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Work experience

Oct 2009Oct 2010

Postdoctoral Associate

Duke University-Dr. Adam Wax

-Co-developed combined optical coherence tomography (OCT) and confocal imaging system

-Measured fluorescent properties of active pharmaceutical ingredients in microbicidal gels

-Revised OCT software (Labview) for increased efficiency and real-time scanning displays

-Utilized both free space and fiber optics into coregistered system for potential in vivo use

May 2009Oct 2009

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Missouri-Dr. John Viator

-Improved efficiency of optical device for photoacoustic sensing of circulating tumor cells (metastatic melanoma)-Developed protocol for blind study of binary detection of melanoma among white blood cells

-Collaborated with physicians, statisticians, and other engineers for project design

-Supervised and mentored undergraduate and graduate researchers

Jun 2005May 2009

Life Sciences Predoctoral Fellow

University of Missouri-Dr. Mark Haidekker

-Designed fully-automated confocal scanner to use as a method of quality control for tissue engineered cell sheets-Incorporated lasers, fiber optics, polarizers, free space optics, and detectors into final design-Assisted in programming firmware (microcontroller assembly language) and software (C language) for the scanner-Utilized engineering design incorporating AutoCAD, basic mill/lathe experience, and technical circuit layout and soldering

Jan 2005Jul 2005

Non-Degree Graduate Research Assistant

University of Missouri-Dr. Xudong Fan

-Designed and assembled inert atmosphere/vacuum system for manufacture of quantum dots-Worked to refine manufacturing process of quantum dots for research purposes-Characterized fluorescent properties of the manufactured quantum dots

Feb 2003Dec 2004

Undergraduate Research Assistant

University of Missouri-Dr. Andrew McClellan

-Carried out own experiments to image active brain neurons on larval lamprey-Imaged lamprey brain neurons using fluorescent calcium tracer loaded by pressure ejection or retrograde transport-Stimulated and identified active neurons using image processing techniques on dissected lamprey brains



Computer Aided Design
Proficient in AutoCAD; currently learning Solidworks
Image Processing
Frequently use predefined image processing techniques in image analysis.  Programs include ImageJ and Matlab.
Chemical and Inert Atmosphere Use
Used inert atmosphere system for manufacture of quantum dots
Occasionally did own mill and lathe work (both desktop size and full size machines) 
Can edit existing programs in C and microcontroller assembly language.  Can also program in Matlab and LabVIEW.  Familiar with Monte Carlo for mulit-layered media (MCML).
Prototype Design
Built diagnostic devices from idea to practice
Fluorescent Imaging
Used fluorescent imaging techniques for neuron firing detection in larval lamprey.  Built device combining optical coherence tomography and fluorescent confocal microscopy
Optical System Design
Frequently use fiber optics, laser, detectors, polarizers, and traditional free space optics

Selected Posters

Research Video

Honors and Awards

2008-Fourth Annual Trulaske Collage of Business New Venture Idea Competition

1st Place, Non-profit, Graduate

2008-MU Life Sciences Week Poster Competition

Honorable Mention, Translational Technologies

2007-Outstanding Graduate Student in Biological Engineering

2007-MU Life Sciences Week 

Poster Competition

1st Place, Biotechnology

2005-Life Sciences Predoctoral Fellowship

2004-Engineers' Week King Candidate

2004-Lloyd E. Hightower Endowed Fund in Engineering

2003-Ralph Coatsworth Engineering Scholarship Fund

2002-Engineering Development Sophomore Scholarship

2002-Alumni (Supp.) Scholarship [Agriculture Engineers of Missouri]

2001-Dwayne C. Smith Scholarship

2001-2004-Alumni Excellence Award (4 years)

Multiple Semesters-Dean's List

Publications and Presentations

M. Rinehart, J. LaCroix, M. Henderson, D. Katz, A. Wax, Simultaneous Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography for in vivo Drug Distribution and Tissue Integrity Assessment, SPIE Photonics West,San Francisco, CA, Jan 2011. (submitted)

A. Drewery, J. LaCroix, P. Yu, Photorefractive Two-Wave Mixing for Adaptive Coherence Domain Detections, Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science XXVI Conference, Rochester, NY, Oct 2010. (accepted podium)

T. Drake, M. Rinehart, K.H. Kim, J. LaCroix, M. Henderson, M. DeSoto, D. Katz, A. Wax, Simultaneous Optical Detection of Intravaginal Gel Coating, Dilution, Drug Distribution, and Tissue Integrity in Women, International Microbicides Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2010. (podium)

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, Quantifying Light Scattering with Single-Mode Fiber-Optic Confocal Microscopy.  BMC Medical Imaging.  2009, 9:19.  View Online 

J.T. LaCroix, J.J. Xia, and M.A. Haidekker, A Fully Automated Approach to Quantitatively Determine Thickness of Tissue-Engineered Cell Sheets.Ann Biomed Eng. 2009; Jul 37(7):1348-57.(Featured in View Online

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, A Single-Mode Fiber-Optic Confocal Microscope to Determine Effects of Scattering on Tissue Phantoms, Poster presented at the annual University of Missouri Life Sciences Week Poster Session, Columbia, MO, April 2009. (poster)

J.T. LaCroix, J.J. Xia, and M.A. Haidekker, Quantifying Tissue-Engineered Cell Sheets Using a Fully Automated Confocal Scanner,St. Louis, MO, Poster presented at the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Oct. 2008. View (poster)

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, Quantitative Measurement of Tissue-Engineered Sheets Using Reflectance Confocal Microscopy, Poster presented at the annual University of Missouri Life Sciences Week Poster Session, Columbia, MO, April, 2008. (poster)

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, Prototype Confocal Scanner for Tissue-Engineered Blood Vessels, Poster presented at the annual University of Missouri Life Sciences Week Poster Session, Columbia, MO, April, 2007. View (poster)

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, Development of a Large-Area Confocal Scanner for Use with Tissue-Engineered Sheets, St. Louis, MO, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Institute of Biological Engineering, Mar 2007. View (podium)

J.T. LaCroix, M.A. Haidekker, Confocal Scanner for Quality Control of Tissue-Engineered Sheets, Tucson, AZ, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Institute of Biological Engineering, Mar 2006. (podium)

J.T. LaCroix, J. Barnhill, and A. Smith, A Laser Spectroscopy Lab for a Graduate-level Bio-optics Class, Presented as senior capstone design project at the University of Missouri Department of Biological Engineering, December 2004.

J.T. LaCroix, A.D. McClellan, Using calcium imaging to monitor activity in reticulospinal neurons of the lamprey locomotor system, Poster presented at the annual University of Missouri Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium, Columbia, MO, August, 2003. (poster)

Activities and Memberships

2009 (initiated)-Sigma Xi

  • The Scientific Research Society

2008-2009-BE Graduate Student Club

  • Organization for graduate students in the MU Biological Engineering Department

2004-2005-St. Pat's Board

2003 (initiated)-Alpha Epsilon

  • Honor's in Biological and Agriculture Enginering

2003 (initiated)-Tau Beta Pi

  • Engineering Honor's Society

2002-2006-Student Athletic Board

  • Student support group for all MU athletics branched from the MU athletic department

2001-2004-Biological Engineer's Club

  • Organization to acclimate Biological Engineers to career opportunities