I am the director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Laboratory, and an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology with secondary appointments at the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Duke University. I have been serving as the Associate Editor of Biomedical Optics Express since 2014; before this I was the Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing from 2010-2014.
At VIP lab, our long-term goal is to improve the overall health and vision outcomes of at-risk patients with ocular and neurological diseases through earlier and better-directed therapy. To achieve this goal, we take advantage of recent advances in image processing and optics as an integrated technology to capture ocular images with higher resolution and better motion stability compared to the state-of-the-art imaging systems. Once these high-quality images are captured, we provide objective tools to quantitatively measure novel imaging biomarkers of the onset and progression of ophthalmic and neurological diseases.
1. Image Analysis Software Development for Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences:
We collaborate with our clinical colleagues, including Duke Advanced Research in SDOCT Imaging Laboratory. A major focus of our lab is development of fully automated software to objectively detect and evaluate the biomarkers for onset and progression of ocular and neurological diseases in adults (e.g. diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma, and Alzheimer's disease) and children (e.g. retinopathy or prematurity (ROP)). We also develop automatic segmentation algorithms to detect/segment/quantify ocular anatomical/pathological structures seen on ophthalmic imaging systems such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AO-SLO).
2. Image Processing Theory and Application:
We study efficient signal processing based methods to overcome the theoretical and practical limitations that constrain the achievable resolution of any imaging device. Our approach, which is based on adaptive extraction and robust fusion of relevant information from the expensive and sophisticated as well as simple and cheap sensors, has found wide applications in improving the quality of imaging systems such as ophthalmic SD-OCT, video indirect ophthalmoscopy, digital X-ray mammography, electronic and optical microscopes, and commercial digital camcorders. When I am not busy developing a mathematical model of the procrastination theory, I play with some statistical signal processing ideas, mainly super-resolution, demosaicing/deblurring/denoising, motion estimation, compressive sensing/adaptive sampling, and sensor fusion.
3. Advanced Ophthalmic Imaging Hardware Development:
In collaboration with our colleagues at the department of biomedical engineering, especially the Laboratory for Biophotonics, we develop the next generation ophthalmic imaging systems, including advanced handheld OCT and adaptive optics ocular imaging systems.
February 2015: We made large datasets of annotated images from multiple studies on diabetic meacular edema (SD-OCT and fluorescein angiography) freely available online.
December 2014: Congratulations to our outstanding High School research intern Elizabeth Chiu for being admitted to Duke University.
December 2014: Rolando Estrada's fundamental work on graph-theory is now accepted for publication in IEEE T-PAMI. This paper provides a practical solution for estimating the 3-D topology of tree-like structures (e.g. vessels and plant roots) from a single 2D image.
September 2014: The second first authored journal paper of our recently graduated outstanding undergrad Pratt Fellow, Pratul Srinivasan, is now published .
August 2014: New patent no. 8,811,745 issued: Segmentation and identification of layered structures in images.”
May 2014: Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Chiu for officially receiving her well deserved PhD degree after co-authoring over 20 journal papers during her tenure at VIP lab.
May 2014: Congratulations to our outstanding Pratt Fellow Pratul Srinivasan for being admitted to all top ranking ECE PhD programs in USA.
May 2014: Congratulations to our outstanding High School research intern Alec V. Arshavsky for being admitted to Stanford University.
February 2014: James Polans put the fast compressed sensing based wavefront measurement software freely available online.
January 2014: Congrats to our high school research intern, Alec V. Arshavsky for winning the North Carolina International Science Challenge; he will represent USA in the next round of competition in Beijing, China. Also, congrats to Alec for being selected as a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS).
December 2013: Yeay! Our team of collaborators from different disciplines received Bass Connections funding for our proposed project "Art, Vision and the Brain: An Exploration of Color and Brightness". It will be fun!
August 2013: Congrats to our new PhD student David Cunefare for being awarded Pre-doctoral NIH Fellowship in the Medical Imaging Training Program (MITP).
June 2013: Yeay! Our team of collaborators from different disciplines received DIBS pilot funding to study ophthalmic imaging biomarkers in early Alzheimer’s disease!
May 2013: Complete study dataset including automated and manual markings for our AO-SLO cone photoreceptor automatic segmentation paper is available online.
May 2013: Congrats to Stephanie Chiu for advancing to PhD candidacy after co-authoring 18 (published/submitted) journal papers
July 2012: Yeay! We got NIH R01 funding to develop software for automated classification of diabetic macular edema.
June 2012: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received First prize for outstanding research at the annual Duke Ophthalmology Trainee day Scientific Symposium for the record "third times" in a row.
April. 2012: Yeay! We received NCBC funding to build a novel Ultrahigh-Resolution Adaptive Optics Optical Coherence Tomography/Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy System systems at DUEC.
April 2012: Stephanie Chiu has put the complete study dataset including our automated and manual markings for her May 2012 BOE paper "Automatic segmentation of closed-contour features in ophthalmic images using graph theory and dynamic programming" online.
January 2012: Yeay! We got NIH funding to build the next generation of handheld SD-OCT systems.
June 2011: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received First prize for outstanding research at the annual Duke Ophthalmology Trainee day Scientific Symposium.
Feb. 2011: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received the National Eye Institute travel award for her ARVO abstract.
Feb. 2011: 2010 IEEE Signal Processing Society -Best Paper Award (Kernel Regression for Image Processing and Reconstruction, in IEEE Transactions on Image Processing).
Nov. 2010: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received $80,000 Chambers Fellowship
Oct. 2010: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received 3rd prize for best poster at the Annual Meeting of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics
June 2010: PhD Student Stephanie Chiu received First prize for outstanding research at the annual Duke Ophthalmology Trainee day Scientific Symposium.
Apr. 2010: PhD Student Rolando Estrada received AFER/Retina Research Foundation Student Travel Award for his ARVO abstract.
Emails without appropriate codes may directly go to my SPAM box!
2015 PhD Student Applicants: I expect to recruit two BME PhD students with interests in image processing/photonics/ophthalmology related projects (I will also consider exceptional ECE and CompSci PhD students). l will only recruit students with exceptionally high achievements during undergraduate studies as evident by GPA from highly selective undergrad schools and/or high-impact peer-reviewed publications.
US residents with minimum 3.6GPA from a top US school may contact me directly via email (please type the code "USGS-2015" in the subject of your email).
International students: I receive hundreds of inquiries from students interested in joining my group, thus I maybe unable to answer each person individually. You are certainly welcome to contact me only if you have "already" submitted your application to Duke. In that case, please let me know that you are interested in working with me and I will look at your full application at Duke's website.
Exception is for the international students with financial aid from their own country. I will review their CV in PDF format before applying to Duke (please type the code "i-USGS-2015" in the subject of your email).
Current Duke Undergraduate/Graduate Students: Current Duke students (BME, EE, CE, or CS) interested in image processing/ophthalmology related projects can contact me directly via email (please type the code "i-MSGS-2015" if you are an MS and "i-DUS-2015" if you are an undergrad in the subject of your email).
Duke's 3rd Year Medical Students: Medical students interested in participating in ophthalmic imaging related projects may contact me directly. Please send me an email (please type the code "DMS-2015" in the subject of your email).