Developing diagnostic tools for aggressive skin cancer
As an electrical engineering student from Jadavpur University in India, Suranjana previously contributed to research on image processing techniques for lung cancer diagnostics. This summer, she is leveraging her understanding to develop a specialized tool for skin cancer diagnosis.
In 2015 alone, it is estimated that approximately 8500 Canadians will be diagnosed with the most aggressive form of skin cancer: melanoma. Often forming from an abnormal mole or lesion on the skin, early detection of melanoma can be life-saving. That is why Mitacs Globalink research intern Suranjana Samanta has dedicated her studies to furthering technologies that can save lives through the accurate and early detection of cancers.
As an electrical engineering student from Jadavpur University in India, Suranjana previously contributed to research on image processing techniques for lung cancer diagnostics. This summer, she is leveraging her understanding to develop a specialized tool for skin cancer diagnosis, under supervision from Professor Mrinal Mandal at the University of Alberta.
Working in tandem with a PhD student, Suranjana is helping to develop a diagnostics system that would connect to a medical-laboratory computer via its USB drive. The system would include specialized image processing software that can analyze an image of a patient’s skin at the site of a suspected lesion to provide fast and accurate diagnoses. Once complete, the tool could be sold to medical testing laboratories to provide an important first step for diagnosis that could save laboratory resources and reduce time delays on testing results.
Suranjana is feeling a sense of fulfilment and purpose from her research, saying, “Every day I am doing something wonderful. The reality of what it’s like here has far surpassed my expectations!” She hopes to return to Canada some day for graduate school in biomedical image processing—an opportunity, she says, that would help her to realize her dreams.
Mitacs would like to thank Industry Canada, the Governments of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, and Le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies. Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamentode Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education.