Professional Education

  • Diploma, Kazan State University (2010)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ljubljana University (2015)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Trainee Research Prizes from the 2017 RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting RADIOLOGY Aboutalib, S. S., Abdelfadeel, A., Schreuder, A., Jang, J., Pandey, P., Shiradkar, R., Galimzianova, A., Qi, X., Larimer, B., McDonald, R. J., Orita, E., Dercle, L., Khosravi, M., Kim, J., Harrison, A. P., Ng, S., Chen, M., Braman, N., Tang, A., Chen, Y., Lebovic, J., Singh, V., Wang, C., Kundu, S., Armstrong, T., Ji, X., Van Wickle, J., Zhong, B., Lin, L., Lin, L., Capaldi, D., Hemachandran, N., Motkoski, J. W., Hectors, S., Adams, S. J., Jambor, I., Daye, D., Kunz, W. G., Mihal, D. C., Jahromi, A., Fritz, B., Scipione, R., Bai, H. X., Winzeck, S., Rathore, H., Tajmir, S. H., Hardy, A., Silva, S., Thompson, S. M. 2018; 287 (1): 1–4

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2018184002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000427992600001

    View details for PubMedID 29558305

  • Locally adaptive magnetic resonance intensity models for unsupervised segmentation of multiple sclerosis lesions JOURNAL OF MEDICAL IMAGING Galimzianova, A., Lesjak, Z., Rubin, D. L., Likar, B., Pernus, F., Spiclin, Z. 2018; 5 (1): 011007


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease characterized by focal lesions and morphological changes in the brain captured on magnetic resonance (MR) images. However, extraction of the corresponding imaging markers requires accurate segmentation of normal-appearing brain structures (NABS) and the lesions in MR images. On MR images of healthy brains, the NABS can be accurately captured by MR intensity mixture models, which, in combination with regularization techniques, such as in Markov random field (MRF) models, are known to give reliable NABS segmentation. However, on MR images that also contain abnormalities such as MS lesions, obtaining an accurate and reliable estimate of NABS intensity models is a challenge. We propose a method for automated segmentation of normal-appearing and abnormal structures in brain MR images that is based on a locally adaptive NABS model, a robust model parameters estimation method, and an MRF-based segmentation framework. Experiments on multisequence brain MR images of 30 MS patients show that, compared to whole-brain MR intensity model and compared to four popular unsupervised lesion segmentation methods, the proposed method increases the accuracy of MS lesion segmentation.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JMI.5.1.011007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000429258000009

    View details for PubMedID 29134190

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5665678

  • Deep Learning for Brain MRI Segmentation: State of the Art and Future Directions. Journal of digital imaging Akkus, Z., Galimzianova, A., Hoogi, A., Rubin, D. L., Erickson, B. J. 2017


    Quantitative analysis of brain MRI is routine for many neurological diseases and conditions and relies on accurate segmentation of structures of interest. Deep learning-based segmentation approaches for brain MRI are gaining interest due to their self-learning and generalization ability over large amounts of data. As the deep learning architectures are becoming more mature, they gradually outperform previous state-of-the-art classical machine learning algorithms. This review aims to provide an overview of current deep learning-based segmentation approaches for quantitative brain MRI. First we review the current deep learning architectures used for segmentation of anatomical brain structures and brain lesions. Next, the performance, speed, and properties of deep learning approaches are summarized and discussed. Finally, we provide a critical assessment of the current state and identify likely future developments and trends.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10278-017-9983-4

    View details for PubMedID 28577131

  • A Convolutional Neural Network for Automatic Characterization of Plaque Composition in Carotid Ultrasound IEEE JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATICS Lekadir, K., Galimzianova, A., Betriu, A., del Mar Vila, M., Igual, L., Rubin, D. L., Fernandez, E., Radeva, P., Napel, S. 2017; 21 (1): 48-55


    Characterization of carotid plaque composition, more specifically the amount of lipid core, fibrous tissue, and calcified tissue, is an important task for the identification of plaques that are prone to rupture, and thus for early risk estimation of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Due to its low costs and wide availability, carotid ultrasound has the potential to become the modality of choice for plaque characterization in clinical practice. However, its significant image noise, coupled with the small size of the plaques and their complex appearance, makes it difficult for automated techniques to discriminate between the different plaque constituents. In this paper, we propose to address this challenging problem by exploiting the unique capabilities of the emerging deep learning framework. More specifically, and unlike existing works which require a priori definition of specific imaging features or thresholding values, we propose to build a convolutional neural network (CNN) that will automatically extract from the images the information that is optimal for the identification of the different plaque constituents. We used approximately 90 000 patches extracted from a database of images and corresponding expert plaque characterizations to train and to validate the proposed CNN. The results of cross-validation experiments show a correlation of about 0.90 with the clinical assessment for the estimation of lipid core, fibrous cap, and calcified tissue areas, indicating the potential of deep learning for the challenging task of automatic characterization of plaque composition in carotid ultrasound.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/JBHI.2016.2631401

    View details for Web of Science ID 000395538500006

    View details for PubMedID 27893402

  • Toward Automated Pre-Biopsy Thyroid Cancer Risk Estimation in Ultrasound. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium Galimzianova, A., Siebert, S. M., Kamaya, A., Desser, T. S., Rubin, D. L. 2017; 2017: 734–41


    We propose a computational framework for automated cancer risk estimation of thyroid nodules visualized in ultrasound (US) images. Our framework estimates the probability of nodule malignancy using random forests on a rich set of computational features. An expert radiologist annotated thyroid nodules in 93 biopsy-confirmed patients using semantic image descriptors derived from standardized lexicon. On our dataset, the AUC of the proposed method was 0.70, which was comparable to five baseline expert annotation-based classifiers with AUC values from 0.72 to 0.81. Moreover, the use of the framework for decision making on nodule biopsy could have spared five out of 46 benign nodule biopsies at no cost to the health of patients with malignancies. Our results confirm the feasibility of computer-aided tools for noninvasive malignancy risk estimation in patients with thyroid nodules that could help to decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries.

    View details for PubMedID 29854139

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5977620

  • Stratified mixture modeling for segmentation of white-matter lesions in brain MR images NEUROIMAGE Galimzianova, A., Pernus, F., Likar, B., Spiclin, Z. 2016; 124: 1031-1043


    Accurate characterization of white-matter lesions from magnetic resonance (MR) images has increasing importance for diagnosis and management of treatment of certain neurological diseases, and can be performed in an objective and effective way by automated lesion segmentation. This usually involves modeling the whole-brain MR intensity distribution, however, capturing various sources of MR intensity variability and lesion heterogeneity results in highly complex whole-brain MR intensity models, thus their robust estimation on a large set of MR images presents a huge challenge. We propose a novel approach employing stratified mixture modeling, where the main premise is that the otherwise complex whole-brain model can be reduced to a tractable parametric form in small brain subregions. We show on MR images of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with different lesion loads that robust estimators enable accurate mixture modeling of MR intensity in small brain subregions even in the presence of lesions. Recombination of the mixture models across strata provided an accurate whole-brain MR intensity model. Increasing the number of subregions and, thereby, the model complexity, consistently improved the accuracy of whole-brain MR intensity modeling and segmentation of normal structures. The proposed approach was incorporated into three unsupervised lesion segmentation methods and, compared to original and three other state-of-the-art methods, the proposed modeling approach significantly improved lesion segmentation according to increased Dice similarity indices and lower number of false positives on real MR images of 30 patients with MS.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.047

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366646700097

    View details for PubMedID 26427644

  • Robust Estimation of Unbalanced Mixture Models on Samples with Outliers IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE Galimzianova, A., Pernus, F., Likar, B., Spiclin, Z. 2015; 37 (11): 2273-2285


    Mixture models are often used to compactly represent samples from heterogeneous sources. However, in real world, the samples generally contain an unknown fraction of outliers and the sources generate different or unbalanced numbers of observations. Such unbalanced and contaminated samples may, for instance, be obtained by high density data sensors such as imaging devices. Estimation of unbalanced mixture models from samples with outliers requires robust estimation methods. In this paper, we propose a novel robust mixture estimator incorporating trimming of the outliers based on component-wise confidence level ordering of observations. The proposed method is validated and compared to the state-of-the-art FAST-TLE method on two data sets, one consisting of synthetic samples with a varying fraction of outliers and a varying balance between mixture weights, while the other data set contained structural magnetic resonance images of the brain with tumors of varying volumes. The results on both data sets clearly indicate that the proposed method is capable to robustly estimate unbalanced mixtures over a broad range of outlier fractions. As such, it is applicable to real-world samples, in which the outlier fraction cannot be estimated in advance.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TPAMI.2015.2404835

    View details for Web of Science ID 000362411000010

    View details for PubMedID 26440267