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Pennington Biomedical Introduces Director of Biomedical Imaging Center

Released: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Carmichael will head team using cutting-edge biomedical imaging

BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is proud to welcome Dr. Owen Carmichael as the director of the new Biomedical Imaging Center – one of the country’s only research-focused biomedical imaging facilities.

“Just as the microscope revolutionized medicine in the 20th century, biomedical imaging will be the critical tool that advances research on the chronic diseases of our time,” said Dr. William T. Cefalu, executive director of Pennington Biomedical.  “Our Biomedical Imaging Center is growing and Dr. Carmichael will be leading the effort to use its state-of-the-art resources to advance the study of the diseases affecting us today – diabetes, obesity, aging, dementia and related conditions.”

Dr. Carmichael will serve as an associate professor and as director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at Pennington Biomedical.  As director, he will provide collaborating scientists with state of the art capabilities for measuring the structure and function of bodily tissues using advanced technologies such as MRI, DEXA, and ultrasound; and he will work to expand and develop a multi-disciplinary clinical imaging research team. He will also lead a new research initiative that uses MRI to carefully measure the brain’s responses to food-related stimuli with the goal of understanding the role that the brain plays in the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes across the lifespan. 

Throughout his impressive career in research, Dr. Carmichael and his team have worked to develop new ways of looking at images of the brain.  They have used this information to better understand the processes of aging and metabolic disorders.  He will also be leading studies to advance research on understanding the factors related to the development of dementia.

“Pennington Biomedical already is a world leader in the study of obesity, diabetes and aging,” said Dr. Carmichael. “I hope to enhance research in these areas by providing investigators with new abilities to precisely and non-invasively measure brain function, body composition, and other properties that are crucial to our understanding of chronic diseases.  I also hope to extend my own studies of the effects of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders on the aging brain.”

Dr. Carmichael received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and doctorate in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.  He was a postdoctoral fellow in Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and most recently an associate professor at the University of California, Davis. 

Dr. Carmichael and his family were introduced in April at a special reception honoring community leaders John Turner and Jerry Fischer for their generous support of the biomedical imaging research program.  The reception also served to dedicate the Bert S. Turner Lobby within the Biomedical Imaging Center.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.