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AI health scholar Anant Madabhushi joins Emory School of Medicine
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Nikki B. Troxclair
Anant Madabhushi

A global leader in developing artificial intelligence to improve outcomes for people with cancer and other diseases, Anant Madabhushi joins Emory in July as part of the university’s growing research community focused on advancing AI to serve humanity.

Anant Madabhushi, PhD, a global leader in developing artificial intelligence to improve outcomes for individuals with cancer and other diseases, will join Emory School of Medicine in July 2022 as part of the university’s growing research community focused on advancing AI to serve humanity.

He will hold a primary faculty appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and secondary appointments in the Departments of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Biomedical Informatics (BMI) and Pathology.

Madabhushi comes to Emory from Case Western Reserve University, where he is the director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics and Donnell Institute Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is also a research health scientist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center. 

Madabhushi has authored more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and holds more than 100 patents either issued or pending in the areas of artificial intelligence, radiomics, computational pathology, medical image analysis and computer vision. His team has been applying these approaches for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of treatment response across a spectrum of disease including different types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and ophthalmology.

“Over the next few years, Emory’s AI.Humanity Initiative will recruit 60 to 75 new faculty members focused on harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to advance human progress in areas such as health, social justice, business and law, and the arts and sciences,” says Provost Ravi V. Bellamkonda.

”Emory offers a fertile environment for cross-campus collaborations that seek to leverage AI to benefit society,” adds Bellamkonda. “Anant Madabhushi is an innovative scholar and doer, a true visionary whose bold ideas in the use of AI to improve human health will be foundational to our goals of expanding Emory’s education and research community in this arena. We are delighted to welcome him to Emory.” 

Integrating AI to transform health care 

Emory has continued to focus on bringing research and scholarly work from the bench to the bedside with an objective of accelerating innovation. Integrating AI into the mainstream components of health care delivery can help to improve health outcomes and patient experiences.

“Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of AI for precision medicine,  Madabhushi brings unique expertise and a collaborative approach that will bolster Emory’s efforts to develop AI as an interdisciplinary initiative between technologists, humanists, social scientists and health care specialists across the university,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Emory’s executive vice president of health affairs and CEO of Emory Healthcare. “This work will continue to have a profound impact in how we improve lives and provide hope to the patients we serve.”

Emory School of Medicine, under the leadership of Dean Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, ScD, developed a strategic framework focused on recruitment and investment in specific areas of eminence, based on existing strengths as well as potential for growth and game-changing impact in the field. One such area of focus is biomedical engineering, informatics and technologies. 

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to transform medicine at this unique time in biomedical history. We can now gather massive amounts of data, mine it and visualize it in sophisticated ways, and act on it in real time in the ICU or predict future health challenges, personalized to each individual,” says Sukhatme. “Madabhushi and team will build upon the impressive work of our existing faculty and staff and solidify Emory’s role in reshaping how medicine is practiced.” 

Madabhushi’s recruitment was enabled by funds from the School of Medicine, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the executive vice president for health affairs, and also supported by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Winship Cancer Institute, the Goizueta Institute at Emory Brain Health and Grady Hospital. 

“I am extremely excited by this opportunity to be joining a top tier research institution like Emory with its integrated health system,” says Madabhushi. “The access to top technical talent, world class faculty in the biomedical sciences, a medical enterprise that caters to a catchment area of over 5 million people and Emory’s commitment to addressing health inequity and social justice are what drew me to Emory. 

“I am excited by the opportunity to create a fountainhead of AI research in medicine at Emory, and to translate these discoveries and innovations into the clinic for addressing a spectrum of indications including cancer, cardiovascular, kidney and eye diseases,” he continues. “Most critically, the ecosystem at Emory is very aligned with work my team has been doing on using AI to help tackle racial health disparities and global health.” 

Innovative approaches to cancer research 

Madabhushi is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. In 2017, he received the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society award for technical achievements in computational imaging and digital pathology.

His work on "Smart imaging computers for identifying lung cancer patients who need chemotherapy" was called out by Prevention Magazine as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2018. In 2019, Nature Magazine hailed him as one of five scientists developing "offbeat and innovative approaches for cancer research." In 2019, 2020 and 2021, Madabhushi was named to The Pathologist’s Power List of 100 inspirational and influential professionals in pathology. 

In 2021 he was honored as one of Crain’s Cleveland Business Notable Entrepreneurs of the year and also was conferred a Faculty Distinguished Research Award by Case Western Reserve University. His work on using AI for addressing health disparities, especially in identifying differences in appearance of prostate cancer between Black and white men, received national attention in 2020.

Madabhushi has secured almost $80 million in grant funding and co-founded three companies. He has been involved in several sponsored research and industry partnerships with medical imaging and pharmaceutical companies. In addition, more than 30 technologies developed by Madabhushi’s team have been licensed.

He earned a bachelor of engineering from Mumbai University, a master of science in biomedical engineering from University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania.

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