Applegate wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Brian E. Applegate, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).Photo Dr. Brian E. Applegate

NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality in the broadest sense. Through the program, NSF emphasizes the importance of the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Applegate received his CAREER Award for his project, " Development of Multiphoton Photoacoustic Microscopy for High-Resolution Imaging."

The proposed work is to develop novel molecular imaging modalities based on photoacoustic emission after multi-photon absorption.  Ultrasonic detection of the photoacoustic signal promises to enable cellular and subcellular molecular imaging at much greater depth in tissue than is currently possible with nonlinear microscopy.

Applegate received his B.S. from Wright State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, all in chemistry. His graduate work focused on experimental and theoretical elucidation of the spectroscopy and molecular dynamics of transient molecular radicals.

Applegate completed two postdoctoral fellowships before joining the faculty at Texas A&M in 2006. The first, in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focused on the study of water cluster formation in super fluid helium nanodroplets. The second was in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University where he was awarded a National Institutes of Health NRSA postdoctoral fellowship to support research in developing molecular imaging techniques for optical coherence tomography. Applegate is co-holder of a U.S. patent for the molecular imaging techniques developed as part of this award.

Applegate's current research interests include the development of new molecular imaging techniques that target important biomolecular species that cannot be imaged using current state of the art techniques. He is also interested in the continued development of optical coherence tomography and its phase microscopy derivatives. The ultimate goal of this work is to produce innovative imaging techniques and use them as research instruments to help elucidate the development, progression, and treatment of disease as well as for clinical diagnostic and monitoring tools.