I am the director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Laboratory at Duke University. 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.
August 2013: Congrats to our new PhD student David Cunefare for being awarded Pre-doctoral NIH Fellowship in the Medical Imaging Training Program (MITP).
July. 2013: Leyuan Fang has put complete study dataset and software for his recent IEEE TMI paper "Fast Acquisition and Reconstruction of Optical Coherence Tomography Images via Sparse Representation", freely available online.
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: Congrats to our undergrad Pratt Fellow Dazhong (Chime) Xuan for receiving the Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.
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: Leyuan Fang has put complete study dataset and software for his BOE paper "Sparsity Based Denoising of Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Images ", freely available online.
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.
April 2012: Francesco LaRocca as put the complete study dataset including our automated and manual markings for his June 2011 BOE paper "Robust Automatic Segmentation of Corneal Layer Boundaries in SDOCT Images using Graph Theory and Dynamic Programming" online.
Feb. 2012: Rolando Estrada has put complete study software (MATLAB Code) and dataset including our automated and manual markings for his BOE paper Exploratory Dijkstra forest based automatic vessel segmentation: applications in video indirect ophthalmoscopy (VIO)", freely available online.
January 2012: Stephanie Chiu has put the complete study dataset including our automated and manual markings for her Jan. 2012 IOVS paper "Validated Automatic Segmentation of AMD Pathology including Drusen and Geographic Atrophy in SDOCT Images" 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!
Postdoctoral Research Associate: The minimum requirement is three first-authored high-quality image-processing journal publications (e.g. papers in IEEE TIP or IEEE PAMI) in the past three years (UPDATE: Positions Filled. You may send me CVs for future possible openings, please type the code "PD-2014" in the subject of your email).
2014 PhD Student Applicants: I occasionally recruit one BME, EE, CE, or CS majors applying to Duke PhD programs in BME or ECE and interested in image processing/photonics/ophthalmology related projects per year. 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 3.7GPA from a top US school may contact me directly via email (please type the code "USGS-2014" in the subject of your email).
International students: I receive hundreds of inquiries from students interested in joining my group, thus I am unable to answer each person individually. You may 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-2014" 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-2014" if you are an MS and "i-DUS-2014" 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-2014" in the subject of your email).