University of Louisville Magazine

WIN-SPR 2014

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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2 8 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U Farag adds that a virtual colonoscopy may also increase the number of people willing to get a checkup. "If we can help make it less intrusive, quick and accurate, participation may go up and we can really have a big impact on the number and the severity of colorectal cancer cases." The same is true for lung cancer cases. That's of particular concern in Kentucky, a state that traditionally ranks high in lung cancer rates. Not only can the software Farag developed help identify potentially cancerous nodules in the lungs, but it can also assist during a biopsy. "The software also supports the ability to conduct an image-guided intervention because it identifies the exact location and size of a nodule. We could link the software in a closed loop during a biopsy, and it would help guide the instruments being used for the collection of tissue, making sure it goes precisely to the area where the nodule was identified. So it helps in the diagnosis, and it helps in the treatment as well." One of Dr. Farag's earliest patents came from work in collaboration with the School of Dentistry to produce an optical reconstruction of the human jaw using a small camera attached to a dental probe. Inserted into the mouth, the device quickly generates detailed images of the upper and lower jaw which are then used to create a 3-D rendering to analyze tooth movement, implants, gum disease and other conditions. A prototype has been developed through grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the hope is to create a small, inexpensive device that can be regularly used by dentists. According to Farag, the lab was the first in the world that started using this type of optical scanning mechanism. Current versions developed by others are large and awkward to use, as well as expensive. "Instead of it being a $30,000 machine, we're working toward making a $1,000 machine available," says Farag. This could make it more available to rural areas, where there may not be easy access to care and images could be transmitted to specialists for review. "It gets into telemedicine, or medicine over the cloud. It's a whole new realm of information technology in this area." A PICTURE OF DETERMINATION Dr. Farag and the lab's work have also played a hand in advancing the research of fellow colleagues at UofL, notably Dr. Manuel Casanova, Kolb Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Research at the School of Medicine. "It's been a very fruitful collaboration," says Dr. Casanova, who used Dr. Farag's imaging technology to identify differences in the brain structure and functionality of people diagnosed with autism, dyslexia and other disorders. "Some conditions, especially autism, can be very difficult to diagnose because they rely on observing behavior, which can be subjective," notes Casanova. But the brain scans provided more objective data that can help with early diagnosis. Adds Farag, "That makes all the "Lung and colorectal cancer are among the leading causes of cancer deaths in the U.S., but they don't have to be. Early detection means early treatment, and that improves the prognosis signifi cantly." —Aly Farag Marwa Ismail, doctoral student at the CVIP Lab, researches advanced visualization methods for early detection of colon cancer. U L _ 2 8 2 8 UL_28 28 1 / 2 7 / 1 4 9 : 3 8 A M 1/27/14 9:38 AM

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