Dr. Aaron Fenster

Co-Program Director, Imaging Program

Dr. Aaron Fenster is driven by the opportunity to use technological innovations to meet the challenges of cancer diagnosis and therapy needs. The broad goal of his research program is to invent, develop and translate image-guided therapy systems for minimally invasive procedures to treat prostate, breast, gynaecologic and liver cancer. These procedures require accurate guidance of needles to a tumour and ablating it with heat or radiation. Innovations from his lab meet this challenge and involve the use of three dimensional ultrasound (3D US), mechatronic systems, advanced image processing and guidance software.

Minimally invasive therapy procedures using guidance of needles to targets in the human body are challenged by inaccuracy and variability, resulting in therapy-caused complications and sub-optimal outcomes. Working with a team of engineers, physicists and physician collaborators, Dr. Fenster has addressed these challenges by pioneering 3D US technology and inventing novel mechatronic guidance systems and software for complete therapy solutions. These solutions have been translated into clinical use and to commercial companies.

Dr. Fenster’s research at OICR will produce more accurate and precise therapy techniques, thereby reducing therapy-caused complications and improving outcomes for patients. They will be translated through clinical testing with clinician collaborators to the clinical community and commercial companies for global distribution.

Current affiliations

  • Co-Program Director, OICR Imaging Program
  • Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization
  • Chair, Division of Imaging Sciences, Department of Medical Imaging, Western University
  • Scientist, Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute
  • Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute
  • Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering, Western University
  • Professor, Department of Oncology, Western University
  • Professor, Department of Medical Imaging, Western University
  • Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University

Research interests

  • Image-guided intervention
  • Robotic systems
  • Image processing and analysis

Select publications

See Dr. Fenster’s recent publications on PubMed.

Tools

  • 3D ultrasound guided prostate biopsy system
  • 3D ultrasound guided prostate therapy system
  • 3D ultrasound guided liver tumour ablation system
  • 3D ultrasound guided breast brachytherapy system
  • 3D ultrasound guided gynaecologic brachytherapy system

Software

  • 3D ultrasound acquisition and reconstruction
  • 3D image visualization system
  • Guidance software for needle insertion into tissue
  • Image-based motion compensation
  • Needle segmentation
  • Prostate segmentation in ultrasound and MR images
  • MR to 3D ultrasound prostate registration
  • Motor control for 3D ultrasound scanning

Awards

  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Premier’s Discovery Award for Innovation and Leadership
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Fellow
  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chair, Tier 1
  • Western University, Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research
  • Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists, Gold Medal Award
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
  • Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Fellow
  • International Organization for Medical Physics, 50 international Medical Physicists who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Medical Physics over the past 50 years
  • Western University, Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Faculty – Team Award, The Biomedical Imaging Research Centre (BIRC)
  • Western University, Department of Medical Imaging, Annual Award for Academic Excellence in Research
  • Western University, Vanguard Award for issued patent, 2016
  • Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), Senior Member
  • Western University, Medical Imaging Chair/Chief’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Previous experience and education

  • Program Director, Imaging Translation Program, OICR
  • Co-Program Director, Smarter Imaging Program, OICR
  • Director, Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Medical Biophysics, Supervisor: Dr. H.E. Johns, University of Toronto

Opportunities to collaborate

  • Image-guided interventions using ultrasound, MR, CT or x-ray imaging for prostate, breast, liver gynaecologic and any other cancers
  • Robotic and mechatronic systems used in image-guided interventions
  • Segmentation and registration algorithms of organs, tumours or needle
  • Multi-image modality registration
  • Prostate, breast, and gynaecologic brachytherapy
  • MR-guided thermal focal ablation of prostate tumours

Visit OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources directory for more opportunities to collaborate with OICR researchers.

Related links

Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization

CIMTEC Leadership Profile – Dr. Aaron Fenster

Robarts Research Scientist Profile – Dr. Aaron Fenster

Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Faculty Profile – Dr. Aaron Fenster

Contact

Dr. Aaron Fenster
afenster@robarts.ca