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Center Makes Inroads on AI in Medicine

Center Makes Inroads on AI in Medicine

In February, Anant Madabhushi was one of several presenters at the virtual event Think Showcase: The Next Generation of Healthcare. Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University, the three-day program highlighted new research and discoveries from university faculty members. Madabhushi shared how artificial intelligence can be a game changer for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“It was an honor to discuss ground-breaking research and innovations from our center members, showing tangible examples of how AI could move the needle forward in the area of precision oncology,” says Madabhushi, Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

As director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD), Madabhushi leads a team of more than 65 researchers who are developing and applying novel AI and machine learning approaches for the diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of therapy response for a variety of cancer indications, including breast, prostate, lung, head and neck, brain, colorectal, gynecologic and skin, as well as other diseases such as kidney, eye and cardiovascular disease. CCIPD’s clinical network and collaborations span six continents, with a strong foundation in Cleveland’s unique medical ecosystem.

The center’s impact and scope have grown exponentially since the first article on CCIPD appeared in the Biomedical Engineering Department newsletter in 2017. With 68 patents awarded – nearly one quarter of them in 2020 alone – the center actively seeks partners to translate its inventions from the lab to the clinical setting. Last year, CCIPD signed three research agreements with leading biopharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim. “The partnership with these pharmaceutical companies validates the work we do isn’t simply cutting-edge research in the area of computational imaging, but is truly relevant to pharmaceutical applications,” says Madabhushi.

In addition, the center recently appointed Christina Buzzy as director of research operations. Buzzy earned her doctorate degree in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University and served as assistant director of research programs at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center prior to joining CCIPD. In her new role, Buzzy will facilitate the synchronization of research efforts and resources in applying AI techniques to radiology and pathology imaging. “This unique role allows me to apply the translational research skills I have developed over the past 12 years at Case Western Reserve University to pave the path toward the design of AI clinical trials, which is an important next step for the center,” she says. “In order to demonstrate that CCIPD’s computer-aided decision support tools and image-based algorithms provide added value to the physician end users, we’ll need to do that in a prospective clinical setting.”

The expertise of CCIPD and Madabhushi is sought after throughout industry and government agencies. Earlier this year, Madabhushi was appointed to two scientific panels, joining the Food and Drug Administration’s Network of Digital Health Experts and the recently formed Scientific Advisory Panel for AI-based software company Aiforia.

While such appointments are rewarding, Madabhushi’s commitment to his life’s work doesn’t stem from a desire to boost his curriculum vitae. He is passionate about reducing health disparities by using AI to reveal population differences in biomarkers at the cellular level. For instance, there are differences in disease characteristics of Black men and white men with prostate cancer and differences between breast cancer appearance in South Asian women and white women in North America. 

“Cleveland has an amazing medical ecosystem, which is prime for the AI in medicine research that our center members are involved in. Unfortunately, the city also has a very poor record in terms of addressing health disparities,” says Madabhushi. “A major focus for CCIPD going forward will be the innovative use of AI to help directly address challenges in health disparities.”



CCIPD Research Garners Attention

In the past several months, the array of research conducted by the team at the Center for Personalized Imaging and Diagnostics has been presented in academic journals, industry publications and mainstream media. Here are a few highlights: 

Cleveland Clinic Consult QD
Retinal Leakage Pattern and Vascular Tortuosity May Predict Durability of Anti-VEGF Therapy
Crain’s Cleveland Business 
Artificial intelligence’s role in pandemic resource management
Health Beauty Daily
Blood Vessels Within the Eye Might Diagnose Parkinson’s Illness
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Novel, non-invasive imaging approach to identify patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer at risk of hyperprogressive disease with immune checkpoint blockade
The Lancet’s EBioMedicine Journal
A novel imaging based Nomogram for predicting post-surgical biochemical recurrence and adverse pathology of prostate cancer from pre-operative bi-parametric MRI
The Times of India
How Indian researchers in US are developing AI tools to cut down on cancer surgeries





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