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Chad Haney
Works at Northwestern University
Attended Illinois Institute of Technology
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Medical visualization, it's what I see and do
I was going to summarize an article about the history of medical visualization that was discussed in MIT Technology Review in 2012.
The Future of Medical Visualisation
However, I think that the #OpenAccess  article that they reference does a good job on its own. It's kind of strange to think of a review of a review of a review article.
From individual to population: Challenges in Medical Visualization

Rather than review the review of the review, I'll add a few comments and answer your questions. So read either the MIT Tech Rev article or the journal article and ask questions. This is an opportunity to talk to a scientist that works in the medical imaging field.

The article mentions multi-modal volume visualization. If you have been following my  #CHMedicalImagingSeries then you know that each imaging technique (modality) has strengths and weaknesses. Combining imaging modalities, like the MRI and CT below of my head, allow you to take advantages of the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. To get the best out of multi-modality imaging you need to be able to fuse the images. The technical term is image registration or some like image co-registration. There is a lot of research in just this technique to make it more automated. One common technique is called mutual information. Our brains can easily tell that the dark material in MRI is bone (e.g. my skull) and it should match the bright material in CT. Mutual information tells the computer to consider that bright could equal dark by normalizing the images first. The principal axes of the objects are also used to register (align/fuse) the two images. For therapy planning, both surgery (cosmetic) and tumor resection/radiation, multi-modality imaging can have a huge benefit. They mention that in 1993 Altobelli used multi-modality imaging to visualize the possible outcome of complicated craniofacial surgery.

Another use of medical imaging visualization is virtual colonoscopy. Visualization tools that you need are surface/volume rendering, skeletonization, and segmentation.
UCSF Radiology: What Virtual Colonoscopy CT Scans Look Like

Surface/volume rendering is just what it sounds like. The data is analyzed and the surface can be identified and displayed with shading and lighting such that it looks 3D. You can make it true 3D with the right equipment (3D glasses, 3D monitor, and software to split the data into left and right views) but that's not essential. It can't be emphasized enough that modern GPUs have made these difficult calculations become trivial. Some of the early animation work and medical image visualization required high end UNIX workstations. Now that same level of visualization can be done with a low-end gaming PC.

Segmentation is also, just as it sounds. There are automated and manual segmentation tools. For example in the heart and skeleton images below, the tissue of interest has been segmented out of the "background" tissue, e.g., the internal organs, muscle, etc. Again, there is research in this technique alone. Our brain can look at a medical image and identify parts of the brain or organs quickly. "Teaching" a computer program to do that automagically is very difficult, especially if there is motion due to breathing. In that case, you may have to use image registration to get rid of the motion blurring first.

Skeletonization is a process of identifying paths. For colonoscopy, that would be teaching the program to traverse the path of the colon. I've done work where we were measuring blood vessel diameters in a pulmonary hypertension model. Skeletonization was used to automatically identify each part of the vascular tree. From there, it was easy for the software to measure each diameter.

The first three images are fused images of a CT and MRI of me. The yellow surface rendered part is from CT as it shows bone (skull) very well. The grey-scale part of the image is MRI which shows soft tissue very well. The rest of the images are from a Toshiba 320 slice CT. In CT technology, a ring of detectors is used capture the signal from the x-ray source. Each ring is called a slice in clinical CT machines. For a while 64 slice was considered the best. Now 256 and 320 slice machines are becoming available. More slices means you can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time. So highly detailed images of the heart can be acquired without motion artifacts from the beating heart. Likewise for the lungs.

Here's a few older posts that will hopefully help you understand the article.

Medical Imaging 101 pt 1 (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 2: CT (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 3: MRI (
Functional vs. anatomic image (
Visible Human project (
Eye of Horus post (

Image sources other than the above article:
Lung and brain CT images (

CT Heart (
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Chad Haney

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Bangers and Mash
When I was visiting +Nikki C and +Steve c, I jokingly said I'd like to have Bangers and Mash for dinner. Not only did Steve take that seriously, but he made some seriously tasty bangers and mash. The sausages were made locally, if I remember right. When I saw 'authentic' Irish bangers at the store, I figured I'd give them a go. They were super bland; just terrible. Maybe English bangers are better than Irish bangers. Maybe they send the bland ones across the pond.

The second experiment is grilled mochi with teriyaki sauce. That actually turned out pretty good, better than the bangers for sure. (That's a salmon burger behind the mochi.)
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We didn't have anything to make the gravy. My sister doesn't cook much. 
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It was really good, +Lex Larson​. 
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Ours is about 2 1/2 feet tall already. The Mother of All Rhubarb.
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Street View for Art
Yet another cool project from Google. The I'd like to see the +California Academy of Sciences's collection in person. It reminds me of a National Science Foundation grant I worked on. The primary investigator, Callum Ross at the University of Chicago, needed CT images of primate skulls to model how they chew. The idea was to show how the available diet was an evolutionary force to change their skull/jaw structure. I scanned about 50 skulls in two days. The skulls were on loan from +The Field Museum, which has an impressive collection and does research as well.

You can read more here:
Evolutionary forces - Working Together

I've also worked with the Oriental Institute
Eye of Horus post:

Mummy bird images from JP:

h/t +Yonatan Zunger 
Today, we're glad to announce the launch of the new 3D feature on the Google Cultural Institute website:

You can now admire hundreds of multi-dimensional objects from our six pilot partners' collections, from the extensive set of animal skulls of the +California Academy of Sciences ( to the Oldest Mask in the world at +The Israel Museum, Jerusalem( #3D #artstech
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I love Hippo's so that helps! hehehe
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#GooglePlusNatureChallenge Day 1 of 5
+Gnotic Pasta asked me to join the #GooglePlusNatureChallenge. Since it's too early in spring for any decent nature photos, I'll likely recycle a few. Here's a photo of some baby kestrels in my backyard, from a few years ago.

I know +Buddhini Samarasinghe is busy, but let's see what nature photos you can take or dig up.
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Bat house is on my list for the back yard, too! I should really get on that...
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Have him in circles
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Massive earthquake in Nepal
Most of you have heard by now that there was a massive earthquake in Nepal. My brother-in-law is on vacation in Nepal, last seen in Namche Bazar. According to a FB post, someone contacted the tour company he is using and he is safe and accounted for. Thanks to all of my G+ friends for helping. If you are looking for someone you can try this link:

+Gary Ray R has more information and links for organizations accepting donations.
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Oh +Chad Haney  so sorry to hear of this.  
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Spring is still trying
The temperature dropped this week, with several overnight frost advisories. How is Spring in your neck of the woods?

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Thanks, +Chad Haney ~ They're good.  Izzy loves walking in the park, just a few blocks away.  Ally is as sweet as ever.  Give Ana a pat for us :).
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Nice backhander
Go Wings!
Well EXCUSE US Luke Glendening.
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blatant fan
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Need to relocate some wolves
With a moose population around 1,200, we need to relocate some wolves to Isle Royale National Park. As the article mentions, too many herbivores without a top predator is not sustainable. Climate change has reduced the number and frequency of ice bridges. That limits the introduction of new wolves to the gene pool. So inbreeding has limited the ability of wolves to maintain their population on the island. #ThanksClimateChange  

You can read more about the wolf repopulation program at Yellowstone National Park here:
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The gray wolves of Isle Royale National Park, which scientists have studied closely for more than half a century along with the moose on which they feed, are on the verge of disappearing as the most recent census showed that only three remain, scientists said Friday.
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Mountain lions are terrifying! Gorgeous, but ...
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First day of no-jacket-required weather
Our crocuses bloomed about 10 days ago. I didn't have time to take photos during that week or on Easter weekend. Now they are done. :( Like the snowdrops (Galanthus), the Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) put on a really nice show this year. They peaked during the week so I don't have the best photo. Fritillaria imperialis look strong so far. There's no sign of the Fritillaria pallidiflora or purple grape hyacinth (muscari) yet. The forsythia are just starting to show flowers.

How is your garden?
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Well, I'll still need the No 2s in future, Chad. All done but managed to spill an overhanging birdbath on my head. Tall roses.
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Go Brutus
I'd like to punch the so-called breeder who let Brutus get frostbite and then attempted to amputate the frostbitten tissue himself. I'm glad Brutus has prosthetic legs now. There's more on Instagram.

Happy #FidoFriday  
LOVELAND, Colo. -- It’s still a dog’s life for a quadruple amputee out of Loveland. Brutus the Rottweiler is only the second dog ever known to have four prosthetic limbs. He started walking with th...
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+emmy e, you can check out the Instagram pictures of Brutus. I don't know what happened to the so-called breeder who did this to Brutus. I'd smash their foot with a sledgehammer.
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  • Illinois Institute of Technology
    BS Chemical Engineering, 1994
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    PhD Bioengineering, 2001
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Contributor to
I'm the medical imaging, Red Wings, Formula One, Tech guy.
I'm a scientist/engineer interested in image based biomarkers, i.e., non-invasively visualizing disease or response to therapy. I mainly research cancer using MRI, PET/SPECT/CT, and EPRI but I'm also interested in cardiovascular research.

Sports: Big formula one fan, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Bears, and Chicago White Sox.

Music: I like pretty much everything except country. Big fan of Pink Floyd. Bob Marley is a god-like-hero. I love house music when I'm programming or doing image analysis. Miles Davis is a mutical genius (say it in Gumby's voice).

Misc: love dogs, science/technology (gadgets), cars, bicycling... Also Member of The Incorrigibles.

My passion is science and science is my career choice, so I am grateful to be a co-curator for #ScienceSunday.

Don't circle me if you are not open minded and interested in science. I'm very much against the anti-intellectualism/anti-science movement.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
     Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

A few more hashtags for me #CHMedicalImagingSeries
Bragging rights
There's a whole country named after me. I also developed a blood substitute when I was a graduate student.
Medical Imaging methods
  • Northwestern University
    Research Professor, 2012 - present
    Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • University of Chicago
    Research Professor, 2002 - 2012
    In charge of pre-clinical nuclear imaging. Lead multiple cancer research projects involving pre-clinical imaging.
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