Off the radar screen of most pathologists and radiologists is an effort by health informaticians to create new diagnostic tools that use the latest computer technology. What distinguishes these current development programs from those of earlier years is that today’s software is capable of incorporating digital images with other types of clinical information.

This research field opens a path to multi-modality diagnosis that is not rooted exclusively in pathology or radiology settings. To the contrary, these are IT wonks working independently. They want to create a software program capable of making an accurate diagnosis. Their software engines are designed to use a wide variety of clinical data.

Among these innovators is Badri Roysam, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Electrical Computer & Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Roysam, whose doctorate is in electrical engineering, is actively crossing traditional scientific boundaries. “My lab develops multi-dimensional image analysis algorithms in service of applications in biology and medicine,” says Roysam. “We collaborate with a long and growing list of colleagues in diverse disciplines. Our work is supported by federal agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH, U.S. Army), private foundations (e.g., Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative) and companies (e.g., Siemens, MBF Biosciences, Pfizer) for which we are thankful.

“The world of biology is on the move,” continues Roysam. “Biological investigations are shifting:

1)  from qualitative and observational towards quantitative;

2)  from reductionist approaches towards the study of integrated systems consisting of multiple interacting components;

3)  from sequential experimentation towards high-throughput and high-content studies; and,

4)  from static observations of fixed tissue towards dynamic observations of living tissue.”

Roysam points out that the field of clinical diagnostics will be transformed by a wide range of new technologies that threaten to overload pathologists, radiologists, and the attending physician with cascades of data. Microarrays now produce tens of thousands of data points for just one patient’s assay. Full gene analysis by DNA sequencing is available and those tests produce millions of data bits-and that’s before the expected arrival of the $1,000 whole human genome sequence as an affordable clinical service!

You can meet and hear Roysam at the upcoming Molecular Summit on the Integration of In Vivo and In Vitro Diagnostics in Philadelphia on February 10-11, 2009. Location is the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Another innovator in diagnostic informatics is Anant Madabhushi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Director, Laboratory for Computational Image & Bioinfomatics (LCIB), The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, Piscataway, New Jersey. Madabhushi’s presentation is titled: “Diagnosing Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer with Multiple Modalities, Including Image, Spectral Analysis, Histopathology, and Gene Analysis.”

For pathologists and radiologists interested in how these modalities are being pulled together to aid diagnosis, attending Molecular Summit 2009 is a fast-track way to learn the latest and craft a winning strategy for your own laboratory or radiology practice.

Along with Roysam and Madabhushi are 25 other pathologists, radiologists and informaticians who are leading the charge to integrated molecular imaging and molecular diagnostics. Attendees will see, hear, and learn from the sharpest minds in this rapidly-evolving field.

Act now and register so you can be with us at this remarkable event. You can register for Molecular Summit by visiting this site:

The full agenda and speaker line-up for Molecular Summit 2009 on February 10-11 can be viewed here (or paste this URL into your browser: )


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