Precision medicine is on its way to becoming even more precise: The Annual Project Presentation Conference at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering
This year’s Annual Project Presentation Conference at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering was awarded to students Maya Almagor and Roni Baron. Under the supervision of Professor Yuval Garini, the two developed a technology for spectral imaging of cancer biopsies for precision medicine. According to the students, “Personalized medicine is a developing trend that is driving a revolution in the treatment of cancer. To develop personalized treatment protocols, biomarkers that indicate the presence of specific proteins in the tissue must be detected. In our project, we developed a novel method to efficiently identify multiple biomarkers using a spectral imaging optical system to generate a molecular profile of pathological biopsies labeled with different fluorescent dyes.” As mentioned, the technology will help to analyze cancer cells in support of personalized treatment.
Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Professor Haim Azhari, said “The Project Presentation Conference is the culmination of yearlong research. While working on their projects, the students were required to carry out all stages of the process from concept to realization, starting with a particular medical problem, using their imagination and creative thinking skills to ultimately craft a practical solution. To achieve this, they had to apply the knowledge they acquired here at the Technion during their studies in all aspects of biomedical engineering. We are in no doubt that this hands-on experience exposes them to the biomedical industry as it prepares them for their career.”
Conference participants included 61 fourth-year students. They presented 30 projects to the judges – 40 faculty staff members and alumni now working in the industry. The project course was administered by staff members Dr. Firas Mawase and Associate Professor Nati Korin, and teaching assistants Merav Belenkovich and Rotem Shapira. As is the custom every year, the prizes awarded to the winning projects were donated by Dr. Doron and Liat Adler of Sanolla Medical Devices.
Second prize was presented to Gal Carmely and Noam Shalem, supervised by Dr. Alon Sinai, Assistant Professor Firas Mawase, and Dr. Lior Lev Tov – a faculty alumnus who holds a dual degree in medicine and biomedical engineering and is currently a neurosurgeon and biomedical engineer. One of the state-of-the-art methods for treating tremor in Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor patients is using noninvasive focused ultrasound that induces ablation of a specific target area in the brain. However, identifying the treatment target in the current method lacks a high spatial precision. In this project, the students used advanced methods in imaging, signal processing, and machine learning in MRI data. Then, they developed a novel and more precise method for detecting the target location.
Third prize went to Ofri Vizenblit and Noga Erez, under the supervision of Assistant Professor Assaf Zinger (who is also a faculty alumnus and presently a member of the Technion staff), for the development of nanometric particles for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer – a disease which has no present effective treatment. Baraah Baryhe and Belal Awaad, supervised by Gili Kamara and Dr. Firas Mawase, took fourth place for their development of an alternative keyboard for patients with myopathic disease (myopathies are neuromuscular disorders). Fifth place was given to Ido Rachbuch and Perla Namour, supervised by Moran Levi and Prof. Nati Korin, for their investigation of microparticles for targeted treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. The Audience Favorite prize was won by Mais Hadid and Sabry Assaf, under the supervision of Noam Keidar, Galya Segal, and Associate Professor Yael Yaniv, for their development of a wearable device for epileptic seizure detection and prediction.
For the booklet of abstracts from the Conference, click here.