Metin Nafi Gurcan

Metin Gurcan, PhD
Director - Clinical Image Analysis Lab


I am the Director of Center for Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Internal Medicine, Pathology and Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Director of the Clinical Image Analysis Lab. I received my BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey and my MSc. Degree in Digital Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, England. From 1999 to 2001, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Radiology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Following my postdoctoral work, I worked as a senior researcher and a product director at a high-tech company, specializing in computer-aided detection and diagnosis of cancer from radiological images. Previously, I was Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Pathology, Director of Division of Clinical and Translational Informatics at the Ohio State University.

I am an author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and have been awarded three patents for my inventions in medical image analysis. I am the recipient of several awards including the British Foreign and Commonwealth Organization Award, NCI caBIG Embodying the Vision Award, NIH Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) Award, Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award, The OSU Cancer Center REAP Award, and Pelotonia Idea Award. As an internationally recognized researcher and educator, I am a senior of member of IEEE, SPIE, and AMIA. I currently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Pathology Informatics and Journal of Medical Imaging; and organizes the Pathology Informatics Histopathological Image Analysis (HIMA) workshop.

Research Highlights


Khalid Niazi, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Internal Medicine


I am an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. I completed my postdoctoral training in digital pathology from the Ohio State University with emphasis on narrowing the semantic gap between image analysis and pathology. I received my PhD in Medical Image Analysis from the Center for Image Analysis, Uppsala University, Sweden. During my PhD, I contributed towards the development of non-linear filtering, registration, and optimization methods for medical images. At the moment, I am developing methods for automated image analysis of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, neuroendocrine tumor, tuberculosis, follicular lymphoma, neuroblastoma, and breast cancer.

Bayram Annanurov

Bayram Annanurov, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

I received the BSc in Industrial Engineering degree from the Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 2006, and the MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2014 and University of Technology of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2019, respectively. I am currently a research associate in the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Before joining Wake Forest, I held academic assignments at various universities. My research interests cover Machine Learning, Data Mining, image analysis, object recognition, natural language processing, operations research, optimization.

Thomas Taolara
Graduate Student

I am a first year PhD student in the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest University BME program. I specialize in utilizing machine learning techniques for the analysis and interpretation of digital histopathological slides. I am working to creative innovative solutions to enhance pathologist interpretation and discover new anatomical prognostic factors in cancer.

I am currently pursuing my PhD under Dr. Metin Gurcan at Wake Forest University. Previously, I graduated from the University of Rochester with B.S. degrees in computer science and microbiology in 2017 and soon after joined Dr. Gurcan at his previous institution (The Ohio State University) as a researcher. During my undergraduate career, I conducted research in the Department of Biology at Lehigh University, the Penn State Cancer Institute, and the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

I have experience in machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, Tensorflow, histopathology, Python, C/C++, Java, Ruby, MATLAB, and a variety of other programming languages and tools. I excelled in my undergraduate coursework, and during my gap year with Dr. Gurcan have been published in SPIE, PLOS ONE, The Journal of Urology, and Nature Laboratory Investigation. Having a background in both computer science and microbiology, I provide a unique, interdisciplinary perspective on problems in the analysis of histopathological images.


Ziyu SuZiyu Su
Graduate Student
I am pursuing my Ph.D. degree in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University BME program. I received my B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2018 from Shandong University, China. In 2020, I graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. I am passionate about developing creative AI-based solutions to enhance pathology and other healthcare areas. My research interests includes image analysis, deep learning, especially self-supervised learning and multi-instance learning. I spend my spare time on anime, video games, traveling, and basketball.

Usama Sajjad

Usama Sajjad
Graduate Student

I am an enthusiastic and passionate person. I completed the BS degree in computer science from International Islamic University, Islamabad in 2019. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Virginia Tech/Wake Forest University BME program. I am is interested to develop novel healthcare solutions utilizing various machine learning techniques. In spare time, I like to learn new technologies, and outdoor sports.

A man wearing glasses and a red shit sitting at a desk turning and looking at the camera.

Mostafa Rezapour, PhD
Research Fellow

I am joining the Center for Biomedical Informatics as a Research Fellow. Following my B.S. in Mathematics, I earned an MS in Applied Mathematics from Sharif University of Technology, an MA in Statistics from Washington State University, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Washington State University, where I taught many courses such as Calculus series, Advanced Linear Algebra for PhD students, Linear and Nonlinear Optimization, Statistics, and Ordinary Differential Equations. I then completed a postdoc (2020 - 2022) in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Wake Forest University, where I served as a Graduate Committee member, and taught many courses such as Calculus series, Linear Algebra, Optimization, and Differential Equations. I am a mentor in the National Math Alliance for Doctoral Studies in Mathematical Science.

I passed the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ Graduate Qualifying Exam (GQE) at Washington State University with the highest score within the past few years. I received a Sidney G. Hacker Graduate Mathematics Scholarship from the Department of Mathematics at Washington State University, which recognizes excellence in graduate research as well as the Craft Scholarship from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Washington State University, which is offered in recognition of the outstanding achievements. In Iran, I ranked number eight of more than 20,000 students taking the Master of Science in applied mathematics exam, and number nine of more than 20,000 students taking the Master of Science in theoretical (pure) mathematics exam.

I am very interested in machine learning and deep learning and their applications in healthcare. I am also very passionate in applications of linear algebra, tensors, optimization, statistics, and computational mathematics in machine learning and deep learning. I have experience in Python, MATLAB, R, SAS, Java script, PHP, and C/C++. In the 2021 - 2022 academic year, I was leading the Machine Learning Group at Wake Forest University.


Past Members

  • Yunah Kim