Student Profile in Medical Image Analysis
How did you become interested in science and/or research?
My interest in scientific research started in the last year of my undergraduate when I worked with Dr. Xuanqin Mou for my thesis at Xi'an Jiaotong University. I worked on dental cone-beam CT reconstruction and noise reduction at that time and used x-ray projection data collected from real clinic to evaluate our method. This was my first hands-on experience in medical image processing, and I started with the most basic image reconstruction algorithm 2-dimensional images and then implemented more advanced methods for 3-dimensional images. As a result, with projection and image domain denoising, our algorithm achieved better image quality than the reconstructed image from the original machine. My favorite aspect of this experience was the feeling of being challenged by the unknown and ultimately working toward the goal of generating a better medical image. I really enjoy this process.
Please describe your research.
My research projects are mainly about tumor radiotherapy outcome prediction, especially for head and neck cancers. With the clinical record and radiological imaging collected before cancer radiotherapy, we aim to build artificial intelligence methods to build models to predict the treatment outcome, such as tumor response and cancer recurrence-free survival, prior to treatment with conventional methods. These prediction models can assist physicians to make better-personalized treatment plans, which have the potential to improve the treatment outcome and post-treatment quality of life for cancer patients.
Why did you choose UT Southwestern?
I know UTSW from my mentor for my master's degree. She had worked at UTSW for two years as a visiting scholar, and she highly recommended me to apply here. Just the same as what she said, UT Southwestern offers a unique combination of both graduate school and professional health care school in one medical center, and this combination makes scientific research performed here to be highly translatable. This is particularly attractive to me and is the most important reason why I chose UTSW.
What do you think makes the Biomedical Engineering Program one of the best?
Since I have been a student here, our Biomedical Engineering Program has seen continued growth, and exciting findings are consistently published in the top academic journals. Recently, we have a new 150,000-square-foot Texas Instruments Biomedical Engineering and Sciences Building collaborated with UT Dallas under construction, which will enable faculty members and students from both UTSW and UT Dallas to attain a critical mass of investigators with complementary expertise needed to uncover new biological phenomena, understand human health, and improve treatment outcomes.
– Kai Wang, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program