Angel Pineda, Ph.D, associate professor of mathematics, awarded NIH grant

Photograph of Dr. Angel Pineda at the whiteboard with math problems on the board in the background.Angel Pineda, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, has been awarded a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) $395,000 grant. Grant funding will support Pineda’s project, “Optimizing Acquisition and Reconstruction of Under-sampled MRI for Signal Detection.”

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is known as a versatile imaging modality but suffers from slow acquisition times. By reducing the time patients need to be in the scanner, accelerating MRI would benefit patients and improve public health by reducing time and cost. This research project advances a larger scientific effort to accelerate MRI while maintaining the diagnostic quality by optimizing the performance of constrained reconstruction and deep learning on detecting subtle signals in accelerated MRI. 

"The grant provides research funding, scope and collaborations for our undergraduate and graduate students which are typically only accessible at major research universities,” Pineda says. “The students are working on research that is at the forefront of understanding the applications of constrained reconstruction and deep learning to medical imaging. The grant combines mathematics, statistics, MRI and vision research to optimize MRI using signal detection by human observers.”

Pineda, the project’s principal investigator, will collaborate with researchers from the University of Iowa, which will participate as a sub-grantee. He has been awarded a number of grants since 2008, including grants from the NIH and the National Science Foundation.

As part of the partnership with Manhattan College, researchers at the University of Iowa will provide support with MRI reconstruction and consultants at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Santa Barbara who will provide advice on MRI and vision research respectively. Being part of such a collaboration creates a rare interdisciplinary experience for our students while maintaining the personal attention that characterizes Manhattan College.” Pineda explains. 

A prolific writer who has published numerous articles in professional journals Pineda is a graduate of Lafayette College and earned his doctorate in applied mathematics from the University of Arizona. Pineda also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in radiology at Stanford University.

He concludes, “Having these research opportunities for students and faculty will help with recruitment of both. For years, the college has been supporting my scholarly activity with a faculty development plan, summer grants, and School of Science Scholar research funding for my students. The research that led to this grant being funded is a result of the investment by the College, and I am glad that it has resulted in resources coming back."

Patrice Athanasidy