Graduate Seminar Series

Seminar Abstracts

View the abstracts from recent or upcoming seminars. 


Expand all   |   Collapse all  

Atefeh Razavi, M.S.—March 6, 2020

Patient-Specific Numerical Analysis of Coronary Blood Flow in Children with Intramural Anomalous Aortic Origin of Coronary Arteries

Intramural anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA) is a rare congenital heart defect where the origin of a coronary artery originates from the wrong sinus of Valsalva with an acute angle (angle of origin) and follows a course within the aortic wall. A surgical technique, known as “unroofing”, addresses this pathology by removing the intramural coronary segment and opening the potentially restrictive anomalous coronary orifice with the creation of a large neoorifice designed to arise perpendicularly from appropriate aortic sinus. Recent reports of sudden cardiac arrest after surgical unroofing have raised questions about the long-term consequences of this treatment, but the exact mechanism of ischemia and morbidity in these patients is unclear. Although abnormal angle of origin has been assumed to be a contributing factor in changing coronary artery blood flow patterns (i.e. hemodynamics), the effects of this anatomic feature on resulting hemodynamics have not been investigated in detail. The objectives of this study are to 1) analyze morphology and coronary blood flow patterns in AAOCA patients pre-operatively as well as post-unroofing, and 2) determine the effect of angle of origin on indices related to ischemia in a virtually manipulated model. The results of this study will characterize hemodynamic parameters previously linked to morbidity in AAOCA patients for the first time and determine the altered hemodynamics for risk stratification after unroofing surgery.

Emily Ward, Ph.D.—February 28, 2020

Object Perception in Humans and Machines

To navigate a complex and dynamic visual environment, our brain has to solve many different perceptual problems. One fundamental goal of our perceptual system is to partition the world into objects that can be identified and acted on. While this may seem straightforward because we see and interact with objects so effortlessly, most objects comprise many features (like color, shape and size) that we can view from many viewpoints, with many other objects and in many different contexts. How does the brain integrate different features into a coherent object representation, and how are such representations transformed to accommodate differences in viewpoint and context? I will present a series of studies that investigate the nature of the neural representations and operations that underlie such challenges of object perception. I will also discuss some new research that explores the emergence of perceptual operations by investigating failures of object perceptionvisual illusionsin artificial deep neural networks. 



Rob Cooper, Ph.D.—January 24, 2020

Tracking the Health of the Retina with Non-invasive Imaging:  Beyond the fundus image


The advent of adaptive optics (AO) ophthalmoscopy has enabled noninvasive visualization of cone structure in both health and disease. In this talk, I will introduce adaptive optics as a technique and show its evolution as an essential tool for researchers and clinicians alike. Additionally, I will discuss the structural and functional measurements currently in use in the field. Next, I will examine the utility and limitations of structural measurements for assessing disease. Finally, I will show how nascent functional measurements can be obtained using an AO ophthalmoscope, and explore how well these functional measurements align with our current understanding of retinal function.


View seminar schedule