Maryellen Giger: The 2021 SPIE Directors’ Award
The A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago, Maryellen Giger has conducted research on computer-aided diagnosis, quantitative image analysis (radiomics), and deep learning in the areas of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and bone diseases for more than 30 years. Her NIH-funded research in machine-learning, image-based analyses of breast cancer for risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, response to therapy, and biological discovery has yielded various translated components, and she is now using these image-based phenotypes in imaging genomics association studies. She is a cofounder, equity holder, and scientific advisor of Quantitative Insights, Inc. (QI), which started through the 2009-2010 New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago, building on research that Giger had been involved in developing since the mid-1980s. QI produces QuantX, the first FDA-cleared, machine-learning-driven system to aid in cancer diagnosis (CADx). In 2019, QuantX was named one of TIME magazine's inventions of the year.
An SPIE member since 1995, and SPIE Fellow since 2014, Giger — who began attending SPIE Medical Imaging conferences as a student in the 1980s — is the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging and was one of the founding chairs of the Computer-Aided Diagnosis Conference at SPIE Medical Imaging. In 2001, she began volunteer work as an SPIE instructor and then as a conference program committee member, chairing her first conference in 2007. She has served on multiple SPIE committees, including Publications, Strategic Planning, Compensation, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She served as a member of the SPIE Board of Directors from 2012-2014, and on the Society's Executive Committee between 2016-2019. In 2018, Giger held the role of SPIE President.
"Maryellen Giger has contributed extensively to the field of optics and photonics, very specifically as a key volunteer with SPIE," notes SPIE Past-President Jim Oschmann. "She as authored papers through SPIE since 1990 and has been an active Society member for 25 years. She has been a key voice in data-driven approaches in terms of how we serve our community, and an active leader in pushing forward our equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. In addition, she is an active mentor and trusted colleague who is always looking to help others in her profession. And, on a more personal-professional note, Maryellen's commitment to mentoring meant that she was a huge help to me as I followed her in serving on the SPIE presidential chain."