Hanif M. Ladak, PH.D., P.Eng
Dr. Hanif Ladak is rapidly establishing himself as expert in digital image analysis for disease diagnosis, treatment and monitoring, and virtual reality and robotics applications. He is a leading authority on three-dimensional image segmentation for use in prostate cancer therapy. Image-guided surgery and therapy is a unique area of research aiming to make surgery less invasive and traumatic for patients. This is accomplished by bringing together experts in a host of disciplines, including radiology, engineering, neurosurgery and robotics, to develop 3-D virtual organs to help guide physicians in their work. In April 2000, Ladak joined the University of Western Ontario as an Assistant Professor in the departments of Medical Biophysics and Electrical and Computer Engineering and as an Associate Scientist in the Image Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute. Since then, he has instituted a medical image processing research program focusing on segmentation techniques for prostate cancer and vascular applications. This work has led to two patents and has been licensed by several international companies providing prostate brachytherapy technology to hospitals. Ladak is an established contributor to biomedical research, and has published more than 11 refereed journal articles and contributed to nearly 20 conference publications. He is regarded as an excellent teacher, with good rapport with students. He teaches courses in electronic circuits and image processing and offers graduate and undergraduate students a diverse range of experience in medical imaging, image processing, software design and validation. He has served as a thesis advisor to graduate students and project supervisor to final-year undergraduates. His courses are carefully designed to encourage engineering students to work together in highly interdisciplinary teams. His principal course on digital image processing has one of the highest student ratings of any course in the faculty. As a result of his research productivity, Engineer Ladak received an Early Career Award from the University of Toronto's Alumni Association. His research contributions have also enabled him to acquire a substantial amount of external research funding, most recently in the form of a "Discovery Grant" from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.