Imaging the Human Body

We are developing new ways of imaging the human body to support the treatment of painful conditions like Crohn’s disease. Patients with Crohn’s suffer from chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which causes persistent diarrhea, internal bleeding and lasting pain. The disease is prevalent in the United States, where 201 of every 100,000 individuals are afflicted, and cases are rising rapidly in developing countries.

With funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, our goal is to use virtual reality to develop interactive, 3D models of a patient’s digestive tract from MRI or CT scans. With these detailed images, surgeons will can better identify strictures, narrowing and/or twisting of the small and large intestines in Crohn’s disease patients. The ultimate goal is to customize patient treatments based on their own unique anatomy, and improve patients’ experience and understanding of the disease.

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Jurgen Shulze


Dr. Jurgen Schulze is an Associate Research Scientist at UCSD’s Qualcomm Institute, and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the computer
science department, where he teaches computer graphics and virtual reality. His research interests include applications for virtual and augmented reality systems, 3D human-computer interaction, and medical data visualization. He holds an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. After his graduation he spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department at Brown University working on real-time volume rendering in virtual reality.


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