October 27, 2022

Jennifer Blain Christen is an associate professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, where she teaches students about circuits and supervises electrical engineering research. doing. In addition to many of her ASU faculty duties, she maintains involvement in professional organizations and runs her ventures, startups focused on rapid, low-cost medical diagnostics.

Blaine Kristen’s achievements in teaching, research and volunteering to improve society through engineering and technology professional groups are a natural fit for the 2022-2023 Joseph C. Pare Fellowship Award. was.
A portrait of ASU Associate Professor Jennifer Blain Christen posing with an award.Jennifer Blain Christen, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, received the 2022 Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Facility Scholar Award. Named after Joseph Pare, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, the recipients are selected annually from within the Arizona State University School of Electrical Engineering for outstanding achievement in research, teaching, and community service.Photo by Erica Groneck/ASU
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“I am extremely shocked and honored to have been selected,” she says.

The Pare Prize was established in 2016 by the namesake Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Joseph Pare, to recognize electrical, computer and energy engineering faculty who have demonstrated overall excellence in research, teaching and community service. To do.

“Jennifer is inspiring microelectronics research into devices that can save lives and improve the health of society,” says school director Stephen Phillips. “She is a great example of how our faculty can create a brighter future for people around the world.”

Health promotion through electrical engineering research

Blain Christen joined ASU in 2008 as an Assistant Professor. She directs her BioElectrical Systems and Technology Group at her ASU, which conducts research into developing bioelectronics to improve human health.

The group is now working on adapting portable point-of-care diagnostic systems to detect new diseases, such as viruses, as they are discovered. Another device the team created monitors infants in the first hours of life to improve detection of neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy. The goal is to use this early detection to improve medical care and improve quality of life for infants born with these neurological disorders.

“Having gone through three very different and complicated births and having a cousin very close to my age with cerebral palsy, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work on a project that means so much to me. says Blaine Kristen.

She also co-directs both the undergraduate and teacher research experience programs at ASU’s Sensor Signal and Information Processing Center (SenSIP). This program provides students and teachers with cutting-edge research experience in machine learning, sensors, and signal processing, including data processing such as medical imaging and physiological measurements.

Blain Christen also volunteers with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She is Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems and chairs groups within IEEE. Women in circuits and systems, supporting career development for those early in their careers in electrical engineering, especially women and minorities. The Biomedical and Life Sciences Circuits and Systems Technical Committee encourages advances in biomedical electronics.

design a better future for mankind

ASU electrical engineering professor Michael Kozicki, who nominated Blaine Christen for the Palais Prize, said she deserves recognition for her contributions to electrical engineering and her concern for people.

“She is not only a seasoned researcher, an excellent teacher, a leader, an entrepreneur, a consummate professional who serves her community with enthusiasm and diligence, but also a very few people. We care about people the way we do,” says Kozicki. “She is generous and generous with her time and effort.”

Since childhood, Blaine Kristen wanted to help others with her career. But while public service professions like teachers, nurses, and paramedics might come to mind first as a way to serve society, Blaine Kristen was more inclined towards electronics and computers. Her desire to help others combined with her passion for electronics led to her electrical engineering career focused on improving healthcare.

“It’s been a journey to understand how the two can be combined, and I feel like I’ve found the answer,” she says. “I am very honored to have been given the opportunity to achieve my goals.”

entrepreneur electrician

Outside of his work at ASU, Blain Christen co-founded FlexBioTech. FlexBioTech is a startup that uses HIS DNA and RNA biomarkers in saliva to develop low-cost, portable diagnostics for cancer and infectious diseases such as HIS COVID-19. Blaine Kristen and her startup won People’s Choice Award in the University of Washington’s Department of Medical Technology at her 2022 Equalize Business Pitch Contest in St. Louis, which aims to advance female entrepreneurship in academia. .

The goal of diagnostic devices is to efficiently replace resource-intensive and expensive medical tests such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) used to accurately diagnose COVID-19. These portable diagnostics are intended to assist people in communities without access to a well-developed medical infrastructure.

Over the course of her career, Blaine Kristen’s work has also earned her the Flynn Foundation Translational Research Seed Grant Award and the Fulton Entrepreneur Professor Award.

Encourage the next generation of electrical engineering

In addition to Blain Christen’s awards, professional organizational service, and research leadership, students also enjoy learning from her. Her Vi Nguyen, a biomedical engineering doctoral student doing medical diagnostics research with Blaine Kristen, appreciates her teaching methods.

“As a mentor, Dr. Blaine Christen is easygoing and listens to the thoughts and concerns of all students,” says Nguyen. “She is kind, humble, caring and the epitome of a really good professor.”

Blaine Kristen also enjoys mentoring and teaching students about the opportunities available and encourages them to do what they believe is impossible.

“One of my best moments as an educator was when I saw a comment from a young black woman who said she always thought she had to choose between getting a PhD and becoming a mother. says Blaine Kristen. “She told me that after I brought the kids to a social event for a research experience program for summer undergraduates and saw how I was able to lead the research team, she no longer had a choice. I said I didn’t feel the need.”

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