Center for Research on Families Issues Dissertation Award to BME’s Mousa Moradi
Ph.D. candidate Mousa Moradi of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department has received a $1,000 Dissertation Award from the UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families (CRF) to support his groundbreaking research on the impact of skin pigmentation on the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings. The CRF offers Dissertation Awards to Ph.D. students enrolled at UMass Amherst who have demonstrated superior potential in any area of family research.
As the CRF explains, “One of the many ways we carry out our vision, to advance the health and well-being of all families, is through our student program offerings. The CRF offers Graduate Student Research Awards [including Dissertation Awards], Grant Writing Workshops, and a nine-month intensive Grant Writing Program. These programs recognize outstanding student research in the many fields that encompass family studies and support our mission to teach, mentor, and support family researchers throughout their careers.”
Moradi’s research is carried out under the direction of his mentor, BME Professor and Associate Department Head Yu Chen, in a study funded by the National Science Foundation. Moradi’s current study is focused on developing computational models that can investigate the impact of skin pigmentation on the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings and identify any possible associations between skin pigmentation and pulse oximetry accuracy.
The basic question that Moradi poses is, “Pulse oximetry and skin pigmentation: Is there any correlation?”
Moradi’s research will answer that critical question. “To do this,” as he explains, “we are using computation modeling to simulate the human index finger and a pulse oximeter which consists of a light emitter and a light detector that is positioned vertically with respect to each other.”
Moradi also observes that “This research on the impact of different races and skin colors on pulse oximetry readings can shed light on potential disparities in healthcare for different racial and ethnic groups, as well as lead to the development of more accurate and inclusive medical technologies.”
Moradi concludes that “By regulating and standardizing pulse oximetry measurements, families from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds can receive more equitable healthcare and improved health outcomes.”
Moradi works in the lab of Professor Chen, which operates multidisciplinary biomedical engineering research programs focusing on the development of novel optical imaging methods for biomedical applications, including functional neuroimaging, early cancer detection, transplant-organ evaluation, and tissue engineering. (July 2023)