Alexandria Waler

Mentor: Dr. Walter O'Dell
College of Medicine
 
"As a pre-med stundet, I have aspirations of becoming a radiologist. I find the images that radiologists work with daily to be fascinating. I believe that radiologists work to better, and sometimes save, the lives of those patients they come in contact with. By working in research in the Radiology Oncology department, I am able to get exposure to and actively interact with the images that radiologists know so well. This is an especially amazing opportunity as I am an undergraduate student specifically interested in the field."

Major

Biology

Minor

Business

Research Interests

  • Radiology
  • Oncology
  • Neurology

Academic Awards

  • Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholars 2013
  • University of Florida Summer Merit Study Abroad Scholarship, declined, 2015
  • University of Florida President’s Honor Roll, Fall 2013-Spring2015

Organizations

  • Camp Kesem
  • Golden Key Club
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma

Volunteer

  • Medical Mission Trip to Loma Negra, Peru in May 2014
  • I have organized multiple events for Camp Kesem, including a 5K and a silent auction gala, and volunteer yearly as a camp counselor.
  • Camp Kitchens Cook Shift Leader

Hobbies and Interests

  • Sports- intramural/club teams
  • Crafting
  • Volunteering

Research Description

Cardiac Tagging in Post-Radiation Breast Cancer Patients
The purpose of the research project I will be working on is to create an accurate three-dimensional model of the heart using pre- and post- radiation therapy breast cancer patient MRI database. The three-dimensional image will enable the effects and extent of myocardial damage post radiation in breast cancer patients to be visualized. In addition, application of the three-dimensional model would quantify the difference in the damage from x-ray and proton beam therapy. This three-dimensional modeling will be accomplished using the ImageJ64 programming developed by Dr. O’Dell. The model will focus on the left ventricle of the heart, as this is the most common location of myocardial dysfunction. Using Dr. O’Dell’s ImageJ64, the inner and outer wall of the left ventricle will be manually traced on both the short and long axis view of the MRI databases. ImageJ64 then employs an algorithm to track the cardiac tags of the images and a three-dimensional image of the left ventricle is produced. This three-dimensional imaging could then be implied to aid clinicians in studying, diagnosing and treating myocardial disease. Similarly, the model would provide information to clinicians on the comparable differences between the myocardial damage of x-ray versus proton therapy treatment.