Faisal Beg – Algorithms to Advance Research in Medicine

Simon Fraser University’s School of Engineering professor Faisal Beg is establishing a state-of-the-art engineering laboratory that will enable the design of new algorithms that can process and analyze valuable data for clinical applications such as dementia research, vision sciences and ophthalmology, cancer imaging, cloud-based analytics and more. Beg, who is also a B.C Knowledge Development Fund recipient, is aiming to advance research in precision medicine, medical imaging and multimedia processing.

For the past 25 years Beg's focus has been on diseases associated with advanced aging and the human brain, applying his knowledge of biomedical engineering to create new tools aimed at improving human health. His work has enhanced modern medical imaging technology by developing mathematical models to describe, detect and predict normal and abnormal human anatomical structures. With his expertise in image processing, Beg has used his skills to support diverse projects like helping companies involved in precision agriculture. He is also developing algorithms to segment muscle/bone and fat in 3D medical CT images to optimize chemotherapy doses, contributing to better health and quality of life in individuals suffering from cancer. In addition, Beg is using these innovations to help take the guesswork out of diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

Beg completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University where he also taught before joining SFU. In 2012, he received the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC Meritorious Achievement Award, which is given to a professional engineer or geoscientist that shows distinctive and outstanding achievements in professional or technical fields, for his work in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and eye diseases. That same year, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in a fundraising effort to support the Alzheimer Society of BC. Beg is also a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar

In 2020, Beg was a part of a engineering faculty team at SFU to receive a John R. Evans Leaders Fund award to build an Artificial Intelligence Engineering and Visualization Lab. The lab accelerates new research in developing novel machine learning and deep learning algorithms to accelerate breakthroughs in domains such as brain health, dementia, cancer and retina health. These advances significantly impact human well-being by supporting early disease diagnosis and measuring the progress of treatments and predicting future outcomes through advanced data driven AI. This lab will transfer knowledge and technology to biomedical, multimedia, and pharmaceutical companies, and research organizations.

“These days, science has become a team sport,” says Beg. “And, as a team [at SFU] we have made a lot of good achievements, and we look forward to the many many achievements to come."


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