CDS Professor Carlos Fernandez-Granda Receives Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG-NTF)

CDS Professor Carlos Fernandez-Granda recently received the Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant — New to the Field (AARG-NTF). The award seeks to provide researchers with the appropriate funding to establish a research path in Alzheimer’s and all other dementias.

CDS Professor Carlos Fernandez-Granda
CDS Professor Carlos Fernandez-Granda

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, which is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s research, more than six million Americans are currently living with the disease. AD (Alzheimer’s disease) kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and deaths have increased by 16% during the COVID-19 pandemic. It goes without saying that there is a strong need for continued research in this area.

The objective of Carlos’ project is to leverage magnetic-resonance imaging using machine learning to perform early detection of AD. Development of this technique could lead to automatic early diagnosis, which would improve clinicians’ ability to select appropriate care, enable quicker access to treatment for patients, and clarify treatment timeline and course of action for caregivers. It would also inform health agency decisions on how to best allocate resources and facilitate effective selection of participants in clinical trials.

The project will be in collaboration with Professor Narges Razavian from the NYU School of Medicine and CDS PhD student Sheng Liu. It particularly focuses on robustness and interpretability as critical aspects for deployment in clinical settings. Advancement on these two aspects could lead to the development of reliable neuroimaging biomarkers which would facilitate automatic early diagnosis. Ultimately, furtherance of this research could have a significant impact on the quality of life for AD patients as well as the improvement of clinical research in this area.

About Carlos

Carlos Fernandez-Granda is Associate Professor of Mathematics and Data Science at Courant Institute of Mathematical Science and CDS. His research focuses on the design and analysis of data-science methodology. Currently, his central focus is on machine learning, and its application to medicine, climate science, and scientific imaging. Carlos is also a member of the Math and Data (MaD) group at NYU.

By Ashley C. McDonald