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Channels Scholar Seminar: Creating a Prototype Visualization Tool for Analyzing Pre-pubescent Lupus Data

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 2 PM (EDT)


Join us online for our next Channels Scholar student research seminar with Nathan R. Kanter presenting his research with Dr. Vetria Byrd on data visualization of Lupus.


Creating a Prototype Visualization Tool for Analyzing Pre-pubescent Lupus Data 


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as Lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease, that can target any organ in the body.  The disease has been reported to be most dangerous for adolescents in the first year after diagnosis. The aim of this research is to develop a prototype visualization tool for analyzing pre-pubescent Lupus data. This research utilizes data visualization techniques and visual analytics to examine a variety of variables that track Lupus symptoms and puberty progression. This will enable incremental refinement of the interface and assess the functionality of the tool. The current results show the earlier an adolescent is in puberty, the worse the Lupus symptom flares are. Theoretically, this could be due to the intense surge of hormones into the body, primarily leptin. The results suggest if the correct hormone can be identified as the catalyst for the flares, the hormone could be suppressed to slow down the progression of puberty to provide improved quality of life for SLE adolescents. Continued work will include adding statistical elements to the backend to provide summary information about the data to help users better understand the data. To enable this functionality, the following features will be integrated into the tool:  creating a filter for variables, a breakdown menu for each individual patient, and a cross-variable analysis.

Research Mentor: Dr. Vetria Byrd, Computer Graphics Technology 


Dr. Kathleen M. O’Neil, Riley Children’s Hospital 

Dr. Martha Rodriguez, Riley Children’s Hospital 



Nathan Kanter is currently a rising senior at Purdue University as a double major in Data Visualization and Web Programming. While completing his education, Kanter is completing research on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) under assistant professor Dr. Vetria Byrd. By using data from Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Kanter creates data visualizations to allow for easier analysis. The end goal for Kanter is to obtain a job in either the medical, technology or entertainment industries as a Data Analyst or UX Designer with possible plans for graduate school in the distant future. Kanter also attempts to perform community service whenever possible. This is due to Kanter's belief that people should help others whenever possible. Aside from community service, other interests of the student include, playing bass guitar, listening to music, and film.