Research Program: Cancer Measurement Technology and Data Science
Strategic Theme: Imaging
Pengfei Song’s research interests are focused on developing novel ultrasound imaging techniques that are translatable to the clinic to benefit patients. The Song Lab had focused on developing innovative ultrasound shear wave elastography techniques for tissue mechanical property (e.g. tissue stiffness) characterization. Tissue stiffness is a sensitive biomarker for the state of tissue health: malignant cancerous tumors are typically stiffer than benign tumors. Therefore, by measuring quantitative tissue stiffness using shear wave elastography, one can differentiate malignant tumors from benign tumors, and potentially stage cancer. The comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE) and time-aligned sequential tracking (TAST) methods that the Song lab developed significantly improved the imaging speed and quality of shear wave elastography, and bridged a critical technical gap between shear wave elastography and mainstream clinical ultrasound scanners. CUSE and TAST have now been licensed and commercialized by major ultrasound companies, and have been FDA-approved and implemented on top-tier ultrasound scanners that are being used clinically to benefit patients worldwide.
Song is also a full-time faculty member at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and an affiliate faculty member with the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Department of Bioengineering. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, and an Associate Consultant in the Department of Radiology at Mayo Clinic. Song has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers on topics of ultrasound shear wave elastography, ultrafast microvessel imaging, and super-resolution microvessel imaging. He holds several patents that have been licensed and commercialized by major ultrasound companies, installed on top-tier ultrasound scanners and used worldwide to benefit patients. Song is an awardee of the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award and the NIBIB Trailblazer Award, and he is an elected Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.