Phoenix, Arizona




Great advances have been made in medical imaging technology over the last two decades. The research program of J. Ross Mitchell, Ph.D., is focused on developing new analytical methods to identify, combine and extract information from medical images.

Dr. Mitchell's goal is to provide simple, rapid and reliably accurate assessments to better help clinicians diagnose, treat and monitor disease. He specializes in building "horizontal" technology platforms that support "vertical" applications in diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and stroke. He has experience translating medical research into clinical impact via intellectual property protection, commercialization and working through regulatory approval issues.

Focus areas

  • Advanced visualization. Rapid 3-D visualization is a key factor determining outcomes in patients with acute disorders such as stroke, heart attack and trauma. Dr. Mitchell has pioneered research into cloud-based advanced visualization of medical images.

    This allows doctors to immediately perform sophisticated analysis of patient scans anywhere they have access to a Web browser, tablet or smartphone. As an added bonus, data security is actually strengthened since confidential patient information stays protected behind the hospital firewall.

  • Imagenomics. Dr. Mitchell is investigating methods to accurately correlate imaging traits, such as texture and intensity, with gene expression patterns in lesions. This would allow noninvasive assessment of entire lesions to determine treatment response and resistance. If successful, novel associations could be identified that could change the way diseases, such as cancer, are diagnosed, monitored and treated.
  • Leveraging computer gaming to improve patient outcomes. Personal computers and gaming consoles rely on the power of graphics processing units (GPUs) to produce breathtaking special effects and stunning realism in contemporary computer games. An enormous economy of scale over the last decade has led to an exponential increase in the computational power of GPUs, while their pricing has remained constant and low. Modern GPUs have performance on par with some of the most powerful supercomputers from just a few years ago.

    Dr. Mitchell is developing new methods that harness the incredible power of GPUs to accelerate the most complex medical imaging algorithms so that they can be completed in seconds or minutes instead of hours or days. The goal is to bring these powerful algorithms into the clinic to improve diagnosis, treatment and patient outcomes.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Mitchell's research results have been incorporated into products that are being distributed by some of the largest medical imaging companies in the world. These products are accelerating and simplifying the ways in which doctors access and interpret medical images. This will lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced health care costs.

Professional highlights

  • Alumni Crowning Achievement Award, University of Regina, 2011
  • Enabling Technology Award, Frost & Sullivan, 2011
  • Top Five Innovator Award, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 2011
  • Triple Tree iAward, Wireless Life Sciences Alliance, 2010
  • Dr. Donald Paty Career Development Award, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, 2000-2009



  1. Ph.D. - Medical Biophysics University of Western Ontario
  2. MSc - Computer Science University of Regina & Allan Blair Cancer Clinic
  3. BSc (Hons) - Computer Science (High Honors) University of Regina

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