Technological advancements aid our laboratory researchers and also play a significant role in image analysis.
Blood Research Institute image processing expert Jon Wieser has spent the past year providing thousands of images to researchers, including Hartmut Weiler, Ph.D.; Karin Hoffmeister, M.D.; Herve Falet, Ph.D.; and Karen-Sue Carlson, M.D., Ph.D.
But Wieser’s work goes far beyond processing photos.
It is not just the pictures,” he explains. “I create 3-D structures using raw immunofluorescence data. This [allows for] the quantification of different aspects of the tissue."
Image processing allows researchers to see a small section of tissue and break it down by cell structure, such as megakaryocytes or platelets. Wieser’s work breaks those cells down by number, size and proximity to blood vessels.
There is so much data and knowledge hidden in these pictures that only can be accessed by image processing," Weiler explained. "We also refer to this as bio-computing, or computer-assisted image analysis and processing ... The image generation has dramatically progressed [in the past decade]. You now get an enormous amount of data," he said. "It expands the entire universe of your perception.”
Since joining the BRI in 2017, Wieser regularly juggles several projects for each researcher.
All the techniques we use are trying to make these hidden mechanisms visible to us," he said. "I’m helping people whose ultimate goal is to help people down the road."