In memoriam: Manbir Singh, 67
Manbir Singh, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, died during the winter break while visiting family in India. He was 67.
A memorial for Singh will be held on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Vineyard Room at the Davidson Continuing Education Center.
“He was a giving and passionate colleague and teacher,” said Norberto Grzywacz, holder of the Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “You could see a reflection of his passion for research and teaching in the high level of his graduate students’ work. And his biomedical imaging classes were among the most loved in the department.”
Born Oct. 7, 1945 in Amritsar, India, Singh earned his Ph.D. in physics from UCLA in 1971, before conducting his postdoctoral studies in biomedical physics at UCLA’s Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology.
He later spent one year as a Visiting Scholar of the American Heart Association at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he conducted the first studies in single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). He joined the Department of Radiology at USC in 1977 and received an appointment in biomedical engineering in 1988.
Singh pioneered the use of SPECT to detect and quantify acute myocardial infarctions in three dimensions and was one of the first investigators to demonstrate the synergism of CT scans and nuclear medicine SPECT imaging in detecting and visualizing both the anatomy and function of the heart.
He was the nationally elected AdCom representative for Nuclear Medical Sciences in the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Society (NPSS) from 1986 to 1989, co-founder of the IEEE Medical Imaging Conference in 1990, the technical chair for nuclear medical sciences within IEEE NPSS from 1991 to 1993 and scientific program chair of the 1992 and 1993 IEEE Medical Imaging conferences.
His latest interests were in functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography with applications of DTI to Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injuries. He was founder and director of the neuroimaging core at USC, which develops new methodology in functional MRI and DTI.
Singh also was founding director of the graduate program in biomedical imaging in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
He is survived by wife, Heidi, and son Kabir.