Alumni Spotlight: Katherine Ferrara '89
Distinguished Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, ‘89
Katherine Ferrara is distinguished professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis whose research has pioneered using ultrasound to image cancer and heart disease. Her laboratory is known for early work in aspects of ultrasonics and has more recently expanded their focus to broadly investigate molecular imaging and drug delivery. Ferrara received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Sacramento State, and was a project engineer for General Electric Medical Systems, working on the development of magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound systems, before completing her doctoral degree in electrical engineering at UC Davis. Ferrara was a faculty member at Sacramento State, Cornell University and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, before returning to UC Davis in 1999 to lead the new division of biomedical engineering. In 2001, the division became a full department, with Ferrara as founding chair. She was principal investigator on a $12 million award from the Whitaker Foundation, which made the early expansion of the department possible. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2014.