An Interview with Satvik Nayak, 2022 UCSF ci2 Summer Intern

By UCSF ci2 Education Pillar

Each summer, the UCSF Center for Intelligent Imaging (ci2) welcomes interns from high school, undergraduate and graduate school, chosen based on their background, a graded rubric and overall readiness. Meet Satvik Nayak – an intern who participated in the program during Summer 2022.

Headshot of UCSF ci2 intern wearing a red shirt against a blue/green background

1. How did you find out about the UCSF ci2 internship and what made you decide to apply?

I found out about the ci2 internship program through one of my friends who was an intern the previous year. He really enjoyed it and recommended that I apply for it. Additionally, my decision to apply was greatly due to the program's overlap in the areas of computers and medicine. I know many people who have suffered from cancer, and I wanted to do something that would help others who are battling the disease. I also wanted to learn how I could use my interest in computers to potentially save other people's lives.

2. What interests you most about artificial intelligence (AI) and AI in medicine?

The thing that most interests me about AI is that we can build a model that can function very similarly to the human mind. One of the greatest questions of our time is how the human mind functions, and AI is helping us get a better understanding of that question. I am keen to learn about the many applications AI has in the medical field and how it can assist with new discoveries and medical procedures. It can be used to automate many time-consuming processes as well as can help support the issue of an increasing need of medical staff.

3. Talk about your projects that you've worked on this summer.

The project I am working on this summer is trying to build and train a model that can autonomously segment tumors from prostate cancer PDXs. Currently tumor segmentation is a very slow and tedious process and requires a person to manually outline each tumor by hand. Due to this, the process of segmenting a tumor is very time consuming, especially when there are hundreds of tumor images that need to be processed.

I am using deep learning to develop a model that can solve this issue and automate the segmentation process. Working on this project has been a very fun and rewarding experience. I've gotten to work closely with my mentor, as well as many professors and staff at UCSF. My time here has proven to be invaluable as I have learned so much and received a lot of guidance on my plans for the future. 

4. What are your future career plans?

My future career plans after graduating high school are to go on to earn a college degree. I have not completely finalized what I intend to major in, but regardless I wish to use the knowledge I gained to give back to my community and help those around me. This could be through a medical-related field or through an engineering area of study.

The Education Pillar within the UCSF ci2 works with aspiring and future scientists and physicians to mentor them and fully develop their interest in AI technology in medicine. Learn more.