Rivka Colen, M.D.
Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Colen completed a B.S. degree in Biomedical Science at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico and obtained an M.D. degree from Ponce School of Medicine. She completed diagnostic residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a fellowship in Neuroradiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a second fellowship in Neuroradiological Image Guided Therapy at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Neuroradiological Image Guided Therapy.
In 2012, Colen assumed her current role as an Assistant Professor in the Cancer Systems Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology departments, Neuroradiology section, in the Diagnostic Imaging dvision at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a physician-scientist neuro-radiologist and an early pioneer in the field of high-dimensional quantitative imaging analytics, radiomics and radiome sequencing (trademarked and undergoing patenting), and imaging genomics (radiogenomics) in solid tumors. She has extensive experience in advanced imaging analytics, imaging biomarkers and image-guided therapy.
Colen is the Director of the Imaging Genomics, Radiomics and Therapeutics Laboratory and has received numerous funding and awards for her work in this field. She has been invited both nationally and internationally to lecture on imaging genomics and serves as the Chair of the American Society of Neuroradiology Imaging Genomics Working Group, Co-Director of the Quantitative Imaging Analysis Core, and lead principal investigator of the TCGA Glioma Research Phenotype Group. She has experience in both preclinical/translational and clinical research which capitalizes on radiomics and imaging genomics and oncology. Her research spans clinical, translational and preclinical imaging genomics and radiomics. She has experience in imaging genomic analysis for development of biomarkers and is the principal investigator on multiple projects validating conventional MRI, MR-diffusion, perfusion, and spectroscopy as predictive biomarkers in oncology. As such, she is involved in investigating conventional and multi-parametric MRI as a screening tool to uncover genes and microRNAs associated with GBM invasion. She has experience with 2HG MRS to evaluate gliomas with IDH1 mutation. Her recent work demonstrated that radiomics can differentiate between true progression and pseudo-progression (also known as post-treatment changes) at the time of clinical/radiologic question, a dilemma which can be seen in patients under different types of treatment including immunotherapeutic agents.
Colen published the first paper on quantitative large-scale imaging genomics in glioblastoma to determine novel and possibly targetable genes and genetic events for new therapeutic targets for invasion and validated these targets preclinically. She co-authored the landmark paper of TCGA on Low Grade Glioma genomic classification published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2017, she was the senior/corresponding author on a manuscript revealing the radiomics signatures associated with key genomic mutations in glioblastoma; this work was awarded the National Brain Tumor Society Mahaley Clinical Research Award. She has written several book chapters and is also an editor of multiple books. Colen is an excellent mentor to undergraduate, medical students, Ph.D. students, research fellows and postdoctoral fellows among others. She is nationally and internationally known for her pioneering work in the imaging field and has been an invited speaker to national and international meetings and events, including delivering education and refresher courses for radiologists, residents and fellows. She maintains active collaborative relationships with multiple research cores and biomedical engineers, biostatisticians, bioinformatics personnel and physicists performing research on cancer and imaging biomarkers and imaging genomics.
Overall, Colen’s lab is dedicated to “helping cure cancer through imaging” with the overarching goal to help find a cure for patients and improve patient outcomes.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Sanjay received his Ph.D. degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL in 2006. He is working on developing and testing pre-clinical models of brain tumors to investigate causal link between radiomic phenotype and key aspects of tumor biology (including genotype).
Islam Hassan, M.D.
Hassan grew up in Cairo, Egypt and received his M.D. degree from Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University. He has extensive experience in clinical and preclinical cancer imaging and utilizes his knowledge of preclinical cancer models and imaging to develop clinically translatable imaging biomarkers of tumor genetics, genomics and epigenetics. He usually spends his free time listening to music and reading. He is also a soccer fan and enjoys playing basketball.
Nabil Elshafeey, M.D.
Elshafeey has four years of experience in all aspects of neuroimaging and clinical/preclinical imaging genomics, radiomics, and big data in brain tumors and neurological diseases. He completed his medical degree from one of the top medical schools in the Middle East, Kasr Alainy Medical School in Egypt. Later, he started his residency in Radiology at the Maadi Military Hospital. He joined Colen’s lab as a research fellow in 2014 and is currently working in advanced imaging analysis (e.g. segmentation, perfusion, diffusion), especially in the diagnosis and monitoring of brain tumors and neurological disease. He has expertise in quantitative imaging and big data analysis for solid tumors using different measurement criteria including (iRANO, RANO, IRRC, RECIST), and performs advanced radiomic analysis on different types of images including MRI and CT on both human and mice. His current research focuses on identification of imaging signatures for tumor using radiomics and genomics. In his spare time, Nabil enjoys weekends with family and friends, seeking adventure in the outdoors and travelling.
Aikaterini (Katerina) Kotrotsou, Ph.D.
Katerina received her M.Eng. in Applied Mathematics and Physical Sciences from the National Technical University of Athens (Athens, Greece) in 2009. Later, she completed her Ph.D. degree in 2014 in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Konstantinos Arfanakis, Ph.D. During her graduate training, she was actively involved into identifying imaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative pathologies by combining postmortem MRI with histology. She joined Colen’s lab at MD Anderson in August 2014; her research interest is the development of quantitative imaging techniques and robust radiomics/radiogenomics pipelines for building imaging genomic predictive models/biomarker signatures in brain tumors and solid tumors in general.
In 2017, Katerina was recognized as the Junior Fellow from the ISMRM. She has received numerous awards for her work in the field, including the ISMRM summa cum laude, ISMRM magna cum laude, the MD Anderson outstanding research award, and the ASNR outstanding award in functional Neuroradiology. She received the Cornelius G. Dyke Memorial Award in 2017 for the work “Multi-center study finds postoperative residual non-enhancing component of glioblastoma as a new determinant of patient outcome”. Recently, she was awarded the Lupe C. Garcia Fellowship for outstanding contribution in cancer research. In her free time, Katerina enjoys traveling, and spending time with her husband and daughter Evie-Christina.
Nidhi Mehta, M.S.
Senior Research Assistant/Clinical Coordinator
Nidhi received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Mumbai University in India. She then obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. She joined Colen’s lab and is involved in coordinating lab projects as well as helping with writing IRB’s and manuscripts. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, parks, beach and watching movies.
Jennifer Moseley, M.S.
Research Assistant II/Pre-clinical Coordinator
Jennifer grew up in Lubbock, TX and completed her B.S. (Paul Quinn College) and M.S. (Texas Southern University) in Biology. Her work involves supporting or proving (or disproving) hypotheses, projects and papers/journals that are generated within the lab by way of various lab protocols.
Ahmed Hassan, M.D.
Hassan is research fellow in the Colen Lab. He received his M.D. degree from the Medical University in Cairo. In late 2015, he joined Colen’s lab and is interested in quantitative imaging analysis for brain tumors including: volumetric analysis, perfusion analysis, and MRS metabolite quantification, including 2HG MRS. His research is currently focused on the role of radiomic texture analysis in differentiating progressive disease from therapy induced necrosis in glioblastoma patients and quantification of 2HG in MRS in clinical trials. His hobbies are water polo, soccer, reading and listening to music.
Sara Ahmed, M.D.
Ahmed currently works in Colen’s Lab at the Cancer Systems Imaging department. Sara is a research assistant with a broad experience in medical imaging, neuro and body imaging (MR, CT). She graduated from the Kasr-AlAiny Hospitals in Egypt, one of the top medical schools in the Middle East, with honors. There she finished her residency in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and received her Master’s degree in Diagnostic Radiology. Recently, she is focusing on the advanced qualitative and quantitative imaging analysis using different post-processing techniques (eg. segmentation, 2D metric analysis, and volumetric analysis) for diagnosis and monitoring of different body tumors. During her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, outdoor activities and sharing a good laugh with her family and friends.
Iman is pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Quantitative Sciences at the MD Anderson UT Health Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences and a Master’s in Neuroscience, both from the University of Houston. Her current research focuses on radiomics in the context of neuro-oncology. In her free time, Iman enjoys reading and exploring coffee shops around Houston.
Mohanad Sulaiman, M.D.
Sulaiman earned his medical degree from the University of Damascus, Faculty of Medicine in Damascus, Syria in 2005. He completed Neurosurgery residency program in Tishren Military Hospital, Damascus, Syria in 2011. Throughout his education and career, he has been honored with numerous recognitions, including being named Chief Resident of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Because he is interested in medical research, eager to learn new methods in this field, and participate in research that support the advancement of medical sciences in new methodology and improving existing methods to help the well-being of human life, he joined Colen’s Lab as researcher to achieve his goal. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, serving his community, volunteering, traveling and watching movies.