Keynote Speakers


Anthony Costa Ph.D. & Joshua Bederson M.D.

Toward immersive, interactive visualization in medicine: from the patient to the operating room

In just the past few years we have witnessed an explosion of the types of modeling and visualization technologies available in the clinic, especially in the areas of pre- and intra-operative surgical planning. Although anatomical modeling tools are not new, they have historically required herculean expert-driven efforts not possible for an individual patient’s care. Now, in the Department of Neurosurgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital, interactive visualizations, virtual and augmented reality, and 3D printed anatomical models are now common features of the patient pipeline and intra-operative surgical theater. We have witnessed the significant impact of patient-specific modeling and visualization, improving surgical guidance and safety, and in some cases making possible a procedure thought to be out of reach. As our technical capabilities grow through research and new software innovation, so to do questions about the best use of these tools throughout the field of surgery, where robust statistics on patient outcomes are often difficult if not impossible to obtain. Discoveries of what does and does not work in the operating room in turn drive research in the area of patient-specific simulation. In our keynote, we will explore the current state of the art of pre- and intra-operative modeling and visualization, from the perspective of both the surgical and research development teams. We will specifically discuss the limitations of today’s visualization tools, and motivate the need for future efforts in research and development.
Anthony Costa is Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Neurosurgery Simulation Core at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His work is primarily focused on developing and translating new technologies in image analysis, interactive visualization, and 3D modeling into the clinic, as close to the patient experience as possible. Dr. Costa’s background is primarily computational. He earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Purdue University and completed his postdoctoral training at Northwestern University, where he developed software for the analysis of non-equilibrium molecular simulations. He joined Mount Sinai as a member of the Scientific Computing team, and transitioned to full time work in Neurosurgery and modeling in early 2015. His group, the Neurosurgery Simulation Core, includes students, residents, attending neurosurgeons, and researchers, all of whom are motivated by the goal to improve outcomes and reduce complications in patients undergoing brain surgery. His group collaborates extensively with other disciplines interested in modeling, simulation, and visualization tools in medicine, both for basic research and clinical translation.

System Chairman for the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Health System, Dr. Bederson is an expert in skull-base and cerebrovascular surgery, having performed more than 3,750 neurosurgical operations at Mount Sinai. His specialty interests include surgical treatments of complex intracranial and spinal pathology such as meningiomas, skull base tumors and aneurysms, schwannomas, craniopharyngiomas, pituitary tumors, giant intracranial aneurysms, acoustic neuromas, neurovascular compression syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia, Chiari malformations, and trans-nasal minimally invasive brain surgery, as well as treatment of cervical and lumbar spine disease. His vascular practice includes treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery disease, moyamoya disease, and extracranial-intracranial bypass procedures.

An advocate of collaboration with other accomplished physicians and scientists at Mount Sinai, Dr. Bederson developed one of the first interdisciplinary clinical programs with the Department of Neurology Stroke Program, and fostered collaborative efforts with the Department of Otolaryngology, the Cancer Institute, and the Translational Neuroscience Center. Dr. Bederson launched the Neurosurgery Brain Surgery Simulation Program in 2012, which expanded into the current Neurosurgery Simulation Core. Driving and advancing the development of next-generation simulation and virtual reality technology, Dr. Bederson is the first neurosurgeon utilize microscope technology that allows images of chosen objects, including original CT, MRI and angiogram datasets, to be superimposed, or ‘injected,’ directly into the neurosurgeon’s eyepiece during microscopic surgery.

Nigel Holmes

Making Friends with Facts

Whether drawing academically-challenged diagrams for Time Magazine in the 1980s or producing explanatory animations in the 2000s, I’ll walk you through some ways I’ve approached explaining scientific and medical concepts for non-science-minded audiences.
Born in England, Nigel Holmes studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London and then freelanced for magazines and newspapers for 12 years in London before moving to New York in 1978 to work for Time Magazine. He became graphics director and stayed there for 16 years.

At Time, his pictorial explanations of complex subjects gained him many imitators and a few academic enemies who thought he was trivializing information. But he remains committed to the power of pictures and humor to help readers understand otherwise abstract numbers and difficult scientific concepts.

Since 1994 he has run his own business, Explanation Graphics, explaining all sorts of things for a variety of clients. These have included American Express, The Smithsonian Institution and United Healthcare. He also does graphics and illustrations for publications such as Scientific American, National Geographic and the New York Times (including a series of drawings about the Higgs Boson that won a gold award at Malofiej in 2014).

In 2009, the Society for News Design gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award. A retrospective exhibition of his work was shown in Munich in February 2016, and at Ohio University in March 2016.

 He has written eight books on aspects of information design, including Wordless Diagrams, in 2005.

The Book of Everything was published by Lonely Planet in 2012. It’s a compendium of information graphics that range from how to wear a kilt, to delivering a baby in an emergency, or recognizing animal poop. A “sister” book, Instant Expert, came out in 2014. He is currently working on Odd, a book explaining weird competitions and festivals around the world, for Taschen. (Things like Bog Snorkelling, Worm Charming and Shin Kicking in Britain, Hair Freezing in Canada and Throwing Dead Rats in Spain.) It’ll be published in early 2017.

With his son Rowland, Holmes makes short animated films. Clients have included the TED conference, Fortune Magazine conferences, Good Magazine and the National Geographic Society.


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