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ADEPT Cancer Imager

Kenneth Tichauer presenting at Nov 2015 Finalist Event
Kenneth Tichauer Presenting at the Nov 2015 Finalist Event

Almost 40 percent of us will develop cancer during our lifetimes. Clinicians and researchers agree that advancements in two key areas—earlier detection/diagnosis and drug development—will be required to significantly reduce the impact of cancer on society. To address this critical need, the Nayar Prize I Finalist Team is working to develop a new medical imaging technology (the ADEPT cancer imager) that can (1) accurately measure the stage of a patient’s cancer, in order to catch the most aggressive and dangerous cancers before it is too late to treat them, and (2) identify promising new drugs during the initial pre-clinical (animal research) phase of development, in order to get better drugs to patients more quickly. Advances in these areas will allow patients to live longer and healthier lives, benefiting not only the patients, but also their families and friends, and society as a whole.

This team spans multiple departments (biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, biology) and two premier research centers (Medical Imaging Research Center and IIT Research Institute) within Illinois Tech, and has expertise in developing methods to spatially map the cancer variability. Kenneth Tichauer (BME, MIRC) is a lead developer of “paired-agent molecular imaging,” which forms the scientific basis of the system; Jovan Brankov (ECE, MIRC) is a world leader in medical imaging; and Rajendra Mehta (biology, IITRI) is an internationally recognized scientist in cancer biology and drug development.

In this second phase of the project, the team has joined forces with David Song, M.D., the Cynthia Chow Professor of Surgery at University of Chicago Medicine, who will offer his support as a leading breast cancer surgeon, and Husain Sattar, M.D, an associate professor of pathology at University of Chicago Medicine, who will offer support with respect to breast cancer and sentinel lymph node pathology, in an effort to bridge the gap between testing the ADEPT system and applying it in hospitals.

Team Members

Kenneth Tichauer (Biomedical Engineering)
Jovan Brankov (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Rajendra Mehta (Biology, IIT Research Institute)


ADEPT: Agent-Derived Early Photon Tomography
Presented February 18, 2016