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Forum to focus on using robotics, imaging and simulation in surgeries

HOUSTON, Jan. 24, 2011 More than a dozen University of Houston (UH) researchers will be making presentations, ranging from robot-assisted surgery techniques to improving heart and breast surgery procedures, at the third annual international conference in computational surgery Jan. 26-28. The symposium will be held at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) in Houston.

Held at the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE) in in the new TMHRI building in the Texas Medical Center, "Computing, Robotic and Imaging for Surgery Platform" will provide a forum for new ideas to be exchanged in an interdisciplinary setting between surgeons and computational scientists.

"Computational surgery combines medical imaging, medical robotics, simulations and information technology in surgery. These disciplines are giving rise to a need for a new generation of engineers and scientists able to work with physicians and surgeons to develop new medical practices," said UH computer science professor Marc Garbey, who is co-hosting the conference with Dr. Barbara Bass, a surgeon and chair of the department of surgery at the Methodist Hospital. "This conference addresses the need in medicine for highly skilled collaborators to facilitate the rapid evolution toward computer-assisted surgery."

Presenters and presentations from UH researchers include:

Ioannis Pavlidis, Eckhard Pfeiffer Professor with the department of computer science
Plenary talk: "Fast by Nature How Stress Patterns Define Human Experience and Performance"
11:20 a.m. - noon, Thursday, Jan. 27

Erol Yeniaras, graduate student and research assistant in the department of computer science
Medical Robotic and Surgery Session
"A Cyber-Physical Systems Approach in Integrating Patient, Scanner, Robot and Operator in Image-Guided Robot-Assisted Surgeries"
2:50 - 3:10 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26

Ahmet Sonmez, graduate student and instructional assistant in the department of computer science
Medical Robotic and Surgery Session
"A Novel Robot-assisted Approach for Coupling Molecular, Near-cellular and Macroscopic Modalities"
3:15 - 3:35 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26

David Thanoon, graduate student and research assistant in the department of computer science
Simulation and Decision Session
"A Computational Framework for Lumpectomy"
2:50 - 3:10 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26

Marc Garbey, professor of computer science and mathematics and senior scientific liaison of MITIE
Simulation and Decision Session
"Multiscale Modeling of Postsurgery Recovery: Application to Breast Conservative Therapy"
4:05 - 4:25 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27

Guillaume Tran Son Tay, graduate student and research assistant in the department of computer science
Simulation and Decision Session
"Image Base Hemodynamic Simulation"
5:10 - 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26

Edgar Gabriel, assistant professor in the department of computer science
Simulation and Decision Session
"Hardware and Performance Considerations for Computational Medicine"
5:35 - 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26

Victoria Hilford, assistant professor in the department of computer science
Training and Simulators Session
"Intuitive Numerical Simulators for Training"
3:40 - 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27

Liwen Shih, associate professor of computer engineering at UH-Clear Lake
Training and Simulators Session
"Optimize Accuracy and Speed of Mobile Telemedicine via Adaptive Lossless/Lossy Image Compression"
4:05 - 4:25 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27

Robert Azencott, professor in the department of mathematics
Imaging and Diagnostic Session
"Mitral Valve Dynamic Modeling by Analysis of 3-D Echocardiographic Movies"
1:25 - 1:45 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Kirill Larin, associate professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering
Imaging and Diagnostic Session
"Imaging of Mammalian Embryonic Development with Optical Coherence Tomography"
1:50 - 2:10 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Shishir Shah, associate professor in the department of computer science
Imaging and Diagnostic Session
"Segmenting Images of Fine-Needle Aspirate Cytology for Improved Cytometric Measurements"
3:45 - 4:05 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Liwen Shih, associate professor of computer engineering at UH-Clear Lake
Imaging and Diagnostic Session
"Interactive Expert-Guided Thresholding for Adaptive Image Segmentation in Computer-Aided Surgery"
4:10 - 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Manas Kawale, graduate student and research assistant in the College of Technology
Imaging and Diagnostic Session
"Automated Identification of Fiducial Points in 3-D Torso Images"
5 - 5:20 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

The results of the conference will be published at the end of the year in a special issue of Springer-Verlag a leading global publisher of science, technical and medical publications dedicated to computational surgery. The first edition has already been published and is available at


Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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