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Dr. Tim Salcudean

Canada Research Chair, Tier 1, Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Faculty of Applied Science

Vancouver Prostate Centre

Tim Salcudean received his B. Eng (Hons.) and M.Eng degrees from McGill University and the Ph.D. degree from U.C. Berkeley, all in Electrical Engineering. From 1986 to 1989, he was a Research Staff Member in the robotics group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He then joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where he is now a Professor and holds a Canada Research Chair and the C.A. Laszlo Chair in Biomedical Engineering. He is also an Associate Member in the Department of Urologic Sciences. Professor Salcudean spent one year at ONERA-CERT (aerospace controls laboratory) in Toulouse, France, in 1996-1997, where he held a Killam Research Fellowship, and six months, during 2005, in the medical robotics group (GMCAO) at CNRS in Grenoble, France. Prof. Salcudean has been a co-organizer of several symposia on haptic interfaces and has served as a Technical and Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and of the IEEE.

Current Research Focus

Dr. Salcudean’s research focuses on ultrasound, teleoperation and image-guided surgical robotics. With Dr. Rohling, he has developed imaging methods to measure tissue mechanical properties; with clinical collaborators, he explores their correlation with disease. His current work with Drs. Goldenberg and Black in imaging prostate cancer aims to improve diagnosis and robot-assisted surgery.

Example Project

“Image Guidance for Radical Prostatectomy”

Prostate cancer is the leading incident cancer in Canadian men. A standard treatment of organ-confined prostate cancer is prostate removal via open, laparoscopic, or robot-assisted surgery. While the long-term prognosis of prostate cancer patients has improved significantly over the past two decades, there are still many cases in which cancer is left behind after surgery. In addition, there are many cases in which the surgery is followed by complications such as impotence and incontinence. Robot-assistance provides improved visualization and dexterity to the surgeon, and has enabled for the vast majority of surgeries in North America to be carried out in a minimally invasive manner, which leads to shorter hospital stays and faster recovery for the patients. However, there remains a lack of guidance tools available to the surgeon for real time, in-field determination of the prostate region anatomy, and for the determination of tumor location, extension and proximity to critical structures such as the nerves responsible for erection. It is the goal of our research to provide such guidance tools in the form of an augmented reality system for robotassisted prostate surgery. The guidance tools will be based on an ultrasound system that has been developed in our group and demonstrated in preliminary studies, and upon the integration of MRI with this ultrasound system so that the surgeon can see the MRI images in correct relationship with the patient during surgery. If successful, this research may have a significant impact on the integration of ultrasound imaging and preoperative imaging into augmented reality systems for robot assisted and other types of surgery. 

Research Keywords

Medical Robotics, Image-Guided Interventions, Medical Image Analysis including Cancer Classification, Ultrasound, Elastography, Teleoperation