Maryam Vareth leads BIDS' data science research efforts in the Health & Life Sciences. As an experienced engineer, researcher and data scientist, she applies mathematics, statistics and physics to solve unmet needs in healthcare and enhance patients’ experience during their medical journey. Dr. Vareth is a Co-Director of the Innovate For Health initiative, a collaboration among UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. She is also an advocate for “data-driven” medicine, and in particular for linking large-scale medical imaging data with medical diagnostics and therapeutics to extract clinically-relevant insights through the use of open source and open research practices.
Dr. Vareth holds a dual appointment with UCSF and UC Berkeley, and as a researcher in the Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging at UCSF, her research focuses on developing tools to predict characteristics of tumor aggressiveness, with the goal of developing data-driven models to identify risk factors and predict outcomes in the clinic. In collaboration with GE healthcare, Dr. Vareth works on rapid high-resolution image acquisition and advanced image reconstruction techniques with the aim of translating the new imaging techniques into clinical practice.
As a BIDS-LLNL Data Science Fellow, Dr. Vareth served as an ambassador for the three campuses (UC Berkeley, UCSF and LLNL), working to build connections among research labs and to develop new tools to incorporate medical imaging into data science. She is one of the core members of BIDS' XD (‘across domains’) programs, which bring together researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines to develop creative solutions to common methodological challenges. She has co-organized annual symposiums including ImageXD and TextXD. Dr. Vareth also leads BIDS' Undergraduate Internship Program, which enables UC Berkeley undergraduates from various technical fields to gain hands-on research experience with computational problems in biomedicine. Dr. Vareth has a long-standing passion for mentoring, coaching and empowering the younger generation, especially young women in STEM, to achieve their highest potential.
Dr. Vareth received her BS and MS training in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from UC Berkeley, where she was awarded the prestigious Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholarship. She completed her PhD through the joint UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering program as a National Science Foundation Fellow, where she was awarded the Margaret Hart Surbeck Endowed Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Research for her work on developing new techniques and algorithms for the acquisition, reconstruction and quantitative analysis of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging (MRSI), with the goal of improving its speed, sensitivity and specificity to improve the management of patients with brain tumors. She conducted her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF, combining structural, physiological and metabolic imaging data from large clinical trials to quantitatively characterize heterogeneity within malignant brain tumors.