ME Professor to Receive NIH Research Project Grant

Dr. Greg Fischer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and his team will be receiving a NIH Research Project Grant (R01) for Robot-Assisted research.

Dr. Greg Fischer

A team lead by Dr. Greg Fischer (PI, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering), and Dr. Reinhold Ludwig (co-PI, Professor ECE), will be receiving a highly competitive R01 (Research Project Grant) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Academic-Industrial Partnerships for Translation of in vivo Imaging Systems for Cancer Investigations. The project is entitled, "MR-Guided Precision Conformal Ablation Therapy for Brain Tumors" and the requested budget for the project is $3.8M over a five-year period.


Dr. Reinhold Ludwig

The proposed research will develop a novel robot-assisted system for highly precise and focused thermal treatment of brain tumors. The MRI-compatible robotic device combined with real-time anatomic and thermal imaging will enable precise delivery and monitoring of cannula-based interstitial high intensity focused ultrasound (iHIFU) to destroy the tumors without damaging nearby tissues. This approach will be less invasive and risky than open brain surgery through craniotomy, and will provide faster relief without destroying or harming nearby critical structures not involved with disease than stereotactic radiosurgery, the current methods of choice to treat brain tumors. This project will be conducted in partnership with UMass Medical School, Albany Medical College, and Acoustic MedSystems Inc.

Dr. Gregory Fischer is an Assistant Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Mechanical Engineering with appointments in Robotics Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He is the director of the Automation and Interventional Medicine Laboratory at WPI with an active research program in medical robotics and computer-integrated surgery. He has been recently awarded an Academic-Industrial Partnership R01 grant from the NIH National Cancer Institute in the amount of approximately $500k/yr for a five year research program. The focus of the work is: MR-Guided Precision Conformal Ablation Therapy for Brain Tumors. In partnership with The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Albany Medical College, and Acoustic MedSystems Inc., Prof. Fischer and the WPI AIM Lab in collaboration with other WPI faculty will develop robot-assisted approaches for treating difficult to access deep brain tumors. The goal of the project is to develop a clinically viable approach to precisely controlled thermal therapy of deep brain tumors using live MRI imaging and robotic guidance.

May 21, 2013

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