2021 Toffler Scholars in Neuroscience

Source: Boston University School of Medicine Office of the Dean

Vijaya  Kolachalama, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Computational Biomedicine) and Computer Science, and founding member of the faculty of BU Computing & Data Sciences; Shangran Qiu, BA, BU CAS; Prajakta Joshi, BDS, MPH, GSDM; Chonghua Xue, BA, Medicine (Computational Biomedicine); and Matthew Miller, BUSM’22, are the 2021 Toffler Scholars in Neuroscience grant recipients for their project Alzheimer’s Disease Classification Using Deep Learning.

The Toffler Scholar Program was established by the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust to support promising young medical researchers, physicians and scientists working on early-stage, future-focused brain science with funding and a vital, relevant network through an internal competition at BUSM.

Their research is focused on building artificial intelligence models to identify brain regions that suggest Alzheimer’s disease risk and seek ways to differentiate these patterns from other forms of dementia. They use MRI and PET scans, neuropathology scores, digital voice recordings, and various other forms of data that can be easily collected in memory clinics to build their models. They work closely with neuropsychologists, neurologists, neuroradiologists and neuropathologists to validate their findings. Their long-term goal is to accurately detect memory disorders by providing these models as diagnostic aids to assist primary care providers and general neurologists.