Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

October 23, 2019

WPI engineer creating prostate-exam robot receives $2M grant

Courtesy | WPI Haichong Zhang is an assistant professor in biomedical engineering at WPI.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor Haichong Zhang has received a nearly $2-million grant to fund his research into a prostate cancer detecting robot.

Zhang, an assistant professor in biomedical engineering, received a five-year $1,869,423 Director's Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health to fund his ongoing research of a robotic system to detect indicators of prostate cancer. The MRI-guided robotic system will exam three different indicators of prostate cancer with the goal of being more accurate than current tests like ultrasounds and biopsies unguided by MRIs.

“One fifth of men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime, and the recurrence of it is very high,” said Zhang. “Right now, the best methods for detecting prostate cancer early are not nearly as accurate as we need them to be, and they are not risk-free. My goal is to create a minimally invasive, easily accessible and cost-effective way to better detect this cancer.”

Zhang and Gregory Fischer, professor of robotics and mechanical engineering, will work on a robotic system pairing an MRI with an imaging probe. The probe will be controlled by a robotic arm to enable a 3D image of the prostate and any tumor that is present. According to WPI, this technology will show the tumor in earlier stages than an ultrasound image.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners

Related Content


Order a PDF