Our research broadly focuses on two topics: photodynamic therapy and medical image processing. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging technique that utilizes photosensitive drugs in order to selectively destroy tumors and infectious disease. We currently have an open clinical trial investigating PDT with methylene blue to treat infected deep tissue abscesses, and are pursuing clinical applications in cholangiocarcinoma and early stage head and neck cancer. 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. One focus of this work is on the processing of MR and PET images for the investigation of Alzheimer’s disease. This project aims to identify early imaging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, in order to promote improved diagnosis and patient care. Another focus is on airway segmentation in CT images of neonatal lung samples, as part of the LungMap project. The goal of this project is to study the development of the bronchiole tree in neonates, and its relation to comorbidities and genetic factors.
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. Master’s students from the Department of Biomedical Engineering are eligible to perform their thesis work in our lab. Please contact Dr. Baran to discuss this further.