Let me hear your body talk: UH scientists mine biomedical data

HOUSTON, March 15, 2006 Five University of Houston researchers are teaching computers how to listen when your body talks.

Thanks to a $900,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that addresses the needs of the increasing complexity of collecting and analyzing biomedical data, this quintet of UH computer scientists can now more easily tackle this mining of health information from patients in real-time as a team.

With a primary focus of merging non-invasive imaging technologies with computational resources, the grant seeks to extend knowledge of how humans learn, study brain function and behavior, detect cognitive impairment, provide continuous non-invasive monitoring of human physiology, analyze facial expressions and the underlying cognitive state, and improve biometrics-based security.

"The project will involve a hybrid software system designed to acquire, analyze, integrate, securely store and visualize large volumes of data obtained from a human subject in real time," said George Zouridakis, principal investigator on the NSF grant.

An associate professor of computer science and director of the Biomedical Imaging Lab at UH, Zouridakis is joined on the project by Professor Marc Garbey, who is also the chair of the computer science department, Associate Professors Ioannis Kakadiaris and Ioannis Pavlidis, and Assistant Professor Ricardo Vilalta. The grant relies on this team of computer scientists to combine the best existing tools and practices of information technology and to develop software tools specific to the common needs of real-world applications in biomedicine.

Titled "Acquisition of a Hybrid System and Research Infrastructure for Large-Scale Integration of Biomedical Data," the grant is the largest instrumentation grant ever awarded to UH by the NSF. The preliminary results of this grant were obtained as a result of work done on a highly competitive grant funded by Microsoft on "Computational Data G

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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