Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Faculty members from the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine have been named IEEE Fellows, the highest grade of IEEE membership recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, was recognized for his “contributions to the application of artificial intelligence methods in diabetic retinopathy.” Abramoff is the Robert C. Watzke, MD Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and a professor of biomedical engineering. His research on neuroscience, image analysis, machine learning and diabetes complications led to the creation of the first ever autonomous artificial intelligence approved by the FDA, which makes a medical diagnosis with human oversight. His research is primarily focused on the ethical and legal aspects of autonomous AI, while the company he founded and leads, IDx, focuses on improving patient outcomes through low cost, point of care, autonomous diagnostics and therapeutics for diabetic retinopathy and other diseases.

Joseph Reinhardt, PhD, was recognized for his “contributions to medical image processing and analysis.” Reinhardt is professor and chair of the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering and holds an additional appointment as a professor of radiology. His lab focuses on the use of advanced imaging techniques and image processing and analysis methods to study problems at the interfaces between engineering, medicine, and biology, with a particular emphasis on pulmonary image analysis. He is the image analysis group leader within the University of Iowa’s Institute for Biomedical Imaging. Reinhardt is also co-founder of a local medical imaging software company, VIDA Diagnostics.

Punam Saha, PhD, was recognized for his “contributions to quantitative bone microstructural imaging and analysis.” Saha is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and radiology. His seminal works enabled segmentation and characterization of individual trabecular plates and rods from in vivo 3D bone imaging, which relate to bone-strength and fracture-risk. His methods are used as standard techniques for trabecular bone microarchitectural analysis by various leading research and clinical groups. His research interests include image processing and pattern recognition, quantitative medical imaging, musculoskeletal and pulmonary imaging, image restoration and segmentation, digital topology, geometry, shape and scale. 

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership.

About IEEE

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields and has developed more than 1300 active industry standards.  The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 1700 international technical conferences each year.  To learn more about IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit