Michael Pinkert

Graduate Researcher

My work is in multiscale imaging of collagen and breast density in breast cancer and I'm interested in quantitative correlations with breast cancer prognosis.  Having mammographically dense breasts is a strong risk factor for developing breast cancer, and many countries treat breast density as a reportable item to patients, but breast density has a statistically insignificant effect on survival.  There is little to no understanding of what component of breast density causes this increased risk.  We want to determine if this qualitative model can be quantified, and whether or not researchers can quantify breast density and its correlation to collagen.  We will be using collagen gels as a model for interactions in the extracellular matrix and multiscale, multimodal imaging of collagen gels using second harmonic generation microscopy (SHG), ultrasound, and MRI, as well as integrated software to co-register across all modalities.  We will be using co-registered parametric maps and maching learning algorithyms to quantify density, waviness, alignment, curvature developed in CurveAlign.