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Christie’s 3D CAVE Helps Weill Cornell Medical College Deliver Breakthrough Findings in Biomedical Research


World’s First 3D High-Definition Visual Environment Features Unprecedented Levels of Resolution for Unique Immersive Experience

Christie announced that its groundbreaking 3D High Definition CAVE is helping Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City achieve breakthrough findings in biomedical research. The David A. Cofrin Center for Biomedical Information at the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicine is powered by eight Christie Mirage 3-chip DLP projectors with active stereo capability. The Christie projectors deliver a resolution of 1920×1920 (3.68 megapixels) per wall – 334% higher resolution than most previous CAVEs. The results are superior 3D images that set new standards in molecular modeling and other avenues of biomedical research.

“The ICB’s CAVE facility is a powerful new tool that is helping us attract the best and brightest minds in the world,? remarked Dr. Harel Weinstein. “We are able to explore images at the molecular and cellular level with a clarity and precision that was previously unattainable. Images of tissues and biological objects can be twisted, turned and expanded, viewed layer by layer with the flick of the wrist, allowing for an unmatched level of inspection that engulfs researchers in colors and details.?

Vanessa Borcherding, Systems Administrator for the Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, remarked, “ The ICB is focused on enabling computational methodologies in the biological sciences, including genome studies, molecular modeling and modeling of cell and organ systems. The Cofrin Center’s Facility allows us to take many pieces of data from a computer and reconstruct it in an immersive 3D environment to help researchers make decisions and gain insights quickly and intuitively.?

Borcherding added, “Pixel density is key to visualizing the vast amount of data we need to analyze. We chose Christie because they were the only company to propose a genuine high definition CAVE solution, which no one else could offer. We were especially impressed with their forward-thinking, innovative approach, their expertise in building visualization facilities, and their ability to perfectly integrate this technology to meet not only our technical needs, but our rigid engineering requirements as well.?

Since going live, the Institute’s researchers have leveraged this technology to help guide them to discovery in a number of different domains, from providing new insights into the mechanisms behind short-term memory, to elucidating how cocaine and dopamine bind at the neurotransmitter site in the cell’s transporters, to collecting valuable longitudinal data on the structural development of the brains of children whose mothers abused drugs.

The facility has also used the 3D CAVE to study MRI images to successfully identify areas of the brain that are underdeveloped in children whose mothers engaged in substance abuse while pregnant. Dr. Luis Gracia, Scientific Application Specialist with the ICB, built a fully automated rendering pipeline using software from Harvard to help researchers visualize the brains of these children over time to track the development of various regions. Being able to get children in therapies sooner based on these study results can correct a large amount of the deficit that they would normally experience if not treated as quickly.

“It comes down to the fact that using the Visualization Facility, we are able to envision things that simply cannot be envisioned any other way,? said Jason Banfelder, Assistant Professor and Technology Engineer of the ICB. “This is one of the few facilities of its kind dedicated exclusively to biomedical research applications. We see extensive opportunities not only for our own work, but also for wider collaboration with other research groups as stereoscopic displays and virtual and augmented reality enter the mainstream.?

“The Weill Cornell CAVE is a unique and powerful new tool that supports Weill Cornell’s mission of medical education and scientific research,? said Zoran Veselic, vice-president, Visual Environments, Christie. “Christie’s highly customized Advanced Visualization solutions are based on deployable and proven technology and are found in some of the world’s most prominent Virtual Reality and advanced visualization environments.?

Veselic added: “Weill Cornell Medical College enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in its field. Using the latest technology to enhance and expand medical science and health services worldwide is a hallmark of their success. Christie is proud to be part of this extraordinary legacy and looks forward to helping Weill Cornell usher in a new era of CAVE™ technology for medical research.?

The 3D immersive visualization room is in the Cofrin Center for Biomedical Information of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell. It is located within the newly built Weill Greenberg Center, a building widely praised for its architectural design that promotes an exceptional patient-centered experience.
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