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CUSAT Researcher Bags National Award for Pioneering Contributions in the Field of Cancer Diagnosis

In Education
November 09, 2020

Dr. Asha Das, former Ph.D scholar of Cochin University of Science and Technology, has been awarded the Innovative Student Projects Award 2020 for the Best Ph.D Thesis instituted by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), New Delhi.

The award is in recognition of her pioneering contributions in the field of cancer diagnosis. The research work was carried out at the Artificial Intelligence & Computer Vision Lab, Department of Computer Science, Cochin University of Science and Technology under the guidance of Prof. Dr. S. David Peter and Dr. Madhu S. Nair. It is for the third time that CUSAT bags this award, previously being in 2004 and 2012.

Dr. Asha Das secured this award competing with many other outstanding research works mainly from IITs. The award was received for developing an automated breast cancer grading technology harnessing advanced techniques in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, can be detected using mammography and ultrasound scanning techniques.

But only through breast tissue biopsy and analysis under high power microscopes by experienced pathologists, we can confirm the presence, type, grade, and malignancy of cancer. Such visual diagnosis, however, is very tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. The technology developed as a part of the research work using advanced forms of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision can automate the tedious and time-consuming pre- diagnostic steps that pathologists perform manually and can help make diagnosis accurate, reliable, efficient and cost-effective.

Dr. Asha Das is currently working as Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Union Christian College, Aluva. She passed her SSLC with honors and
completed her B.Tech graduation from the College of Engineering Adoor and M.Tech in Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science, University of Kerala. She is the daughter of D. Yesudas (Rtd. Polytechnic Lecturer) and R.N. Flora (Rtd. High School teacher) and wife of BPCL-Kochi Refinery employee Shibu K.L. Neha Shibu, daughter is an 8 th standard student.