SYNLAB

SYNLAB SDN is a big enterprise that operates in the field of integrated diagnostics It has been recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Research Institute (IRCCS) for this field. Thanks to the vast technological equipment and the skills and quality of the human resources involved, approximately 100,000 in-vivo imaging performances, mainly CT, MR and PET, and one million in-vitro exams, which mainly includes laboratory and molecular diagnostics, are conducted every year. Furthermore, the presence of a Biobank, certified by BBMRI, allows the collection and storage of biological samples that can be linked to the imaging data.

Given the amount of diagnostic data produced, which is characterized by high heterogeneity, two interdisciplinary laboratories dedicated to information processing have been created within the Institute to manage and process such complex information in order to improve diagnostic efficiency and accuracy:

– The Image Processing laboratory: where technological skills converge to develop image processing and computer vision applications to derive numerical descriptors from diagnostic images (radiomics and connectomics) and to improve the visualization of images and construction of 3D models.

– The Bioinformatics and Statistics laboratory: characterized by a multidisciplinary team that develops bioinformatic statistical methods and data science techniques oriented towards radiogenomic integration, epigenetics and network medicine in support of precision medicine and the customization of diagnostic protocols.

In particular, the activities in the AI field aim to pursue the following objectives:

– Enhancing secondary data by developing automatic and semi-automatic procedures for the structuring and standardization of retrospective data of clinical records, in accordance with FAIR principles

– Developing AI-based diagnostic support systems in the domains of diagnostic images, biomedical signals and NGS technologies

– Evaluating the role and impact of AI-based techniques in diagnostic practice

– Developing and validating radiomics and radiogenomics techniques to identify potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers

– Using imaging data to define population templates for the development of simulation systems for in-silico trials

– Developing automatic tools for the interpretation and prediction of complex clinical events.

Role of institution in the project

SYNLAB SDN SYNLAB SDN will be involved in the activities of three work packages. In WP2, Engagement and Liaison of Data Providers, SYNLAB SDN staff be part of the evangelization team and will support the imaging data preparation procedures. In WP5, Data Federation & Interoperability Framework, SYNLAB SDN will participate to the definition of data quality procedures as well as de-identification and data annotation tasks. In WP6, Federated data processing and analysis, The SYNLAB staff will contribute to the presentation of the services catalogue developed within the EUCAIM project.

Marco Aiello

Marco Aiello is senior researcher at IRRCS SYNLAB SDN. He obtained a Master Degree in Physics (2006), and PhD in Computer Science (2010) from University Federico II, Naples. He then joined as a Post-Doc the FIIG (Functional Instrumentation and Imaging Group), INFN and University of PISA. In 2022 he obtained the National Scientific Qualification as full professor in both Applied Physics and Science of Health Professions. Currently, he is the coordinator of the Image Processing Laboratory at IRCCS SYNLAB SDN. His main research interests span the fields of multi-modality medical imaging technology and data analysis techniques, including Big data analytics and AI. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3676-0664

Valentina Brancato

Valentina Brancato is Biomedical Engineer and Medical Imaging researcher at IRCCS SYNLAB SDN and PhD student in Computational and Quantitative Biology at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies of the University of Naples Federico II. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II in January 2018. She deals mainly with the development and application of methods for the processing and analysis of biomedical images, with particular attention to the registration of radiological images and the extraction of quantitative descriptors from MRI, CT, and PET images (radiomics) for the prediction of clinical outcome. The main field of application of these activities is the oncology sector for the diagnosis and classification of tumors. In this context, she published several scientific papers in indexed journals. Among the research topics investigated there are the analysis of digital pathology images and the combined study of quantitative data from imaging techniques performed at different spatial resolution scales (diagnostic imaging, histopathology) and associated with oncological pathologies. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6232-7645

Carlo Cavaliere

Carlo Cavaliere is radiologist, senior researcher at IRCCS SYNLAB SDN. His research experience is focused on advanced MR imaging techniques and PET/MR findings integration in oncological field and others, ranging from preclinical imaging applications to clinical ones. During his medical doctor degree, achieved in 2007, he acquired several skills in histological preparation and staining of pluripotent cells and tissues, and ex-vivo and two-photon in-vivo optical microscopy imaging, as evidenced by his literature production. Following, during his specialization in Radiology achieved in 2012, he focused on in vivo preclinical imaging techniques, gathering experience in micro-CT and micro-MR acquisitions in different animal models with a translational medicine view. Finally, since 2012, Dr. Cavaliere moved to the private research sector and currently holds a clinical advisor and a researcher position at IRCCS-SDN. Here, thanks to the availability of cutting-edge technologies, he began to explore advance MR sequences and multimodal approaches, aiming to stress advantages/drawbacks of each modality, and, mainly, to highlight the added value of their mutual integration. From 2015 up to now, he coordinated the imaging laboratory, supervising lesion segmentation processes, and exploring radiomics features extraction in different kinds of lesions (e.g., prostate, head and neck, and breast cancer). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3297-2213

Marco Salvatore

Marco Salvatore is a leading expert in the research and application of diagnostic imaging. He ranks among the top experts in the world in the field of diagnostic imaging. He is the author of over 600 publications, most of them in international journals. He received his medical doctor degree with honors in 1969 from University Federico II, Naples. He received Specialization in Radiology with honors in 1973 from University of Naples Federico II, Naples and in Nuclear Medicine in 1975 from University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome. He was scientific director of the National Cancer Institute of Naples “Fondazione Giovanni Pascale” from 1989 to 1995. From 2000 to 2013, he was director of the Department of Imaging Diagnostics at the Policlinico of the University of Naples Federico II, where he had been a full professor of Imaging Diagnostics since 1985. From 2015 to the present, he is Scientific Director of the SYNLAB SDN, Institute of excellence for research and healthcare (IRCCS) with a focus on diagnostics. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9734-7702

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