Fluorescence signal can either be detected from outside the body in small animals or through an optical fiber or fiber microendoscope. This research is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Maitland received her B.S. and M.S degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin as an NSF IGERT Research Fellow. Before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University in 2008, she served as Staff Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.