NTT Research Names Iris Shelly MEI Lab Scientist

Applied research engineer to initially support development of the model architecture and interface for the bio digital twin initiative

Sunnyvale, Calif. – June 23, 2021 – NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced that it has named Iris Shelly as a Scientist in its Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. Shelly, an applied research engineer with expertise in biomedical signal processing and low-power devices, joined NTT Research in June 2021. She was most recently a Senior Applied Research Engineer at BIOTRONIK/Micro Systems Engineering, Inc. where she designed, developed and validated cardiac arrhythmia detection algorithms. Shelly brings this experience to the MEI Lab where she will initially work on model architecture and the interface for the bio digital twin initiative. Following Shelly’s initial research priorities, she will work on several other aspects of the bio digital twin initiative, including disease-related aspects of the model.

“The MEI Lab is pleased to welcome Iris Shelly to our research team,” said Dr. Jon Peterson, MEI Lab Senior Scientist responsible for advancing the bio digital twin development strategy. “Shelly’s strong software background and robust skillset in C#, algorithm design, Git, code review, machine learning, digital signal processing and more align strongly with the expertise needed to drive the MEI Lab’s mission to apply bioinformatics and data science to medical research. Her biomedical engineering background, collaborative personality and innate curiosity, along with the skills mentioned above, position her as a key contributor to our bio digital twin research.”

The goal of the MEI Lab’s bio digital twin initiative is to create complex digital replicas of human bodies that physicians can use to simulate various treatments. The goal is to enable optimal and patient-specific therapeutics essential to exceptional patient care and wellbeing. Shelly’s work at NTT Research will contribute to the first phase of this project, the development of a cardiovascular bio digital twin (CV BioDT). Shelly’s algorithm design experience and attention to detail, honed through years of experience in medical device research and software verification, are vital skills in support of model development for the CV BioDT.

“I am honored to join a team of renowned scientists all dedicated to advancing medical and health sciences,” said Shelly. “By addressing the increasing complexity of underlying diseases while also helping to determine the best remedy from an ever-increasing range of therapeutic options, the MEI Lab’s bio digital twin initiative has the very real potential to make a difference in people’s lives. I am excited to bring my expertise in software development and biomedical engineering to help contribute to this fulfilling initiative.” 

In addition to designing, developing and validating cardiac arrhythmia detection algorithms at BIOTRONIK/Micro Systems Engineering, Inc., Shelly was also responsible for managing data sets for algorithm development and validation using preclinical and clinical signals, drafting technical documentation to support FDA device approval and monitoring real-world clinical data and device performance in the field. Shelly also brings experience in system verification, hardware and software development, testing of product and system requirements for implantable medical devices and more to NTT Research. She holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. 

Shelly’s appointment as a MEI Lab scientist comes on the heels of a strategic joint research agreement with Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center (NCVC) to develop cardiovascular disease-related computational models, implement them on a bio digital twin platform and develop applications for use by physicians and patients. The MEI Lab also announced earlier this year the addition of Dr. Jon Peterson to its team as a Senior Scientist. Dr. Peterson, a biomedical engineer with both academic and medical device industry experience, will provide technical expertise and leadership in advancing the bio digital twin development strategy. 

In addition to the bio digital twin initiative, the MEI Lab is also focused on nanosensor technology. In August 2020, NTT Research announced the opening of an office in Munich in support of a joint research agreement with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), which links the MEI Lab with the Neuroelectronics Group within TUM’s School of BioEngineering. The MEI Lab believes that development of the bio digital twin will be informed not only by a vast array of biological, physiological, genomic, phenotypic and health records data, but also by data gleaned from wearable and advanced nanosensor devices.

About NTT Research

NTT Research opened its offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research facilities in Sunnyvale: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuroscience and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.


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