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If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a model worth?

Research profile

Simona Turco is an assistant professor at the Signal Processing Systems group (department of Electrical Engineering), and member of the Biomdical Diagnostics (BM/d) research lab and of the Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC). Her research focuses on quantitative model-driven analysis of medical images and biosignals, with focus on oncology and perioperative care. As cancer growth and aggressiveness relate to angiogenesis, i.e., the formation of chaotic network of leaky microvessels, her research in cancer diagnostics is devoted to developing novel imaging solutions for assessment of angiogenesis. To go beyond structural imaging, ultrasound and MRI dynamic imaging with injection of contrast agents are used to extract structural, functional, and molecular information on angiogenic vasculature at different spatial and temporal scales. In the context of perioperative care, Turco's research focuses on model-based analysis of biosignals for accurate prognosis and timely identification of patients at risk. By combining model-based feature extraction with data-driven approaches for optimal feature selection, she aims at developing effective risk prediction models to support clinical decision making. In general, Turco aims at facilitating the translation of research, driven by industrial and clinical needs, through tight collaborations with top healthcare partners.

Academic background

Simona Turco obtained her MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy) in 2012 summa cum laude. In 2015, she obtained a professional doctorate in engineering (PDEng) in Healthcare system design from the Stan Ackermans Institute at University of Technology (TU/e). Here, she also completed her Phd in 2018, with thesis entitled “Pharmacokinetic modeling in cancer: from functional to molecular imaging of angiogenesis”. Currently, she is assistant professor at the Biomedical Diagnostics (BM/d) research lab, focusing on quantitative model-driven analysis of bio-signals.

Education and Teaching

- Statistical signal processing

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Research Output 2013 2020

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound quantification: from kinetic modeling to machine learning

Turco, S., Frinking, P., Wildeboer, R., Arditi, M., Wijkstra, H., Lindner, J. R. & Mischi, M., 7 Jan 2020, In : Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

machine learning
Contrast Media
Spatio-Temporal Analysis

Clinical evaluation of dispersion MRI for prostate cancer localization: a multicenter study

Turco, S., Lavini, C., Heijmink, S., Barentsz, J., Wijkstra, H. & Mischi, M., 2019. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Open Access
Multicenter Studies
Prostatic Neoplasms
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

In-vitro investigation of the relationship between microvascular structure and ultrasound contrast agent dynamics

Chen, P., Turco, S., Sloun, R. J. G. V., Pollet, A., Toonder, J. D., Wijkstra, H. & Mischi, M., 2019, 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS). Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, p. 403-406 4 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Contrast Media
Prostatic Neoplasms
3 Downloads (Pure)

Machine learning for classification of uterine activity outside pregnancy

Bakkes, T. H. G. F., Sammali, F., Kuijsters, N. P. M., Turco, S., Rabotti, C., Schoot, D. & Mischi, M., Jul 2019, 2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019. Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, p. 2161-2164 4 p. 8857374

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Learning systems
Support vector machines

Pharmacokinetic analysis of targeted nanonubbles for quantitative assessment of PSMA expression in prostate cancer

Turco, S., Perera, R. A., Wijkstra, H., Exner, A. A. & Mischi, M., 2019. 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Open Access
Prostatic Neoplasms


Academy Van Leersum Grant

Simona Turco (Recipient), 2019

Prize: KNAWOtherScientific

The Netherlands
National Archives

Best paper published by IEEE-EMBS in 2015-16, 3rd place

Simona Turco (Recipient), 2017

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Biomedical Engineering
Contrast Media
Theoretical Models

Best poster award (2nd place) at the Joint Meeting of the IEEEEMBS Benelux Chapter, Bruxelles (Belgium), 2017

Simona Turco (Recipient), 1 Dec 2017

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific


Best Poster Award at the 24th European symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging

Simona Turco (Recipient), 18 Jan 2019

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific


Hanart fonds fellowship artifical intelligence in oncology

Simona Turco (Recipient), 1 Nov 2019

Prize: OtherFellowships & membershipsScientific

Prostatic Neoplasms


Statistical signal processing

1/09/18 → …


Press / Media

AI help for better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Simona Turco


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment