Kitware Collaborator Wins 2007 Nobel Prize

October 10, 2007

Dr. Oliver Smithies (Wikipedia) is a 2007 Nobel Laureate in Medicine. Working with Mario R. Capecchi and Sir Martin J. Evans, Dr. Smithies won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells. See

Kitware worked with Dr. Smithies and successfully received an NIH Phase I STTR grant to construct detailed anatomical models of gene expression when mice hearts undergo stress. The models were made by stitching and stacking 3D confocal micropscopy images taken from thinly-sliced tissue sections of mice hearts. Dr. Smithies’ team manipulated the genes of the mice so that their heart cells would fluoresce when certain genes within them were activated. The confocal microscopy images captured the florescence from excised tissue samples. Kitware’s reconstruction method allowed his team to visualize global and local patterns of gene expression when heart damage is induced.

Kitware’s team included Stephen Aylward (PI), Lisa Avila (co-PI), Julien Jomier and Will Schroeder. UNC’s team included Oliver Smithies and Kumar Pandya. Research interns from the University of Lyon, France, also participated: Cedric Caron and Remi Charrier.

A Phase II NIH proposal submission is in progress.

Kitware, Inc. is a leading software development company providing products and services in the areas of medical image analysis, visualization and 3D graphics, supercomputing, computer vision, open publication, and software quality process. Kitware is known for its advanced open source software tools such as the widely used Visualization Toolkit (VTK), Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK), and the CMake build management software. Established in 1998, Kitware is rapidly growing to support top research and development clients around the world; including such prestigious customers as the US National Labs (Sandia, Los Alamos, Livermore, and Argonne), the National Institutes of Health, the Army and Air Force Research labs, and a variety of academic, commercial and governmental research labs. Our commercial customers range from Fortune 500 oil and gas companies to small medical imaging start ups.

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