David E. Breen, associate professor of computer science in the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), is one of the awardees of the 2017 Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) grant program competition. Breen was awarded the CURE grant as a co-investigator with principal investigator Mark Zarella, PhD, a research assistant professor in the College of Medicine and technical director of the Advanced Pathology Imaging Lab.
Established in 2001, the CURE grant program funds biomedical, clinical and health services research. The program’s goal is to develop research to improve overall health of Pennsylvania residents. The grant recipients were chosen by a review panel of faculty members representing various Drexel colleges.
Zarella and Breen’s proposal, titled “The Mechanisms of Visual and Decision Processes in Cancer Histopathology Interpretation,” focuses on improving the accuracy of computational disease diagnosis by analyzing the visual and decision mechanisms employed by pathologists. They will perform an experiment that studies the viewing patterns of doctors during the tumor assessment process. The information gained from this study will be incorporated into future Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) tools. The goal of this research is to ultimately improve the accuracy of cancer screening.
Breen received both an MS and PhD in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a BA in Physics from Colgate University. His research interests include computer-aided design, geometric modeling, biomedical image informatics, self-organization and biological simulation. Prior to Drexel, Breen researched at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, the California Institute of Technology and European Computer-Industry Research Centre among others.
Breen leads the Geometric Biomedical Computing Group, which conducts research at the intersection of biology, medicine, engineering and computer science. The group develops algorithms and software that solve geometry-related computing problems for a variety of biomedical applications. He previously served as deputy director of the NSF Center for Visual & Decision Informatics. Currently, he is associated with Drexel's Center for Functional Fabrics. Breen has authored or co-authored over 95 technical papers, articles and book chapters on these and other subjects. He is the co-editor of the book Cloth Modeling and Animation.