Welcome to the Baran Lab
Our research broadly focuses on two topics: photodynamic therapy and medical image processing. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging technique that utilizes photosensitive drugs to selectively destroy tumors and microbial infections. We currently have an open Phase 1 clinical trial investigating PDT with methylene blue to treat infected deep tissue abscesses, including measurement of patient-specific optical properties for treatment planning. Our pre-clinical work related to PDT is focused on optical spectroscopy, Monte Carlo modelling of light propagation in tissue for treatment planning, and optimization of drug delivery.
Medical image processing involves the application of computer algorithms to obtain quantitative information from computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), and positron emission tomography (PET) images. This work is driven by three applications: (1) Segmentation of deep tissue abscesses from clinical CT images for PDT treatment planning. (2) Processing of MR and PET images for the investigation of cognitive aging and fatigue, in order to identify imaging biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets. (3) Airway segmentation in CT images of neonatal lung samples, as part of the LungMap project, in order to study the development of the bronchiole tree.
Further details on these projects, as well as related recent publications, can be found on the Projects tab.
Undergraduate students are currently working on a number of projects related to these core research areas. Interested undergraduate students are invited to contact Dr. Baran regarding future opportunities. We are currently seeking highly motivated PhD students to work on development of optical spectroscopy technology and image segmentation algorithms for application in PDT of deep tissue abscesses.