Computational Health Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. M. Brandon Westover, MD, PhD

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday November 10, 2016 - Friday November 11, 2016
      3:00 pm - 3:59 pm
  • Location: Klaus 1116 West
  • Phone:
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Patrice Davis-Duncan


Summary Sentence: Computational Health Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. M. Brandon Westover, MD, PhD

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What:                                        Computational Health Distinguished Lecture Series

When:                                       Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time:                                          Lecture: 3PM – 4PM, Reception: 2:30-3PM

Where:                                      Klaus 1116 West

Speaker:                                   M. Brandon Westover, MD, PhD

Title: Why Brains Need Computers: How Computer Science and Engineering can Improve Neurology


Expert level GO and chess are here, while self-driving cars and human-level computer vision and speech recognition are rapidly becoming realities. Meanwhile, despite hype about "precision medicine" and "big medical data", the day-to-day practice of neurology continues to rely almost entirely on human expertise. In this talk I will introduce a range of real-world clinical problems for which computing, data science, machine learning, engineering, and other technical approaches can improve neurology, and why previous attempts at solving some of these problems have failed. These problems include: predicting which patients with brain injuries will have seizures; detecting seizures and seizure-like patterns in streaming brain monitoring (electroencephalography, EEG) data streams; diagnosing epilepsy in patients who have it, and avoiding misdiagnosing it in patients who don't; predicting which epilepsy patients will benefit from existing therapies; predicting whether a comatose patient will eventually recover consciousness; detecting impending cerebral infarction (stroke) in patients with brain aneurysms; automating the delivery of anesthesia to patients with acute brain swelling or  life-threatening seizures; computing a patient's level of consciousness from the EEG and EKG signals; diagnosing delirium; and tracking sleep stages. For each of these problems, we will point out pitfalls, progress to date, and remaining challenges.




Dr. M. Brandon Westover, MD, PhD, completed medical training and a PhD degree in physics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a neurologist specializing in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where he directs the MGH  Critical Care EEG Monitoring Service. Clinically, he is interested in applying electroencephalography (EEG) to help care for patients with acute neurological conditions such as delirium, anoxic brain injury, status epilepticus, and delayed cerebral ischemia following subarachnoid hemorrhage. His research interests include automated methods for interpreting clinical EEG data, closed-loop control of sedation and analgesia, biomedical informatics, probabilistic analysis of medical decisions, and the neurophsyiology of pain, sedation, and delirium in critically ill patients.  Dr. Westover’s overarching research goal is to improve neurology and particularly neurocritical care through the application of engineering principles, applied mathematics, and computational approaches.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

School of Interactive Computing, College of Computing

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Undergraduate students, Graduate students
M. Brandon Westover, Computational Health Distinguished Lecture Series, College of Computing, Georgia Tech, School of Interactive Computing
  • Created By: Birney Robert
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 4, 2016 - 10:22am
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:14pm