Dr. Aaron Fenster

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, 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.

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

  • Program Director, Imaging Program, OICR;
  • 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

Michael J, Morton D, Batchelar D, Hilts M, Crook J, Fenster A.
Development of a 3D Ultrasound Guidance System for Permanent Breast Seed Implantation.
Medical Physics. 2018; In press.

Nahlawi L, Goncalves C, Imani F, Gaed M, Gomez JA, Moussa M, Gibson E, Fenster A, Ward A, Abolmaesumi P, Shatkay H, Mousavi P.
Stochastic Modeling of Temporal Enhanced Ultrasound: Impact of Temporal Properties on Prostate Cancer Characterization.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2018; 65(8):1798-1809.

Martin P, Cool D, Fenster A, and Ward A.
A comparison of prostate tumor targeting strategies using magnetic resonance imaging-targeted, transrectal ultrasound-guided fusion biopsy.
Med Phys. 2018; 45(3):1018-1028.

Shahedi M, Cool DW, Bauman GS, Bastien-Jordan M, Fenster A, Ward AD.
Accuracy Validation of an Automated Method for Prostate Segmentation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
J Digit Imaging. 2017; 30(6):782-795.

Gravett M, Cepek J, and Fenster A.
An Ultra-High Field Strength MR Image-Guided Robotic Needle Delivery System for In-Bore Small Animal Interventions.
Med Phys. 2017; 44(11):5544-5555.

De Silva T, Cool DW, Yuan J, Romagnoli C, Samarabandu J, Fenster A, Ward AD.
Robust 2D-3D registration optimization to motion compensation during 3D TRUS-guided biopsy using learned prostate motion data.
IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2017; 36(10):2010-2020.

Rodgers J, Surry K, Leung E, D’Souza D, Fenster A.
Toward a 3D transrectal ultrasound system for high-dose-rate interstitial gynecologic brachytherapy.
Med Phys. 2017;44(5):1899-1911.

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.

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

afenster@robarts.ca