The Harrison H. and Catherine C. Barrett Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences for Cancer Imaging was established by Dr. and Mrs. Harry and Cathy Barrett to support a faculty position with Wyant College of Optical Sciences and with a membership in the University of Arizona Cancer Center.
Harry Barrett received a BS in Physics from Virginia Polytechnic institute in 1960, an MS in Physics from MIT in 1962, and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 1969. During his time at Harvard, he worked in the Raytheon Research Division. After graduating with his PhD, he accepted an offer from the University of Arizona where he held positions with the Wyant College of Optical Sciences, the Arizona Cancer Center and the College of Medicine (Radiology/Medical Imaging) as well as with the Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics departments.
As a UA Regents Professor, Harry is widely recognized for his mentorship and remarkable dedication to his students. He is considered an icon in the theory and application of image science. During his 44-year career at UArizona, he advised 64 PhD students and published over three hundred technical papers. He also received 29 U.S. patents for his innovative work in image science. His research on the underlying physics and mathematics of image quality assessment has revolutionized the evaluation of medical imaging systems. His award-winning book, Foundations of Image Science, coauthored with his student Dr. Kyle J. Myers, has become a highly-cited reference in the optics field.
In 2014, Harry was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his “contributions to the physical and statistical foundations and applications of radiological and nuclear medical imaging.” Other awards earned included the Humboldt Prize, IEEE Medical Imaging Scientist Award, Optica’s C.E.K. Mees Medal in 2005, the first Optica/SPIE Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award (with K. J. Meyers), and the SPIE Gold Medal in 2011.
Cathy graduated from Nazareth College in Nazareth, Kentucky with a degree in business. Upon moving to Tucson with Harry and family in 1974, she held various professional and philanthropic positions. She was the editor of the "Journal of the Optical Society of America" and traveled to Belize to build a house for an elderly woman and to Belarus to provide aid to the children of Chernobyl.
Known for their worldwide travel and trekking adventures, Harry and Cathy Barrett were married for over 60 years.
Harrison H. and Catherine C. Barrett Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences for Cancer Imaging Chair Holder
2022 - current