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University of Maryland and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Partner on $1.6 M NIH Grant

Dr. Jaydev P. Desai, Director - Robotics, Automation, and Medical Systems (RAMS) Laboratory and Dr. David J. Foran, Director – Center for Biomedical Imaging & Informatics, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), will lead a cross-disciplinary team of researchers in a 5 year, $1.6M project to develop new approaches and technologies to provide new insight regarding the underlying mechanisms associated with disease onset and progression in breast cancer, not available using traditional assessment techniques.  Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed types of cancer among women.  According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer cases are expected to occur among women and 2,190 among men in the United States in 2012.  They estimate that breast cancer, among women, will account for about 29 percent of all new cancer cases in 2012, the highest of any other type of cancer diagnosed. (See Cancer Facts for more information).
The research team at UMD and CINJ will focus on the design, development and evaluation of computational and imaging tools providing improved detection and tracking of the mechanical and morphological changes that occur with the onset of malignancy and to monitor these changes over time. They will examine the variations in the mechanical characteristics of the tissue samples through computational approaches based on experimentally observed atomic force microscopy (AFM) data. Furthermore, using an array of micro force sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology they propose to increase the sampling throughput to allow automated assessment of multiple regions of interest simultaneously.  Finally, the mechanical changes, expression signatures, and spatial distribution of biomarkers in the normal tissue samples will be compared with those collected at the onset of malignancy and throughout the primary stages of disease progression.  Based upon these results, the researchers will develop and evaluate a reliable means for performing automated characterization of specimens providing physicians and investigators with a new evaluation tool.  Upon completion, the optimized suite of computational and modeling tools will be tested at multiple consortium sites. Desai, who specializes in medical robotics, is also currently working on another NIH grant titled:  “Robotic Haptic Feedback System for Bx/RFA of Breast Tumor under Continuous MRI” in collaboration with the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. 

Click on the highlighted links to learn more about Associate Professor Jaydev P. Desai and the Robotics, Automation and Medical Systems Laboratory   and Dr. David Foran.

Learn more information about The Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School .

April 2, 2012

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