Ruogu Fang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida
With the Cambrian explosion of medical data and the rise in computing power, artificial intelligence (AI) has embraced an unprecedented era to fully exert its potential in driving healthcare transformations, especially in the aging population. Unfortunately, today’s medical approaches for cognitive aging and neurodegenerative diseases are inadequate to close the gap between brain health span and lifespan. Conventional diagnosis and “one size fits all” strategy have led to misdiagnosis, response heterogeneity, and trial failures intervention in understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating brain diseases. In this talk, I will first present a study on artificial intelligence for Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis from retinal imaging. Our study sheds light on modular, data-economic, and explainable AI for novel approaches to early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. I will then introduce our AI-empowered precision intervention to prevent dementia through individualized brain anatomy modeling. Finally, I will discuss our recent work on brain-inspired AI that uses neuroscience theories and principles to inspire the next-generation AI system that percepts and “thinks” like a human brain.
An AI researcher in medicine and healthcare, Dr. Ruogu Fang is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Director of Intelligent Critical Care Center (IC3) at the University of Florida. Her research theme is artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered precision brain health and brain/bio-inspired AI. She focuses on questions such as: How to use machine learning to quantify brain dynamics, early diagnose Alzheimer’s disease through novel imagery, predict individualized treatment outcomes, and design precision intervention. Fang’s current research is rooted in the confluence of AI and multimodal medical image analysis. She is the PI of NIH NIA RF1 (R01-equivalent), NSF Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) Award, NSF CISE IIS Award, Ralph Lowe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). She has also received numerous recognitions. She was selected as the Inaugural recipient of the Robin Sidhu Memorial Young Scientist Award from the Society of Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, Best Paper Award from the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, University of Florida Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Faculty Award for Excellence in Innovation, UF BME Faculty Research Excellence Award, among others. Fang’s research has been featured by Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, ABC, RSNA, and published in Lancet Digital Health. She served as Track Chairs and Area Chairs at national and international conferences, including BMES and MICCAI. She is an Associate Editor for Journal Medical Image Analysis, Guest Editor for Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics from Elsevier, and Topic Editor for Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Her research has been supported by NSF, NIH, Oak Ridge Laboratory, DHS, DoD, NVIDIA, and the University of Florida. Dr. Fang directs SMILE lab, standing for Smart Medical Informatics Learning and Evaluation, which also reflects her aspiration for every member in the lab to smile while exploring artificial intelligence in precision brain health.
Dr. Edward Phelps