Albany Medical College Student’s Inventions Gain National Attention
ALBANY, N.Y., May 21, 2013 — A first-year Albany Medical College student working as a research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School has combined his passion for medicine with his undergraduate training in biomedical engineering to invent two types of cardiac imaging software with the potential to aid in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Both of Nabeel Ali’s projects have been recognized nationally.
The first, designed to recognize high-risk plaques, earned Ali one of only 25 Medical Student Research Grants for 2013 awarded nationally by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Ali says the technology is significant because coronary artery disease, caused by the build-up of plaque in the arteries, is the Number One killer worldwide.
“Radiologists can identify plaque while reviewing cardiac CT scans but it takes a carefully trained eye,” he said. “I’ve developed an image analysis algorithm that can immediately and automatically identify the high-risk plaque that may otherwise be asymptomatic. It has the potential to be better than the human eye.”
His other project gives values on how much blood a specific region of the heart is getting, an improvement over current imaging software that can detect whether or not the muscle has blood but not how much. This technology earned Ali the First Place Trainee Award from the Association of University Radiologists (AUR), and was selected over the work of residents and fellows throughout the country. In addition, Ali recently learned it has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Academic Radiology.
Ali plans to use the grant stipend he received from RSNA to continue work on the high-risk plaque software next summer, with the goal to produce proof of concept in a 3D model and attract the interest of major developers.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with nearly 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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