Son of Indian American parents explores AI’s potential in revolutionizing how medical professionals diagnose diseases
In a world where the average age for obtaining a PhD is around 31, Dr Tanishq Mathew Abraham has defied the odds by earning his doctorate in biomedical engineering at just 19, making him one of the youngest PhD holders in the world.
The path to obtaining a PhD in any discipline is filled with challenges and obstacles, but Tanishq’s journey was even more remarkable given his age. This young prodigy has not only demonstrated exceptional academic prowess but has also made significant contributions in the field of medical AI.
Born and raised in Sacramento, California to Indian American parents, Tanishq displayed an extraordinary aptitude for learning from a young age of two.
His father, Bijou Abraham, a software engineer and mother Dr. Taji Abraham, a veterinary researcher by profession quickly recognized their child’s exceptional abilities and provided him with the resources and support needed to nurture his talents.
Throughout his educational pursuit, Tanishq encountered the usual academic rigor and demanding coursework while also managing the unique challenges associated with being a prodigious individual in a university environment.
However, Tanishq’s unwavering focus, resilience, and support from mentors and family have played a pivotal role in overcoming these obstacles.
He specially credits the support from his parents and sister, Tiara Abraham, a teenage prodigy herself who at 17, is a 2nd year student in Master of Music degree at Indiana University.
His inspiration comes from his late grandfather Dr. Zachariah Mathew, a veterinary researcher and visionary who encouraged Tanishq’s scientific mind and his 90-year-old grandma, Dr. Thankam Mathew, a trailblazer herself, who became the first Indian woman veterinarian to receive a PhD and attended his dissertation defense.
Tanishq’s journey began at an early age when he displayed an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning when he joined college at seven. By the age of 10, he had already graduated high school.
At 14, his passion for knowledge and innovation led him to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering at University of California, Davis, focusing on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for diagnostic pathology where he worked with Dr. Richard Levenson as his PhD advisor.
His doctoral dissertation, titled “Virtual Staining of Slide-Free Microscopy Images with Deep Learning,” explores the potential of AI in revolutionizing the way medical professionals diagnose various diseases.
Tanishq’s research delves into the application of advanced algorithms and deep learning techniques to transform medical images, potentially enabling doctors to make more accurate and timely diagnoses, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Recognizing the potential impact of medical AI during his PhD, 19-year-old Tanishq founded Medical AI Research Center (MedARC), a research center dedicated to advancing medical AI technology.
As CEO, he leads a team of collaborators from Stanford University, Princeton University and members from national and international research organizations. MedARC’s mission is to develop generative AIs for medicine and build interdisciplinary teams to address clinical needs.
Under Tanishq’s leadership, MedARC has already made significant strides in the field of medical AI.
Last week, the research center published its first paper on MindEye, a state-of-the-art fMRI-to-image approach that retrieves and reconstructs images from brain activity. This technology has the potential to improve neurological disease research and diagnosis.
Tanishq’s radically accelerated educational journey and achievement in obtaining a PhD in biomedical engineering at 19, have positioned him as a role model for aspiring scientists, young scholars, and individuals of all ages.
He has participated in numerous conferences and events, sharing his experiences and encouraging others to follow their passions. His story resonates with those who face obstacles, encouraging them to embrace challenges and pursue their passions with hard work and perseverance.
Despite his young age, Dr Tanishq Abraham has already made an impact on the world of biomedical engineering and medical AI. As he continues to break barriers and push the boundaries of what is possible, there is no doubt that this teenage trailblazer will continue to inspire and innovate for years to come.