Inset: image of a preterm infant's diffusion MRI scan

Scholarships and awards

Brian Booth Receives SFU's First IODE Award

May 28, 2012

Brian Booth, an SFU Computing Science PhD student, is the first SFU recipient of one of Canada’s oldest national awards—the IODE War Memorial Doctoral Scholarship.

The $15,000 IODE award is the latest in a long list of scholarships worth more than $120,000 that support his research, which aims to help doctors better detect abnormal brain development in premature babies.

Booth is working to develop three computational tools that could more accurately measure abnormalities in the diffusion MRI (dMRI) scans used to study babies’ brains.

“This information could then be passed on to clinicians to help improve diagnosis and treatment," says Booth.

His next research step—and the core of his thesis—is to take his research out of the lab and into a hospital.

"One of the major challenges facing our field is transferring the technology we develop into a clinical setting,” says Booth. “We have limited understanding of what clinicians go through between imaging a person and coming up with a diagnosis and conversely, clinicians have a limited understanding of the computational tools that can be used to help that process along."

"My goal is to work with clinicians to create medical technology that is clinically useful."

It's going to take a while to see results, but Booth is no stranger to endurance activities. In the last five years he has competed in 42 road and adventure races, and has won two of them.

 He says, "I can't help but gravitate to challenging tasks. I'd get bored otherwise."

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