My name is Loris Fichera and I am one of the recipients of the 2016 Koh Young/ISCAS Young Investigator scholarship. I received a PhD from the University of Genoa/Italian Institute of Technology in 2015 and currently work as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Medical Engineering and Discovery Laboratory and Computer-Assisted Otologic Surgery Laboratory at Vanderbilt University (Nashville TN, USA).
My research interests are in the application of engineering tools and computer science to solve problems in the medical domain. I am especially interested in the development of novel systems that present a tangible clinical value, for instance, making a procedure more accurate or enabling new procedures that are not possible with current instrumentation. At Vanderbilt, my colleagues and I are exploring the use of image guidance to enhance otologic surgery. Our specific goals include enabling new procedures like minimally invasive cochlear implantation, as well as improving the safety and accuracy of existing procedures by developing novel surgical tools and incorporating image guidance and robotics into the surgical workflow.
Interaction with clinical collaborators is a fundamental component of my research, as it provides the practical guidance I need to make progress in my work. Effective communication is key to such progress, yet this is not always straightforward to establish, and requires the ability to bridge the gap between engineering and the medical domain. ISCAS plays an important role in connecting the engineering and medical communities, and by doing so already fosters effective communication between engineers and medical doctors. In this perspective, I found it very informative to have a clinical-oriented invited talk at the beginning of some of the sessions of the ISCAS meeting this year, and I look forward to more of these talks in the future.