Graduate Student Seminar Scheduled for April 11th, 2012

The Spring 2012 Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar Series continues on Wednesday, April 11th. The seminar will feature three short talks from students Sumit Ashtekar, Jeremy Kemmerer, and Jin Tae Kwak. The seminar will be held in Beckman Institute Room 1005 and a pizza lunch will be served to those attending the talks.

The Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar Series presents the work of outstanding graduate students working in Beckman research groups. The seminars begin at Noon in Beckman Institute Room 1005 and are open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Quantitative Ultrasound Assessment of Therapeutic Ultrasound Cancer Treatment
Jeremy Kemmerer

Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States and is project to cost over $157 billion by 2020. Current cancer treatments involve procedures that can severely affect patient quality of life. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is an exciting non-invasive targeted tumor therapy modality that may address many of the shortcomings of radiation and chemotherapy. Monitoring and assessment of HIFU arguably remain the most significant obstacles to more widespread use and acceptance of HIFU therapy for cancer treatment.

In this talk, Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) will be introduced and proposed as a means for the monitoring and assessment of HIFU therapy in tumors. Results of a recently completed study examining QUS assessment of HIFU therapy in vivo will be presented, and future plans to investigate this promising modality will be discussed.

Biography: Jeremy Kemmerer completed his B.S. in Engineering Science at the Pennsylvania State University. He is currently a PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. His research topic is quantitative ultrasound assessment of therapeutic ultrasound, which he is conducting with Dr. Michael Oelze in the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory at the Beckman Institute.

Visualizing atomic motions on amorphous surfaces
Sumit Ashtekar

Visualization of atomic motions on amorphous surfaces

Although glasses were first made 5000 years ago, they remain a mystery till date. These commonplace objects used in bottles, glassware, and windshields exhibit a "glass transition", origins of which have confounded scientists for centuries. At the Beckman Institute, we are trying to solve this mystery using high-resolution microscopy to directly look at individual glass atoms. We have discovered that these glass atoms are social in nature and hop from one place to another and back, in a cooperative manner. These two-state dynamics were found to be universal in nature for all glass surfaces. We also found such dynamics on an important electronic material, amorphous silicon. These results have led us one step forward towards solving the mystery of glass transition.

Biography: Sumit Ashtekar did his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. He joined the University of Illinois in Fall 2007 under the supervision of Prof. Martin Gruebele and Prof. Joseph Lyding.

Multimodal microscopy for automated prostate cancer detection and decision-support in prostate pathology
Jin Tae Kwak

Prostate cancer is the single most prevalent cancer, and is the second leading cause of deaths from cancer among men in the United States. Manual inspection of a stained tissue sample upon biopsy is a gold standard in prostate cancer diagnosis. Although it is powerful that humans can recognize and diagnose various types of disease and handle complex and confounding cases, manual assessment of tumors is low-throughput and suffers from intra- and inter-pathologist variability in grading. The variability in staining also hinders the development of robust methods to detect and analyze prostate cancer. Addressing these issues, we propose a fully-automated multimodal microscopy method which integrates the existing clinical practice of using stained tissue with an emerging imaging technology, called Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging. FT-IR imaging can provide non-perturbing chemical information of tissue and has a great potential as a tool for tumor analysis.  Through the effective fusion of the information from the two different imaging modalities, we achieved highly accurate cancer detection and developed a comprehensive and easy information management and decision-making system to achieve high-quality clinical service of prostate cancer pathology.

Biography: Jin Tae Kwak is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jin Tae received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Korea University, and his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University where he developed an automated classification method for alternative splicing events and conducted statistical analysis of the regulatory elements associated with different alternative splicing modes. His current research focuses on developing automated classification and analytical methods for FT-IR spectroscopy imaging and toward developing clinically translatable tools for cancer diagnosis and prognosis.