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Principal Investigator

Dr I. (Ihor) Smal

  • Department
  • Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics



The main focus of my research line is on combination of statistical signal/image processing and advanced data modeling for motion analysis (motion pattern understanding) applications. The goal is to bridge the gap between development of pure methodological advances in computer vision and machine learning, and solution of challenging real-world applications with high societal impact, which can benefit from using modern AI techniques. In other words, we shift the focus from pure image processing and analysis (of biomedical and medical applications) to completely automated image/data understanding, based on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which results in knowledge extraction from image data together with mathematical modeling of the underlying dynamical processes and acquisition systems.

Contact information:
Room Ee-692

Field(s) of expertise

Motion registration and analysis in movies and time-lapse image sequences (cellular and molecular bioimaging), stochastic processes, Bayesian statistics and applications, nonparametric statistics, Sequential Monte Carlo (Particle Filtering), Markov chain Monte Carlo, single molecule localization microscopy, stochastic simulations and modeling, computer vision, neural networks, deep learning and reinforcement learning methods. 

Education and career

- Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences Theme, Oct. 2019 — present, Erasmus MC
- Assistant Professor, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Dec. 2018 — Oct. 2019, TU Delft 
- Postdoctoral researcher, Feb. 2009 — Oct. 2018, Erasmus MC
- PhD, statistical image processing and motion analysis, Feb. 2005 – Feb. 2009, Erasmus University Rotterdam
- Professional Doctorate in Engineering (cum laude), applied mathematics, Feb. 2003 – Feb. 2005, Eindhoven University of Technology
- Master of Science (summa cum laude), physics and electrical engineering, Sep. 1994 – Jun. 1999, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine


Recent Findings 

Previous studies in the lab have shown that autologous dendritic cells pulsed with allogenic tumor cell lysate was able to induce peripheral T cell activation and tumor-reactive T cell responses in patients with mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer. Current research focuses on how to initiate an effective immune response in the tumor as well as the tumor-draining lymph node using dendritic cell vaccination. Furthermore, we are studying novel approaches for (personalized) vaccination. In addition, we have identified T cell characteristics that underlie clinical efficacy of immune check inhibitors or chemotherapeutic agents in mesothelioma. The selected publications below give an impression of our work. 

Teaching activities

Previously co-designed and taught courses:

- bachelor course NB2121 “Image Analysis” (TU Delft and Erasmus MC), 
- bachelor course KT3300 “Image Processing” (Clinical Technology program, Erasmus MC together with TU Delft and Leiden UMC)
- master course “Advanced Image Processing” (Clinical Technology program, Erasmus MC together with TU Delft and Leiden UMC)

Other positions

- IEEE Memeber
- IEEE SPS (Signal Processing Society) member
- BISP (Bio Imaging and Signal Processing) Technical Committee member

Scholarships, grants, and awards

Grant within the NWO Programme “Building Blocks of Life” received together with Dr. Kerstin Wendt (main applicant), prof F. G. Grosveld and prof. A. Houtsmuller (Erasmus MC) to study how plasticity and dynamics of the genome structural organization shape gene expression patterns in health and disease. 

- 2016 Erasmus MC Fellowhip “Going MAD: an in vitro high throughput screening assay for novel Microtubule-Active Drugs"

- 2014 VENI Grant (VENI-EW) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) “Adaptive Bayesian Multi-object Tracking and Motion Analysis"