RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is part of a team developing an artificial intelligence system that could identify brain tumors.

Dr. Diman Dera, PhD, is part of a team that established a machine-learning AI algorithm capable of detecting tumors based on real-world MRI scans, a release by UTRGV stated.

Dera is an assistant professor in the UTRGV Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“Brain tumor patients have to take regular scans to see how the tumor changes over time, and each MRI appointment results in over 400 images that have to be manually reviewed,” Dera said. “It can be very time consuming for their doctors, and time can be critical.”

According to the release, Dera was motivated to develop the software during her doctoral program, where she chose to dedicate her research to biomedicine.

Brain cancer is the 10th leading cause of death for men and women, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. An estimated 251,329 people died from cancerous brain tumors in 2020.

Dera said that the algorithm was developed to identify brain tumors, but could be extended to identify tumors in other areas of the body in the future.