Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016
For outstanding contributions in basic research and clinical applications to advancing genomics, stem cell, tissue engineering, and drug delivery

AI predicts common childhood ailments better than some physicians

Via AI in Healthcare | February 13, 2019

Researchers in China have developed an AI-based natural language processing algorithm which processes free text from physician notes in electronic health records (EHRs) to predict common ailments in a pediatric population. The algorithm outperformed junior physicians in diagnosing some illnesses.

Their findings were published in Nature.

“AI-based methods have emerged as powerful tools to transform medical care,” wrote lead author Kang Zhang, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues. “Although machine learning classifiers (MLCs) have already demonstrated strong performance in image-based diagnoses, analysis of diverse and massive EHRs data remains challenging… Continue reading.

Serious eye diseases accurately diagnosed through artificial intelligence

Via San Diego Union Tribune | February 26, 2018

UC San Diego researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system to quickly and accurately screen patients with potentially blinding retinal diseases to see if urgent treatment is needed.

The system used machine learning to identify macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema within 30 seconds with more than 95 percent accuracy, said Kang Zhang, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at UCSD’s Shiley Eye Institute.

The accuracy is similar to that of a skilled ophthalmologist, said Zhang, founding director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Plans are in the works to deploy the system in Haiti, whose ophthalmologists are overwhelmed, he said.

Moreover, the AI system was effective in diagnosing different types of childhood pneumonia, Zhang said. It distinguished between viral and bacterial pneumonia with more than 90 percent accuracy.

The distinction makes a big difference in care. Bacterial pneumonia is treatable with antibiotics, while care for viral pneumonia consists of treating symptoms while the body fights off the infection… Continue reading.

Blood test may find liver cancer earlier, improve survival

Via San Diego Union Tribune. | October 11, 2017

Liver cancer can be caught at an early stage through a newly developed blood test, improving the odds for survival, according to a study led by University of California San Diego scientists.

The test looks for changed gene activity, caused by a process called methylation, that indicate liver cancer, said Kang Zhang, M.D., the study’s senior author. Methylation turns genes on or off, but doesn’t affect the underlying DNA sequence.

Early detection is important for the best outcome, Zhang said. Moreover, a blood test is simpler to administer than an invasive liver biopsy or imaging.

Long-term survival is more likely when the cancer is still localized to the liver than when it has spread, according to the National Cancer Institute… Continue reading.

Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | January 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Chief of Ophthalmic Genetics, Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Zhang was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions in basic research and clinical applications to advancing genomics, stem cell, tissue engineering, and drug delivery.