UTHSC’s DiBianca Wins Marconi Science Award

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Frank DiBianca, PhD, was presented the Marconi Science Award on March 17 in St. Louis by UNICO National, the largest Italian-American service organization in the country.

Frank DiBianca, PhD, was presented the Marconi Science Award on March 17 in St. Louis by UNICO National, the largest Italian-American service organization in the country. Dr. DiBianca is professor of biomedical engineering and imaging and holds the Children’s Foundation of Memphis Chair of Excellence at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Every year since 1995, UNICO has selected a living scientist who exemplifies Marconi’s vast scientific and creative accomplishments through his or her own life achievements. Dr. DiBianca was the principal designer of the General Electric 9800 CT scanner, which has examined approximately 100 million patients since its introduction in 1981. In addition, he designed the first digital radiography system for CT scanners, which allowed a new class of CT exams to be conducted, including spinal disc exams. He also invented two new types of X-ray detectors, the Kinestatic Charge Detector and the Variable-Resolution X-ray Detector. Over his more than 45-year career, Dr. DiBianca has garnered more than 20 United States and international patents.

In addition to his inventions, he founded several professional organizations including the Tennessee Biomedical Engineering Consortium. Dr. DiBianca was named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 1992.

One of Dr. DiBianca’s most lasting contributions as the former dean of the College of Health Science Engineering was his leadership in bringing two national events to Memphis: the James Gibb Johnson Distinguished Visiting Lectureship and the Memphis BioImaging Symposium. “Dr. DiBianca’s efforts have significantly contributed to Memphis’ growing reputation as a leading biotech center. He has been integral to putting our city on the map,” said Gary Keyes, PhD, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging.

Educated at some of the nation’s top technological institutions, Dr. DiBianca holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from Carnegie-Mellon University. He also completed three years of postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve University.