Dr. Ioannis Kakadiaris
Kakadiaris is also working on biometrics research for facial recognition. This work has various applications, including homeland security and solving identity theft. For more information, please visit www.cbl.uh.edu/UR8D/.
Newsletter Archive
by Noelle Heinze
According to the American Heart Association, about 1.4 million Americans suffer a heart attack annually, and almost half of these attacks prove fatal despite a host of new public health initiatives targeting heart disease and its aggravating factors such as obesity.
A recent breakthrough in cardiovascular informatics by University of Houston Associate Professor of Computer Science Ioannis Kakadiaris and his Computational Biomedicine Laboratory (CBL) is paving the way to identifying patients who are at risk for having a heart attack in the next 12 months.
Kakadiaris and his group, along with their collaborators from the Association for the Eradication of Heart Attack, have developed an image analysis technology that will—for the first time—provide clinicians with the ability to detect potentially dangerous inflamed plaques.
These plaques are buildups of cholesterol and fatty deposits that represent regions of blood vessels prone to rupture. Their early detection is critical in order to reduce the number of fatalities occurring every year due to heart disease.
Using intravascular ultrasound along with gas-filled, micron-scale contrast agents, Kakadiaris’ group has developed software that can generate cross-sectional images of a patient’s arteries, highlighting areas with dense microvessels, which proliferate around areas of inflamed plaque.
The entire process is rapid enough that the imaging procedure may be repeated at multiple locations in the patient during a single ultrasound procedure, alerting a physician to regions of potential concern. A number of studies are currently underway to perfect this technology.
Kakadiaris’ research is funded by a three-year grant from the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
For more information, please visit http://www.cbl.uh.edu/CARDIA and see demos at http://www.cbl.uh.edu/CARDIA/gallery/demos.html. For more information about Kakadiaris’other research, please visit http://www.cbl.uh.edu/~ioannisk/.
© University of Houston 2005