James Duncan, PhD

Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering; Vice Chair, Bioimaging Sciences in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology

Research Departments & Organizations

Radiology & Biomedical Imaging: Bioimaging Sciences: Image Processing & Analysis Group | Quantitative Neuroscience with Magnetic Resonance

High Performance Computation

Radiobiology & Radiotherapy

Yale Cancer Center: Radiobiology & Radiotherapy

Yale Translational Research Imaging Center (Y-TRIC)

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Biomedical Engineering; Diagnostic Imaging; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Radiology; Temporal Lobe

Research Summary

Dr. James Duncan works with engineering and mathematical principles and uses mainly signal/image processing techniques to derive useful image feature information and capture model-based information in concise mathematical forms. He uses nonlinear optimization methods to implement reasoning strategies. Dr. Duncan's image processing and analysis research can be divided into three general areas:

Segmentation of meaningful regions and/or objects in images. He looks at deformable model-based approaches to boundary finding and aim at locating the complete boundary of a deformable object efficiently and reproducibly. This is done by incorporating basic structural or parametric models into an optimization-based search strategy. Initially, Dr. Duncan aimed at 2D parametrized boundary finding, but now he has extended it into an approach for segmenting deformable surfaces from three-dimensional biomedical image data sets. Current applications include segmentation of the left ventricle of the heart from 4D cine Magnetic Resonance images (MRI) and segmentation of the temporal lobes of the brain from static MR images. Future research will focus on isolating structures using images obtained from laser-scanning confocal microscopes.

Image-based measurement and quantification of anatomical, physiological and/or clinically meaningful parameters. A primary example of this research is the tracking and modeling of non-rigid motion for the purpose of quantifying cardiac left ventricular (LV) regional function from 2-D and 3-D diagnostic image sequences. Such quantification permits measurements that are useful in understanding the basic relationships between the state of the heart muscle (myocardium) and overall LV function; these measurements can be important for managing patients with ischemic heart disease. Dr. Duncan's methodology makes use of mathematical models related to the motion of 3-D elastically deformable objects and is adaptable to the nonlinear, non-rigid regional motion of the LV.

Development of decentralized approaches for forming complete, integrated computer vision/image analysis systems. Dividing computer vision and image analysis systems into modular hierarchies is useful computationally and also allows to model particular image understanding tasks better. Hierarchical systems are necessary to perform such complex tasks as recognizing anatomy, quantifying the shape and motion of the heart, or performing an integrated segmentation of anatomical structures using multiple imaging modalities. He has recently developed an approach based on the mathematical concept of game theory, where functionals representing each module's tasks both compete and cooperate to make decisions about particular image analysis goals.

Specialized Terms: Computer vision; Image processing and medical imaging, with an emphasis on biomedical image analysis

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Duncan focuses on translating established or developing imaging technologies into quantitative-analysis applications. His group is entirely interdisciplinary. The projects evolve primarily from the intersection of researchers in other disciplines, who want to apply imaging technologies at the edges of the state of the art, with our abilities to push those technological limits. Some of the areas they currently work in are segmentation of deformable objects, image registration, measurement of neuroanatomical and cardiac function, strategies to track motion over time, image-guided neurosurgery and database search tools using images.

Activities

  • Program Committee, International Conference on Volume Image Processing (VIP93) Utrecht, Netherlands (2011)

    Program Committee, International Conference on Volume Image Processing (VIP93)

  • Biomedical Image Analysis Oxford, United Kingdom (2010)

    Ongoing collaboration between Professor Duncan and Michael Brady of Oxford

  • Image Analysis and Image-Guided Surgery Zurich, Switzerland (2010)

    Collaboration between Professor Duncan and Professor Gabor Szekeley of ETH Zurich focusing on image analysis

  • Surgery Joint Research Germany (2008)

    Professor Duncan works with Rainer Birkenback of BrainLab, Munich, Germany. BrainLab is an image-guided surgery company who is a subcontractor on one of Duncan's large NIH grants. Professor Duncan has some joint publications with Brikenback, and BrainLab supplies equipment for Professor Duncan's...

  • Applied Mathematics Consultations France (2007 - 2007)

    Professor Duncan regularly consults with Nikos Paragios of the Ecole Centrale de Paris in France. Professor Paragios works in a variety of areas of applied mathematics, and the two regularly collaborate. Professor Paragios came to Yale in 2007 for 6 weeks.

  • Biomedical Image Analysis United Kingdom (2007)

    Professor Brady is a collaborator on an IGERT proposal sent by Professor Duncan to NSF in the areas of biology relevant to imaging as well as mathematical image analysis. Under the proposal, some of Professor Duncan's students travel to the Oxford laboratory for training. In addition, Professor...

  • Image Analysis and Image-Guided Surgery Switzerland (2007)

    Professor Duncan listed Professor Gabor Szekeley of ETH Zurich as a collaborator on a recent IGERT proposal sent to NSF. Under the proposal, students from Duncan's laboratory will be sent to the ETH lab as part of the training program. In addition, Professor Duncan was asked to serve as an adviser...

  • Medical Image Analysis France (2007)

    Professor Duncan and Professor Nicholas Ayache of INRIA (the French National Research Laboratory) began and co-edit the Elsevier journal Medical Image Analysis. The two professors have served together on many advisory boards, and collaborate on some joint research. They are exploring collaborations...

  • Radiology and Comp Science Collaborations Netherlands; Netherlands (2007)

    Professor Duncan has maintained active collaborations at the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht. He serves on review boards for both Universities and has some ongoing collaborations with several professor at each, notably with the Radiology department at Utrecht and the Computer Science...

  • Invited Lecture, “The Use of Physical Models in the Recovery of Soft Tissue Deformation from Medical Images,” The Virtual Human Body - State of the Art and Visions for Medicine, International Symposium Hamburg, Germany (2002)

    Invited Lecture, “The Use of Physical Models in the Recovery of Soft Tissue Deformation from Medical Images,” The Virtual Human Body - State of the Art and Visions for Medicine, International Symposium

  • Program Committee, 12th International Conference on Information Processing in Medical Imaging Wye, England, United Kingdom (2000)

    Program Committee, 12th International Conference on Information Processing in Medical Imaging

  • Scientific Advisory Committee Leipzig, Germany (1999 - 2000)

    Scientific Advisory Committee

  • Executive Committee, Medical Image Computing and Computer- Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Cambridge, United Kingdom (1999)

    Executive Committee, Medical Image Computing and Computer- Assisted Intervention (MICCAI)

  • General Chair, International Conference on Information Processing in Medical Imaging (IPMI) (1997)

    General Chair, International Conference on Information Processing in Medical Imaging (IPMI)

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Contact Info

James Duncan, PhD
Mailing Address
Diagnostic Radiology300 Cedar Street
TAC

New Haven, CT 06520-8042

Curriculum Vitae