Somaye Babaei is a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in bioengineering. Babaei's specific area of research is medical imaging.
She works in the Insana Lab under the supervision of Professor Michael Insana. She also collaborates with the Molecular Imaging Lab and Professor Wawrzyniec Dobrucki. Previously, she has collaborated with Professor Brad Sutton in the Magnetic Resonance Functional Imaging Lab and Professor Heidi Phillips in Veterinary Clinical Medicine.
Hometown: Shiraz, Iran
What kind of research are you working on?
I am working on non-contrast-enhanced approaches to improve Ultrasound Power Doppler imaging. It aims to develop novel acquisition and clutter filtering methods to enhance blood perfusion imaging using ultrasound.
Why is this important, and why do you find it interesting?
Ultrasound technique provides safe, affordable, and contrast agent-free imaging that can be used repeatedly on the patients. Besides, precise separation of blood and clutter signal leads to more accurate perfusion imaging, which can help early diagnosis of many diseases like cardiovascular, tumor growth, neuropathies, etc.
How has your affiliation with the Beckman Institute helped you?
The Beckman Institute provides a friendly, healthy, and interdisciplinary environment that leads to professional and collaborative work. It gives us loads of opportunities to be familiar with other groups' work through seminars and workshops. Besides all these scientific events that help you grow more quickly, Beckman Institute provides other activities like yoga time or escape rooms to remind you to pay attention to every aspect of your life.
What are your career plans?
I would like to continue my studies further and become a faculty member.
What do you like to do outside of the classroom or lab?
I love painting, photography, biking, and listening to horror and science-fiction audiobooks.
How did your work change during the stay-at-home order over COVID-19 concerns?
It was not easy, especially in the beginning, but we started doing some simulations during that time. Since my experiments involve animal studies, I got back to experiments after a while.
What has been the most challenging adjustment for you during the pandemic?
I was used to seeing my lab mates and friends every day so it was difficult for me not to see them and adjust myself to work from home.
What has been a hidden benefit of the stay-at-home order?
The stay-at-home order pushes me out of my comfort zone and I tried to adapt to new situations. I guess I know myself better now.