Biomedical image analysis plays a crucial role in life sciences and healthcare, enabling researchers and clinicians to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of visual data. Automatic analysis of microscopy data enables quantitative studies of fundamental biological processes, such as gene expression or cell division, or to investigate the mechanism of action of drugs on cells and model organisms. Medical image analysis aims at providing tools for computer-aided diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the identification of biomarkers for treatment response.
The research we conduct inside PRAIRIE in this field involves the design and validation of new methodological approaches, with applications in the fields of neurological diseases and cancer. We work on a large variety of imaging modalities, such as light microscopy, histopathology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET). We aim at providing AI tools that can assist clinical decisions, widen access to cutting-edge care, allow progression towards precision medicine and a better understanding of diseases and biological mechanisms.
AI is particularly promising in biological and medical imaging but major challenges remain to be addressed. Training AI often requires large amounts of annotated data, which may be unrealistic in a biomedical context. Moreover, robustness is a critical issue. In particular, translation from highly-curated research or benchmark data to clinical practice is a major challenge. We therefore need methods that can work in a low-data regime, identify failures modes and account for changes in data distribution. Finally, we have more and more multimodal datasets, where different image modalities or image and omics data are available for the same patients. Integrating these data will therefore be one of the major challenges over the next few years.
In addition to these research activities, PRAIRIE chairs in biomedical imaging are strongly contributing to training in AI for audiences of various types, from engineers to MDs to future entrepreneurs.
Finally, in collaboration with other 3IA institutes, PRAIRIE also plays a major role in animating the community in the field of biomedical image analysis at a national level. Notably, we have created the first annual French conference on AI for biomedical imaging that gathers stakeholders across academia, clinical practice and industry.