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Life Sciences Technical Community

Dr. Donna Hudson, Chair of the LSTC Steering Committee, discusses the LSTC, and her research.

Donna Hudson:
University of California San Francisco:
LSTC is a brand new entity in the IEEE, and what we’re trying to do is bring together all of the IEEE societies that have some interest in areas related to life sciences. We currently have six societies that are members of this group, but we’re hoping to get more as we move forward. There are a lot of societies that have at least one or two components that are related to health science.

IEEEtv:
What benefit does LSTC bring to IEEE?

Hudson:
I think the thing that’s happened with IEEE; I was the president of EMBS, which is totally focused on these areas, and at that time we were sort of there in the IEEE as the only society that did this kind of work. But now, if you look around, and you can see this from the six societies we have in Life Sciences, there are a lot of other societies in IEEE that for part of the components they look at, they have life science activity. So this is why we really need the community now. When it was only EMBS we did it internally, but now we want to interact with the other societies. They have good approaches and good information that we need, and it’s better to include everybody and get a better outcome.

IEEEtv:
What do you see as the grand challenge to Life Sciences in the next 20 years?

Hudson:
Probably, in health sciences, looking out 20 years is too far, because things change very rapidly. New discoveries become available every day. One of the big things that has happened lately is using the human genome in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. So, what’s happening is that medicine is becoming more personalized, so they’re looking at your genome and seeing what you’re likely to be susceptible to. Not only that, there are targeted treatments that may be dependent on your human genome. I think, in the next 5 to 10 years, this is going to a really exciting area of medicine.

IEEEtv:
What’s next for Life Sciences?

Hudson:
Well, the human genome has been developed. We know all of the components now. Right now you can send in a little drop of your blood and they can analyze your whole genome. So I think it’s just a matter of it becoming a little more widespread; used more by physicians, but people are doing this on their own just to find out things about themselves. I don’t think there’s any drawback to doing this. I don’t think there’s any new technology that’s needed; it just has to become more known in the medical community, because currently they’re not using the possibilities they could be using in this area.

IEEEtv:
What is your area of research?

Hudson:
What we do is multi-dimensional analysis using different types of signals. For instance, you can get signals from EKGs or EEGs; which require a different sort of analysis than just the data you would get from just the medical records; combining these things. And also with scans, one of the challenges is to integrate, in a numerical way, the scans, for instance CT scans you may have for diagnosis. As this is visual data, it is more difficult to integrate that with the numerical data. So this is one of the things we’re working on.

IEEEtv:
What are your goals for Life Sciences?

Hudson:
If you can combine all of these you can really improve diagnosis. What you’re looking at right now, when physicians diagnose something now they use four, maybe five parameters, maximum. That’s about all human beings can do. But if you use the computer you can have 50, you can have 100, you can have 200 components that may be relevant to your disease and your health status; we need the computer to do that, so we need to have all of this put together by the computer so we can analyze all of the relevant data.


Contributor

Donna HudsonDonna Hudson received her Ph.D. from UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (1981) and has been on the Faculty of University of California since then. She is currently Director of Academic Research and Technology at University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Clinical and Translational Informatics (UCSF) and Professor, Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley/UCSF. She is an IEEE Fellow and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Read more

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October 2014 Contributors

Michael R. NeumanMichael R. Neuman is Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University. He received the PhD in electrical engineering in 1966 from Case Institute of Technology and the MD from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1974. His research interests are Biomedical sensors and instrumentation, Physiological measurements and perinatal medicine, Clinical applications of biomedical instrumentation, and Microfabrication technology. Read more

Donna HudsonDonna Hudson received her Ph.D. from UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (1981) and has been on the Faculty of University of California since then. She is currently Director of Academic Research and Technology at University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Clinical and Translational Informatics (UCSF) and Professor, Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley/UCSF. She is an IEEE Fellow and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Read more

Hsi-Pin MaHsi-Pin Ma is an Associate Professor of Department of Electrical Engineering at National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. He received his Ph. D. from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. His research interests include communications system design and SoC implementation, power efficient/energy efficient signal processing, and biomedical signal processing and system applications. Read more

Joel Josè P. C. RodriguesJoel Josè P. C. Rodrigues (S'01, M'06, SM'06) is a professor in the Department of Informatics of the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal, and researcher at the Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal. He received a PhD degree in informatics engineering from the University of Beira Interior. His main research interests include sensor networks, e-health, e-learning, vehicular delay-tolerant networks, and mobile and ubiquitous computing. Read more

Nazim AgoulmineNazim Agoulmine University of Èvry Val d'Essonne, France is a full professor at the University of Evry, France, and a WCU distinguished visiting professor at POSTECH, Korea. He is leading a research group on networking and multimedia systems (IBISC Laboratory) and is an area editor of International Journal on Computer Networks. He is a coauthor of three books in network architectures and management and a book on autonomic networks. His research interests include wired and wireless network management and control, autonomic networks, and sensor networks. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE. Read more

Bruce C. WheelerBruce C. Wheeler, Ph.D. is Professor of Biomedical Engineering, BME Dept., University of Florida and the President of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University in 1981. Prof. Wheeler's research interests lie in the application of electrical engineering methodologies to neuroscience. Read more