Sameer Antani, Ph.D.
Sameer Antani, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

National Library of Medicine
Communications Engineering Branch/MSC 3824
Bldg. 38A, Room 10S1010
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894 USA
(301) 435-3218

Dr. Sameer Antani is a Staff Scientist with the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an intramural R&D division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He leads R&D on topics in biomedical image informatics, image processing and computer vision, global health applications, mobile apps, post-disaster family reunification technologies, and next-generation interactive publications. He earned an M.E. and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and his B.E. degree with Distinction in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune, India (Pune Institute of Computer Technology), a premier institution in India. Dr. Antani is a senior member of the International Society of Photonics and Optics (SPIE), and member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the IEEE Computer Society. He serves as the Vice Chair for Computational Medicine on the IEEE Technical Committee on Computational Life Sciences (TCCLS) and is the Chair-elect for the Biomedical Image Informatics (BMII) working group in AMIA. He has previously served on the editorial board of Elsevier Journal of Computers in Biology and Medicine.

Current Projects

Biomedical Imaging: The projects include research in advanced medical image analysis, content-based image retrieval (CBIR), and multimedia medical databases. Goals include algorithm design, development of standalone prototype software, data collection, evaluation, and validation. Steps for enabling capability for retrieval of medically/pathologically relevant images in response to hybrid (image, text) queries include research into innovative methods for image segmentation, image compression, data transmission, visualization and collaboration with researchers with interests in natural language processing. Other research aspects include development of collaborative software that enables sharing of software and data with other researchers in a distributed computing paradigm, and building on research results to create innovative applications. I am a lead researcher in this project.

Interactive Publications (IP): Multimedia documents have been in existence for a decade or more, and in common usage they refer to entities that consist of text that links to images and video clips. More often than not, the latter media types reside in databases apart from the text, and are accessed independently of the text, often leading to a loss of context. The challenge in this project is to create a comprehensive, self-contained and platform-independent multimedia-rich “interactive publication.” By self-contained we mean the document is either one large file embedded with all media objects, or a ‘folder’ in which the files are tightly linked. This document, of either ‘embedded’ or ‘folder’ type, could contain many media objects: text, video, audio, bitmapped images, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, or animation sequences. While using such a document, the reader should be able to: (a) view any of these objects on the screen; (b) hyperlink from one object to another; (c) interact with the objects in the sense of exercising control over them (e.g., start and stop video); and (d) reuse the media content for analysis and presentation. It is the last objective that differentiates “traditional” multimedia documents from an “interactive publication.” I am a researcher on this project and work closely with my fellow researchers and developers.

Image and Text Integration (ITI): The goal of this project is to develop robust algorithms to augment the repository of facts for informed clinical decision making with images. This research focuses on the algorithms for automatic biomedical image annotation by utility for evidence-based practice, and integration of text and image content search strategies. Dina Demner-Fushman and I lead this development combining our complementary strengths in textual searching and content-based image retrieval (CBIR).

Mobile Handheld Devices in Medical Imaging and Informatics: The goal of this project is to explore the use of mobile handheld devices in medical imaging, medical informatics, disaster recovery, family reunification, and other relevant topics. Improvements in computer processing power, memory density, displays, battery life, and communication bandwidth have led to the proliferation of "smart" handheld devices. It is in NLM's interest to explore these platforms, peer-networking, and social networks for: (i) dissemination of information retrieval, and (ii) meaningful data exchange between the end-users and Web-based medical application. Recent effort has explored the use of the iPhone for post-disaster triage and family reunification through two apps ('Found in Haiti' and 'Reunite').