Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Launches Center for Modeling, Simulation and Imaging in Medicine

November 4, 2010

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Launches Center for Modeling, Simulation and Imaging in Medicine

New Center Pursues Interdisciplinary Solutions for Critical Health Care Challenges

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced the new Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Imaging in Medicine (CeMSIM) within the School of Engineering.

A true interdisciplinary endeavor, CeMSIM seeks to develop advanced modeling, simulation, and imaging technology for health care, and transition those technologies to clinical practice—from the lab bench to the hospital bedside. Leading CeMSIM as director is Suvranu De, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, with a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“The new Center for Modeling, Simulation and Imaging in Medicine will bring our faculty and students together to examine some of the most pressing challenges — and greatest opportunities — in the field of medical diagnostics,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “We are proud to launch this new center in the School of Engineering and look forward to its impact in this rapidly changing and critically important field.”

“With CeMSIM, we are seeking to leverage the skills of a major technological university to make significant advancements in critical areas of health care that directly translate into benefits for patients,” De said. “Along with fundamental advances in imaging technology, the center will investigate methods for improving diagnosis, surgical, and nonsurgical interventional techniques, multiscale and high-performance computing, visualization, and other areas.”

CeMSIM builds from De’s research into surgery simulation, multiscale modeling, and other studies. The first institutions to partner with CeMSIM are Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. De said he is actively seeking additional partners and funding opportunities.

To accomplish its goal of developing new technologies and expediting them from the lab bench to the patient bedside, CeMSIM will engage in fundamental and applied research in five major areas:

  • Modeling, Simulation, and Imaging (MSI) in Medical Diagnosis | Diagnosis is the first step in medical care. MSI will play a significant role in advancing clinical diagnoses, including radiology, ultrasound, CAT scans, magnetic resonance imaging, X-rays, and many other technologies.
  • MSI in Clinical Medicine and Therapy | MSI can impact the nonsurgical treatment of many different diseases and disorders. Research in this area includes biofluids, mass transport, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal biomechanics, soft tissue biomechanics, regenerative medicine, nuclear medicine, and neural engineering.
  • MSI in Surgery | For surgical planning of all types, MSI will be used to help surgeons plan for complex operations based on patient-specific image data and models. For surgical training, patient-specific and other models are used to train a surgeon’s physical and cognitive skills. Research in this area includes efficient computing, tissue modeling, and robotic interface design.
  • MSI Algorithms, Multiscale and High-Performance Computing, and Medical Visualization | To be able to understand disease states tracing back to the smallest scales — ranging from the studies of molecular mechanics to that of the cell membranes — fundamental advancements in multiscale and high-performance computing are necessary.
  • MSI and Cognitive Issues | To better understand cognitive issues related to using medical simulations and multimodal interactive visualizations, it is necessary to investigate fundamental aspects of the human sensory-motor system to gain deeper insights into how we perceive information.

CeMSIM will partner with and utilize many of the world-class research platforms at Rensselaer, including the technologies of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), the supercomputing power of the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), and the sensory and visualization technologies of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). CeMSIM will also closely partner with the Rensselaer Scientific Computation Research Center (SCOREC).

For more information on De’s research at Rensselaer, visit:

Contact: Michael Mullaney
Phone: (518) 276-6161


For general inquiries:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit