Research in the Radiology 3D and Quantitative Imaging Laboratory is focused on increasing the information obtainable from diagnostic imaging modalities as well as improving the ease with which this information is obtained. This work is carried out in collaboration with many members of the Stanford faculty, both within and outside the Department of Radiology, and students from many departments in the University (e.g., electrical engineering, computer sciences, medical informatics), and is supported by government agencies and industrial partners. This effort has resulted in new approaches for diagnosis and treatment planning as well as the development of completely new diagnostic tests.

CT Angiography
Three-dimensional CT Angiography

Principal Investigator: Sandy Napel

Starting in 1992, we began investigations as to whether and how newly developed CT scanners could be combined with 3D visualization techniques to allow fully 3D vascular assessment in a less invasive manner than conventional angiography. Ideas and methods first developed here are now in routine use around the world delivering nearly isotropic submillimeter resolution over large vascular territories. We continue to develop new segmentation and visualization methods for specific clinical applications.

3DQ Interpretation
Efficient Interpretation of 3D Vascular Image Data

Principal Investigator: Sandy Napel

Modern CT angiography acquisitions now produce thousands of images per study for interpretation. The goal of this project is to develop and validate technology that changes radiological interpretation of volumetric CT vascular image data by combining highly efficient, ergonomic, and interactive volumetric visualization and quantitative analysis.

CT Colonography
Three-dimensional Spiral CT Colonography

Principal Investigator: Sandy Napel

Combining rapidly acquired thin-section CT scans of the air filled colon with 3D visualization resulted in a completely new method for assessing the colon for polyps, the precursors to colon cancer. More recently we have been developing computer-aided interpretation methods to aid the radiologist in the difficult task of searching the image data for these lesions.

Pulmonary nodule image
Computer Aided Tracking and Analysis of Pulmonary Nodules Over Time

Principal Investigator: Sandy Napel

When pulmonary nodules are detected in diagnostic imaging studies, they are most often followed by repeat scans in the future. It is important in this setting to match nodules in follow up scans and assess them for change. The goal of this project is increase accuracy and efficiency by developing algorithms that automatically match nodules to their counterparts in scans acquired at various times.

Research Opportunities

There are several opportunities for research in the 3D and Quantitative Imaging Laboratory at Stanford:

  • Stanford students enrolled in Masters or PhD programs may choose to develop their theses or dissertations around problems in medical image processing (e.g., visualization, quantitation, computer-aided detection) and work under the mentorship of 3DQ Lab or other radiology faculty. Candidates typically come from one of several programs, including electrical engineering, medical informatics, bioengineering, and computer science. Post-doctoral engineering fellows who have completed matriculation may collaborate on post-processing research projects.
  • Candidates with PhDs and/or MDs can seek out post-doctoral or fellowship opportunities with 3DQ Lab faculty.
  • Faculty from other departments with Stanford, or from other universities may seek out sabbatical opportunities with the 3DQ Lab faculty.
  • Companies involved in developing imaging products may sponsor projects with Stanford Radiology faculty as principal investigators.