3MT 2023 Finalist  Sharanya Balachandran

Sharanya Balachandran

2023 People's Choice Award Winner

Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, College of Health Sciences

A Panoramic View of the Heart

Introduce yourself…

I am a second year PhD student in the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging. I started my master’s degree in 2019 at University of Alberta which has been converted to PhD last year.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I am working on 3D echocardiography fusion using artificial intelligence methods. Clinicians find difficult to assess the heart structures from the ultrasound images from single view. My research collects lot of 3D ultrasound videos from different views of heart and combine them so that it gives a better visualization of heart structures which enables accurate diagnosis of various heart diseases.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

It is challenging to do a 3-minute presentation of my research as 30 minutes would be a easy thing. But it made me to explore deep so that it is understandable to a general audience, and I see it is an opportunity to show case my research to the public.

What inspires you to do research?

I did my masters earlier back home in India and my thesis involved Epilepsy/Seizure detection using EEG. From where it kickstarted my research to apply the technological solutions on medical related applications. In my master’s degree with UoA my thesis work was on thyroid segmentation in ultrasound images which is an important step to assess the volume of thyroid for cancer diagnosis which inspired me to do research on medical images and my current work is on cardiac ultrasound image fusion.

What are three key words important to your 3MT?

Cardiac ultrasound, Artificial Intelligence, Fusion

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities at large?

Firstly, the cardiac image fusion would help the clinicians to assess the heart structures in detail which enables an accurate diagnosis of heart diseases which has been a challenging task. Secondly, the ultrasound imaging is time and energy efficient hence longer wait times of the heart patients can be reduced which reduces their stress and anxiety.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I would like to dedicate my research to my mentor and well-wisher Dr.Nizam Ahmed, my supervisors Dr.Kumaradevan Punithakumar and Dr. Michelle Noga for their constant support and guidance in my research career. Also, I would like to extend the dedication to my parents, my husband Prabakaran and my kids who are all been very encouraging to have a work-life balance.

3MT Image Description: Panoramic picture in phone, Human body with heart and ultrasound probe, Heart ultrasound images

Watch Sharanya's Three Minute Thesis