Prof. Sahand Jamal Rahi

CIS – “Get to know your neighbors” Seminar Series

“Using neural networks to analyze microscopy images.”

Prof. Sahand Jamal Rahi, Tenure Track Assistant Professor , Laboratory of the Physics of Biological Systems 

Monday, April 19, 2021 – 3:15 – 4:15pm (CEST)

Quantitative insights into genetic and cellular systems require the analysis of large imaging data sets, which is currently so time-consuming that it represents a key bottleneck to research. While machine learning has revolutionized image processing, methods for analyzing 2D images of yeast cells and 4D images of C. elegans worm brains have been inefficient and inaccurate. This is surprising as there are hundreds of yeast laboratories around the world and whole-brain imaging of small animals is increasingly popular. For both types of data, a myriad of techniques from the computer vision literature could, in principle, provide a solution but many, in practice, are too inaccurate or difficult to make work.

I will present our solution for 2D yeast image segmentation, our current work on 4D deforming brains, and future research directions.

After studying mathematics, physics, and biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, Sahand completed his PhD in theoretical physics studying quantum fluctuation forces at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He then switched to the intersection of physics and biology as an Independent Fellow at The Rockefeller University, working on experiments and theory in systems biology in yeast. After being hired at EPFL, he spent an intervening year working on systems neuroscience in C. elegans at Harvard University.