3D Visualization and Modeling of Biological Ultrastructure

Ivan Viola
Visual Computing Forum

Ivan Viola is a Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. In his research, Viola investigates methods that automate the processes of 3D modeling and visualization. Basal new technologies he showcases on various domains, such as ultrasound diagnostics, geology, or sub-millimeter biology. He graduated from TU Wien, Austria, in 2005 and moved for a postdoctoral experience to the University of Bergen, Norway, where he was gradually promoted to the rank of a Professor. In Norway, he also worked for Christian Michelsen Research in the role of a scientific advisor. In 2013 he was awarded a Vienna Science and Technology Fund grant to establish a research group back at TU Wien. After several years of research on visualization and computer graphics techniques for multiscale biological structures, Viola has co-founded the startup Nanographics, to commercialize nanovisualization technologies. In 2019 he has relocated to KAUST to continue his investigative efforts, for delivering technologies that make visual, in-silico sub-micron life possible.

The current resolution of electron cryotomography has the potential to enable studying details of biological entities almost at an atomistic resolution. Visualization, however, is suffering from noise and other artifacts and requires automated approaches to provide a clear view of the structures of interest. Visualization and data analysis, coupled with a rule-based 3D modeling approach can lead to the formation of 3D atomistic models that can be used for further utilization in computational biology analytical workflows or for dissemination purposes.