MGH Thrall Innovation Grants Awarded to Two Gordon Center Faculty

Thrall Innovation grants are awarded each year to help clinical radiologists to hire a student/coordinator to help them with their research and to provide an opportunity for mentoring. Assistant Professor Junfeng Wang and Instructor Xiang Li were two of three research faculty awarded these grants.

Dr Li’s research project:

Lung cancer screening by CT imaging has been recommended and widely performed in the U.S. However, ionizing radiation caused by CT scans can be a concerning factor for the screening. The proposed project, “Chest Radiographs-based Lung Cancer Screening by the DeepProjection Technique” aims to develop a safer and faster lung cancer screening solution based on the DeepProjection technique previously developed by us, which is an AI-driven model that can generate near-real volumetric 3D CT image from a single 2D Chest Radiograph (CXR) image. By replacing CT scans with CXR-generated pseudo-CTs for lung cancer screening, the proposed project can lead to reduced radiation dose, scan time and cost, as well as better availability for remote healthcare sites.

Dr Wang’s research project:

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the most common life-threatening neurological disorder worldwide. It afflicts approximately 800,000 people and results in around 146,000 deaths in the United States each year, making it the nation’s fifth-leading cause of death. Oxidative stress contributes to brain injury during strokes and 12/15-Lipoxygenase (12/15-LOX) is involved in the oxidative pathway, which has been identified as a key target to prevent secondary brain injury after ischemic stroke. Significant overexpression of 12/15-LOX in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) mice has been discovered in SAH animal models. In addition, both 12/15-LOX selective inhibitor treatment or gene knockout in wild-type mice with SAH led to improved behavioral outcome, which suggests 12/15-LOX may serve as a novel therapeutic target to limit brain injury after SAH.

The goal of this proposal is to develop a 12/15-LOX selective positron emission tomography (PET) imaging ligand to investigate pathophysiological processes and application in therapeutic drug development for hemorrhagic stroke.