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Joseph Jacob wins the NHLI thesis prize

11 July, 2017

Joseph Jacob, supervised by Professors David Hansell and Paul Cullinan, has won the NHLI thesis prize for work performed with the Mayo Clinic Rochester with whom he is currently employed. The work involved using an advanced computer algorithm to quantify disease extents on chest CT scans in over 850 patients with fibrosing lung disease. During the course of the analyses, it was discovered that computer-derived measures of disease extent were better at predicting mortality than visual CT scores. In longitudinal analyses in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, computer-derived CT features were more powerful and more sensitive measures of disease progression than lung function tests.

The work has resulted in nine publications to date and several national and international awards. Two of the papers were selected as being amongst the 5 most important imaging papers of 2016 at the American Thoracic Society conference in 2017. The work has also signalled, to the radiology community, the arrival of computer analysis of CT imaging as a realistic alternative outcome measure in patient with pulmonary fibrosis.