Fitzpatrick named Fellow of the IEEE

J. Michael Fitzpatrick, professor of computer science and computer engineering, has been named a Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) by the Board of Directors at its November 2010 meeting, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

According to the IEEE, the award recognizes “unusual distinction in the profession and is conferred by the board of directors on a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.” Fitzpatrick is being honored “for contributions to medical image registration and surgical navigation.”

Michael Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick also holds the titles of professor of neurological surgery and co-director of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Medical Image Processing Laboratory.

Fitzpatrick has focused his research on the significant problem of image registration, specifically within medical imaging. He has been involved in implementing engineering innovations for image-guided surgery at Vanderbilt for decades. Accurate registration of two (or more) clinical images, taken at different times or with different modalities is vitally important for subsequent diagnostic analysis or image-guided surgery.

Fitzpatrick has contributed major advances in this area, as well as a number of ancillary areas, for example, analysis validation, image-guided surgery, radiotherapy treatment planning, properties of MRI images, and construction of fiducial markers for various imaging modalities.

And, he was not only responsible for engineering a system for image-guided surgery, but also designed a component of the hardware, the image processing algorithms, and the validation strategy.

Fitzpatrick holds 14 patents, has published dozens of refereed journal papers, and with Milan Sonka, Fitzpatrick co-edited The Handbook of Medical Imaging; Volume 2, Medical Image Processing and Analysis (SPIE Press, 2000). This 1218-page tome is a landmark compendium on the status of medical imaging.

Fitzpatrick also is a Fellow of SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering and he received the 1997 Giovanni Di Chiro Award for Outstanding Scientific Research, Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography.

He received his B.S. degree in physics from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and his Ph.D. degree in physics from Florida State University in 1972. He received a M.S. degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina in 1982. He joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in 1982.