Empathic imaging system design for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment planning

Speaker Name: 
Shiva Abbaszadeh
Speaker Title: 
Assistant Professor
Speaker Organization: 
Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Start Time: 
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 1:00pm
Ali Yanik

Abstract: Positron emission tomography (PET) is a type of functional imaging that allows noninvasive study of metabolism, molecular interactions, and molecular pathways within the human body. Novel tracers are continuously being studied to target disease-specific biomarkers for more accurate and sensitive detection of diseases. In this talk, I will introduce PET imaging and discuss the challenges in head and neck cancer management. Then, I will describe our efforts to develop a high spatial resolution and high sensitivity organ-specific PET scanner to aid in diagnosis and treatment. Signal analysis methods to improve sensitivity and correct image artifacts will also be discussed. For successful translation of this technology to the clinic, an empathy-driven system design was chosen. The availability of such a system could prevent unnecessary interventions and significantly improve patient outcome.



Bio: Shiva Abbaszadeh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering. She received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and developed robust, high sensitivity detectors for medical imaging and chemical analysis. She then joined Dr. Craig Levin’s group at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow where she developed a molecular imaging system and data processing algorithms to improve image quality. Dr. Abbaszadeh’s lab at UIUC develops tools for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment. These tools are geared towards addressing unmet needs in the lab, clinic, or the patient’s home, and leverage advances in nanotechology, biosensors, and artificial intelligence. The developed technology and associated signal processing algorithms can also be applied to visualize disease signatures, assess impact of therapy, and gain better understanding of molecular interactions.