• Mridul Aanjaneya

Congratulations to Mridul Aanjaneya for being selected as one of this year's recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award for the project titled:

Virtual Interactive Techniques for Patient-specific Surgical Simulations

A fundamental challenge in medical surgery is reliable prediction of the outcome before the actual surgery takes place. Such technology could dramatically improve modern healthcare with benefits such as better preparing surgeons for addressing any unexpected challenges that may arise during the surgery, establishing doctor-patient confidence and trust in a particular surgical procedure, gauging short-term and long-term effects, clinical training for young professionals, etc. However, since accurate anatomical simulation of biological tissues is computationally expensive, current prototypes for virtual surgery focus on interactive navigation of 3D geometry, studying pre-scripted animations hand-crafted by artists, or simple poking operations with haptic feedback. By designing data-driven models for biological tissues and efficient physics engines that can benefit from the parallelization potential available on modern compute platforms, this proposal seeks to fill this gap by providing a computational framework that allows for patient-specific simulation of the actual surgery in a safe virtual environment.

The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards Program is sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), and seeks to enrich the research skills and professional growth of young faculty members at ORAU member institutions. It is open to full-time assistant professors at ORAU member institutions within two years of their initial tenure-track appointment at the time of application. Only two nominations are allowed per institution. These competitive research awards provide seed money for junior faculty members that often result in additional funding from other sources. The award amount provided by ORAU is $5,000. The applicant's institution is required to match the award with at least an additional $5,000. This is a one-year grant.