Dr.Rebecca Theilmann , UCSD, Theresa, and Dr. Salamon

Dr.Rebecca Theilmann , UCSD, Theresa, and Dr. Salamon

Theresa Morrison is a third year undergraduate student studying applied mathematics and physics. She has also been participating in collaboration between our department and the department of biology and the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at UCSD. Theresa’s work is helping provide quantitative analyses of MRI images of the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients. She presented her work at the Student Research Symposium and received the President’s Award for her presentation.

Cystic Fibrosis is a severe disease that is effects around 30,000 people in the United States and has a median age of death around 38 years. While the disease affects the entire body, death is usually the result of respiratory failure, making lung health critically important. Our research focuses on developing a method for analyzing MRI images so they can be used as a sensitive and noninvasive technique for measuring lung health. MRI images show water content in the image. Within a healthy lung, water is observed from lung tissue and blood; however within a CF lung water can also be present due to high levels of mucus.

Theresa’s work focuses on isolating mucus within the lung and quantifying its volume. Her project identifies moving mucus within the lung through image registration and the comparison of images. She isolated a small region within the lung and used a three step process for the registration.   First she found the center of intensity and did a translational registration. Second she used an iterative process in Matlab to create an affine transformation. Third she found the intermediate point of these transformations and used that for the final registration.

Theresa has been working with Professor Salamon from the Department of Mathematics at SDSU and Professor Rebecca Theilmann from the Department of Radiology at UCSD.

Theresa presented her talk at the CSU Student Research Competition on Friday 2 May 2014.