UF Biomedical Engineer Honored as Leader in Diversity and Innovation

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This article was originally published on the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering website.

For Aysegul Gunduz, assistant professor in the University of Florida’s J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, forging new paths in the landscape of patient care is at the forefront of her research.

Her research strategy involves studying neural correlates of behavior and disease, and aftereffects of stimulation in neural networks to improve deep brain stimulation therapy.

For her biomedical research and commitment to diversity, Gunduz has been awarded the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award by the Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing.

The award recognizes a junior faculty member for high-quality research and significant positive impact on diversity.

“The Anita Borg Institute is thrilled to honor Dr. Aysegul Gunduz with the 2017 ABIE Award for The Denise Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award,” said Telle Whitney, the organization’s CEO and President. “Because of her groundbreaking biomechanical research and her evident commitment to promoting diversity in academia, Ayse[gul] serves as a role model for all women technologists.”

Gunduz and her team in the Brain Mapping Laboratory aim to translate neural biomarkers of disease into clinical diagnostic and therapeutic systems to improve the quality of life of those suffering from neurological disorders. Working with patients who undergo surgical treatment allows her team to capture the electrical wave patterns of the human brain, and the data are converted into a visual brain map. Gunduz and her team analyze the data to help patients with epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.

“There can be great pain and suffering for patients with neurological disorders,” Gunduz said. “Helping to understand the electrophysiological markers of a disease can help us develop more effective treatments to improve the quality of life for these patients.”

Connecting with women is another important factor in her leadership role in the department. Gunduz is the current president of the Association for Academic Women (AAW) at the University of Florida and has been involved since 2012.

The University of Florida Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering is a national leader in the number of women in our department. Aysegul Gunduz, Ph.D. was presented the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award at the conference for her research and impact on diversity.

Aysegul Gunduz, AAW, receives the UF Provost's Excellence Award for Assistant Professors

Terry Moore (left) and Aysegul Gunduz (right), both part of the American Association for Women, received the UF Provost’s Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, which recognizes research accomplishments by junior faculty members.