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Three Radiology Researchers Part of Winning Team for PACE Prize 2022

PACE Prize Award 2022Three researchers from the department of radiology; Mohammed Salman Shazeeb, PhD, Anna Luisa Kühn, MD, PhD, Clifford Lindsay, PhD, along with Beth McCormick, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, Vanni Bucci, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, and Nils Henninger, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology were awarded a PACE Prize 2022 for their project: A Novel Approach to Predict Intercranial Aneurysm Rupture by Combining Brain Imaging and Gut Microbiome Biomarkers Through Artificial Intelligence.

The Project

About one in every 50 people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. The ability to predict when and if an intracranial aneurysm will rupture, along with appropriate timely intervention, would prevent patients from suffering devastating loss of neurological function and even death. Artificial intelligence (AI) has shown incredible success in analyzing anatomical images and predicting a wide variety of medical conditions, and it shows promise for predicting aneurysm rupture, but it is unclear whether there is sufficient information within the imaging biomarkers. Recent and new area of research has shown increasing evidence of a bidirectional relationship between brain physiology and gut microbiota and that can have a role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. The team proposes to develop an AI model that uses state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques with the latest research in gut microbiome-brain connection, that can predict accurate timing of aneurysm rupture based on combined brain imaging and microbiome data. Once proven successful in the mouse model, their goal is to translate the AI model to a clinical setting where it can be an invaluable tool in guiding the neurointerventionalists through continued funding. More about the project (PDF).

PACE Prize

The PACE award supports the engagement of UMass Memorial Medical Group physicians in cutting edge-research; encourages interdepartmental collaboration; showcases our commitment to academic excellence and reinforces our identity as a group comprised of academic physicians. The goal of award funding is to support innovative investigator-initiated research and is open to any area of investigation. In 2022, the PACE Prize was awarded to two winning teams, each receiving a $170,000 prize.