RPI Professor Is Honored for Medical Imaging Research, Contributes to American Scientist

October 2, 2023


Medical imaging is a critical component in health care. If a doctor cannot detect an ailment, then it cannot be treated.

Ge Wang, Ph.D., Clark and Crossan Endowed Chair Professor and director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been researching medical imaging and advancing the technologies for 30 years. In an upcoming ceremony, Wang will be recognized by the Nuclear Medical and Imaging Sciences Council with the 2023 Edward J. Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award “for pioneering contributions to medical computed tomography, multi-modality imaging, and AI-based tomographic imaging, as well as exemplary mentorship in medical imaging training and education.”

Meanwhile, in an article recently published in American Scientist, Wang explained that increasing dimensions is critical to enable greater detail, contrast, speed, and opportunities in medical imaging. With more powerful tools, doctors can prescribe better treatments.

From the X-ray of the 1890s, to CT scans popularized in the 1970s, MRI’s in the 1980s, and PET scans in the 1990s, there are an array of imaging tools available today, and more to come in the future.

At first, X-ray radiographs and CT images were two-dimensional, but now they have five dimensions including depth (an advancement that Wang and his colleagues pioneered), time (to depict a beating heart), and spectrum (to differentiate vascular plaques). Today, CT scans may also be combined with a PET scan or MRI to achieve what is called multimodality imaging and provide synergistic information about cancerous regions and other diseases.

Next, Wang and his colleagues hope to develop omni-topography “for all-in-one and all-at-once imaging” so that all technologies can be incorporated into one machine, and also construct digital twins of patients, scanners, and diagnostic workflows in a health care metaverse.  For the latter perspective, Wang noted that the addition of a virtual dimension that allows simulations and predictions to enhance imaging outcomes is another AI-empowered advancement that may revolutionize our future.

Written By Katie Malatino
Back to top