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Colloquium - Decoding developmental physiology: A multidisciplinary imaging approach

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 13:30
KHE 225

Presenter: Dr. Dafna Sussman
Biomedical Engineering, Ryerson University


In the last decade, medical imaging and image processing have revolutionized health care by providing a window into the function of internal anatomy, and a non-invasive means to track human physiology and development. In my research I develop and employ advanced imaging techniques to uncover relationships between maternal lifestyle choices, such as exercise and diet, and the well-being of the fetus. In this talk I will illustrate how I combine recent innovative tools, techniques, and algorithms from biomedical engineering and biophysics to bridge clinical experimentation and engineering research. I will describe my work on the use of both optical and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to measure and accurately compare anatomical, blood flow, blood oxygen and metabolic changes in the growing fetus. I will discuss a range of techniques: from optical projection tomography (OPT), phase-contrast MRI, MR-oximetry, MR Spectroscopy, and glucoCEST, to image registration and cardiac gating, and how I employ them in the context of my research. Results from this body of work are being used to push the boundaries of imaging research and clinical applications, and to define evidence-based recommendations for lifestyle during pregnancy so as to improves fetal health and development.


Dr. Dafna Sussman is an assistant professor in biomedical engineering here at Ryerson University. She is the director of the Prenatal Developmental Imaging laboratory, a member of the iBEST institute and an affiliate scientist at both St. Michael’s hospital and the hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Sussman completed an honours bachelor’s degree in engineering science, a master’s in biophysics, and a PhD in medical biophysics and clinical imaging with a specialty in developmental physiology. She then pursued research work in diagnostic imaging and translational medicine at the hospital for sick children before joining Ryerson last summer. She will talk to us about her imaging research and how she combines physics and engineering principles to uncover details about human physiology during pregnancy.