Quantitative Imaging in Data Science
Yanhui Ma, PhD
The retina, considered a window into our understanding of the brain and systemic diseases, is the only part of the central nervous system that we can visualize directly and non-invasively. To improve and better inform the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases, Dr. Yanhui Ma, research scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, strives to develop, optimize, and validate new quantitative ophthalmic imaging tools. In that vein, she has been encouraged by the rapid advances in retinal imaging technologies to investigate the application of artificial-intelligence and machine-learning methods to identify retinal biomarkers for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Data science is a collaborative field that includes computer science, information technology, mathematics, statistics, and business knowledge. We will use a non-invasive imaging technique, optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A), to capture digital eye images to build an eye-based data science research program. improve vision and overall health of patients. The retina is the only part of the central nervous system that can be visualized directly and non-invasively with our imaging technology. Our ambition to improve vision and overall health is possible because the retina is a window to understand the brain, health, and diseases.
Working with colleagues in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science, Yanhui Ma, PhD, research scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, is building our artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning capacity to develop, optimize, and validate new quantitative ophthalmic imaging tools to improve earlier eye diagnoses and to develop more sensitive outcome measures of eye treatments. In addition, we strive to discover new retina biomarkers of systemic diseases and health from our retinal imaging technologies. One of these diseases include the spectrum of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease. Another serious disease relates to improving women’s health outcomes, specifically in maternal fetal medicine in women with preeclampsia and their babies.
Dr. Ma is principal investigator of a R21 grant that was recently funded from the National Institute of Aging. The project will evaluate vascular features associated with hypertensive effects and study the relationship of retinal vessels and longitudinal cognitive function in the Michigan cohort of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.