|Three Rensselaer Alumni Unite to Fight Breast Cancer
U-Systems Inc., located in Mountainview, Calif., shares a unique roster of Rensselaer alumni, all of whom are working toward a day when all breast cancers will be clearly detected at an early stage.
Founder Bob Wang ’57, CEO John Pavlidis ’85, and board member Andrew Jay ’84 are part of the U-Systems team involved in bringing more sophisticated imaging tools to today’s cancer imaging technology. The company’s SomoVu automated breast ultrasound system provides patient-friendly 3-D ultrasound imaging that is especially effective in the screening of dense breast tissue.
“It is great that three RPI graduates, in different capacitiesinvestor, founder, and directorare involved in a single company, whose mission is using ultrasound for early detection of cancer in breasts with dense tissue,” says Bob Wang. “Mammography is not sufficient for breasts with dense tissue, and approximately 30 million women in the U.S. have these higher-risk breasts. The majority of the 40,000-per-year breast cancer deaths are from dense breasts.”
When Wang started out, mammography was deemed unsafe for screening purposes due to its high radiation levels. The high-resolution and low-dose rare-earth X-ray radiography technology developed by Wang allowed a 50 percent dose reduction to all radiography procedures.
In the 1990s, Wang founded R2 Technology to develop computer-aided detection technology to reduce screening oversights in mammography and lung CT scanning. In 1997, he founded U-Systems Inc. to develop the technology behind the SomoVu system.
John Pavlidis served as the CEO of R2 Technologies prior to joining U-Systems. Andrew Jay, a managing director at Siemens Venture Capital, joined the board in 2003.