By  Courtney Clayton
Zhang, Blemker, Taite, and Peirce-Cottler

UVA Engineering takes pride in the many innovative researchers among our faculty. Join us in recognizing some of the women who are shaping the future of engineering and medicine, often through the use of artificial intelligence.

Aidong Zhang, the Thomas M. Linville Professor of Computer Science, received $3.8 million across multiple awards to fund research that aims to improve healthcare with AI. Some of her research includes developing a platform for machine learning that will allow doctors to take a comprehensive  view of a patient’s risk for certain diseases. She also uses AI on electronic health records to detect patients with undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

Silvia Salinas Blemker, professor of biomedical engineering, worked with her lab and start-up, Springbok Analytics, to develop an AI-powered software platform that turns magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) into 3D analyses of muscle. The scans are faster than traditional MRIs and can be used to create more accurate musculoskeletal models, which is imperative for addressing injuries in women and a wide range of body types. 

A collaboration between Lakeshia J. Taite (assistant professor of chemical engineering) and Shayn M. Peirce-Cottler (Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor) developed a new analytical tool that could lead to a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The platform can be used to study the formation of blood vessels and may help researchers understand why some lung tissue won’t stop trying to heal, turning pliant tissues stiff until they no longer function. The team also uses AI and machine learning to explore the genes and proteins that could be targets for new treatments. 

Miaomiao Zhang, an assistant professor with joint appointments in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, received a CAREER award for her work with AI. Zhang proposed a new set of deep neural networks that will better teach machines to correctly recognize shapes, impacting everything from medical imaging to satellites that monitor environmental changes. 

Read these stories and more at the links below. 

Using Machine Learning for Better Human Understanding of Disease Risk Factors and Treatments

Machine learning changed health care by making sense of biological data, but for UVA Engineering’s Aidong Zhang, that’s only part of understanding disease risk and treatments.

Unveiling the Dynamics of Maternal Immune Responses

Dolatshahi's research aims at personalized vaccines during pregnancy and enhancing early childhood immunity via understanding maternal antibody transfer.

UVA Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Collaboration Offers Hope for Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients

A UVA Engineering team has developed a new analytical tool that could lead to a cure for a terrible disease.

CAREER Award: Fixing AI’s Blind Spot in Image Analysis

Miaomiao Zhang is improving AI image processing and analysis for real-world applications such as medical diagnoses and environmental monitoring.

New Biomechanical Models Close the Treatment Gender Gap and Advance Precision Medicine for All

UVA professor's research leads to AI-powered software and a start-up company.

Dean Jennifer L. West Elected to the National Academy of Medicine

UVA Engineering's first female dean receives one of the highest recognitions in health and medicine. 

A Cognitive Assistant on Your Doctor’s Smartwatch?

Laura Barnes, a professor of systems engineering at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, teamed up with associate professor of nursing Virginia LeBaron to combine mobile sensing technology, natural language processing algorithms and machine learning to create a communication assessment tool that monitors patient-clinician exchanges.

Trailblazer Award Will Use Advanced AI to Improve Outcomes for Heart Patients

The goal of Zhang’s research is to help cardiologists rapidly and accurately identify the location of cardiac abnormalities and guide the placement of the CRT electrodes. To accomplish this, she plans to develop advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to analyze cine magnetic resonance imaging, an MRI procedure that visualizes the heart muscle in action.

Engineering the Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor with a Passion for DEI in Education

How Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Structure Influence Movement, Injury and Disease

Silvia Blemker Aims to Correct a Profound Limitation in Musculoskeletal Modeling Research

Inside the Science of Testing Wastewater at UVA for Evidence of COVID-19

On the surface, looking for evidence of COVID-19 in wastewater seems simple.

Trailblazer Strikes Again

With newfound research compass, Beverly Miller is branching into less-explored territory of reproductive tissue engineering.

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