Radiology researcher wins big for work on AI, cardiovascular risk

Chun Yuan, PhD, has received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the American Heart Association’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine for his work on using AI to detect blocked arteries and cardiovascular risk. Yuan, a professor of radiology and bioengineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, was also awarded $10,000 in prize money and an additional $50,000 in Amazon Web Service (AWS) service credits to help expand his research going forward.

The research was completed through the American Heart Association’s AWS-powered Precision Medicine Platform. Its focus was the value AI algorithms can provide by assessing knee MRI scans. Yuan found that AI could read MRI scans in a matter of minutes, identifying key features without any help from a human specialist.  

“The especially exciting thing about this research is that we are able to use our technology to detect diseased blood vessels in knee images that were not acquired with that in mind,” Yuan said in a prepared statement.

“These awards are designed to inspire the brightest minds in computer science,” Jennifer Hall, PhD, chief of the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, said in the same statement. “By offering researchers like Dr. Yuan secure workspaces and new tools for data analysis, we aim to drive fresh approaches to improve precision medicine.”