I am a doctoral student in Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, my research is with the Vanderbilt University Institute for Imaging Sciences (VUIIS). My interests range from materials science to detector physics and imaging science.
My research at Fisk University under the direction of Dr. Arnold Burger focused on a new scintillator, europium doped strontium iodide. The experiment was two-fold, first, to study the non-proportionality of the scintillator with increasing temperature; secondly, to study the non-proportionality at high energies. It is thought that scintillators could perform as well as semi-conductors if not for the non-proportionality factor.
The second experiment was done at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under the direction of Dr. Ann Parson and Dr. Suzanne Nowicki. This allowed us to test the scintillator at high gamma-ray energies, useful for applications such as high energy astrophysics and planetary exploration. These studies resulted in my first publication, with the help of my Vanderbilt co-advisors, Dr. Todd Peterson and Dr. Keivan Stassun. The article can be viewed here: Scintillation Properties of Strontium Iodide …
Currently I am working with high-purity gamma-ray detectors that are being designed for small-animal Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). SPECT is a type of nuclear medical imaging where two dimensional images are taken at many angles and then reconstructed into three dimensional images via a mathematical algorithm. Small-animal imaging allows for a range of important items, such as the testing of new technology, drug treatment, and imaging agents to name a few. The quality of the reconstructed SPECT image depends on many factors, particularly the energy and spatial resolution of the detector system. My work involves the characterization of these detectors and looking for the best combination of post-processing techniques to improve the spatial resolution of the detectors, which in turn will improve the image quality. The types of detectors that we use are provided by PHDs Co. A poster of my recent conference poster can be found here: Perea_IEEESeattleWA2014.
In November 2015 I was awarded the 2015 New Mexico TRiO Achiever Award from the Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs (SWASAP), watch my award speech here!: