Location: WE5/01.047

Guest Talk: Visualization for Cancer Research

"Scalable Visual Analytics for Digital Cancer Pathology", Dr. Robert Krüger (Assistant Professor), New York University

Abstract: With new tumor imaging technologies, cancer biology has entered a digital era. Artificial intelligence has enabled the processing and analysis of imaging data at unprecedented scale. While processing pipelines are rapidly evolving, pre-clinical research performed with the data is highly experimental and exploratory in nature, making integration of biomedical experts essential to steer workflows and interpret results. In my talk, I will introduce a scalable rendering framework enabling users to load, display, and interactively navigate terabyte-sized multiplexed images of cancer tissue. I will then present visual analytics interfaces that build on this framework and support cell biologists and pathologists in their workflows. By leveraging both unsupervised and supervised learning in an interactive setting, cells in the tissue can be iteratively classified into tumor, immune, and stromal cell type hierarchies. Subsequently, spatial neighborhoods of cells are quantified in order to query and cluster reoccuring, biologically-meaningful cellular interactions both in and across specimens. Once relevant biological patterns are identified, a novel focus and context lensing interface enables pathologists to further assess and annotate these regions of interest in an intuitive fashion. I will conclude with an outlook into my future research agenda, addressing the transition to volumetric and time-varying datasets, detailed analysis of cell-cell interaction profiles in high-resolution 3D data, and the joint exploration of multimodal images with increasing amounts of spatially-referenced sequencing data.

Bio: Robert Krueger is an assistant professor at New York University (NYU) - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and a member of VIDA, the NYU Visualization Imaging and Data Analysis Center. Krueger's research lies in the field of data visualization and visual analytics for spatial and spatially-referenced multivariate data with a focus on biomedical visualization. He is the organizer of the trans-atlantic Visualization and Image Data Management Group (VIM) and a co-organizer of the Spatial Biology Association (SBA) where he has been closely collaborating with leading biologists and oncologists in the field of computational pathology and cancer research. Previously, Dr. Krueger was a postdoctoral fellow and subgroup leader at the Visual Computing Group (VCG), School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and a senior research scientist at the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Krueger received his Ph.D. degree (Dr. rer. nat.) in Computer Science at the Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems, University of Stuttgart in 2017. Krueger's work is published in leading visualization journals including Transaction on Visualization Computer Graphics (TVCG) and the Computer Graphics Forum (CGF) as well as in biological journals including Cell and Nature Methods.