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Erin Buckley, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, received a Hidden Gem Award from the Emory University School of Medicine. This award recognizes faculty members who have been nominated by their departments in recognition of their outstanding, but often unnoticed or unrecognized, contributions to Emory.


“In addition to her excellent research activities, Erin Buckley served as co-chair of the Coulter biomedical engineering department’s Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion (CD&I) Committee, and created new training modules focused on “Lab Culture,” said Susan Margulies, chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech.


Buckley’s laboratory is currently focused on improving clinical outcomes in pediatric patients at high-risk for brain injury. Her lab studies the brain using two novel optical techniques known as diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) and frequency domain near-infrared spectroscopy (FDNIRS). When combined, these non-invasive optical techniques can be used to quantify cerebral oxygenation, blood volume, blood flow, and oxygen metabolism.


In October, 2019, physicsworld, recognized her work to improve the assessment of cerebral blood flow in children with sickle cell disease using low-cost, non-invasive diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS). In Buckley’s view, DCS offers numerous other advantages over traditional neuroimaging modalities that measure brain blood flow. To begin with, she highlights the fact that the manufacturing cost of a DCS system – in the region of $40,000 for the system used in the study – is orders of magnitude lower in cost than positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).