Dr Qiang Zhang, deep learning scientist and a British Heart Foundation CRE fellow within OCMR and CVM, has won the Early Career Award (in the clinical category), at the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) 25th Annual Scientific Sessions 2022
Dr Zhang received the award for his work titled “Development of Deep Learning Virtual Native Enhancement for Gadolinium-Free Myocardial Infarction and Viability Assessment”.
The current imaging gold-standard for detecting scar in the myocardium is a CMR scan that requires injection of a gadolinium-based contrast agent. Virtual Native Enhancement (VNE), invented by Dr Zhang with Prof. Stefan Piechnik, Prof. Vanessa Ferreira and their team, is a new artificial intelligence-based CMR technology for myocardial tissue characterisation that requires no gadolinium contrast and no needles.
I am very grateful for the fantastic mentorship and multi-disciplinary teamwork at OCMR which made this award possible. We aim to further develop AI solutions for faster and safer tests for heart conditions to improve patient care.
- Dr Qiang Zhang
VNE was previously validated in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and has now been further developed for detecting scars from a previous heart attack (myocardial infarction). This new technique has enormous potential to replace conventional CMR scans for assessing other common cardiac pathologies. VNE can significantly reduce CMR scan time and costs, improve clinical practice, and expand the reach of CMR in the near future.