Christopher Nguan

Associate Professor

Research Interests

kidney transplantation
patient reported outcomes
medical apps for mobile health
machine learning analytics of medical imaging
machine learning analytics of complex medical data outcomes
quality in healthcare
environmental impact of healthcare
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.

Research Methodology

daVinci Si surgical system
wetlab - in vitro, small animal, large animal
clinical / administrative databases
ex vivo organ perfusion
clinical interface with patients


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

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Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Developing surgical navigation tools for minimally invasive surgery using ultrasound, structured light, tissue tracking and augmented reality. (2020)

Surgeons and their patients would benefit if, during an operation, a surgeon could inexpensively, safely and non-invasively peer beneath the surface of the organ s/he was operating on. Peering below the surface would allow the surgeon to see blood vessels, tumours and other important structures. Furthermore, it would allow them to better plan their surgery and avoid damaging important structures with their tools. Giving surgeons the ability to peer beneath the surface and better formulate their surgical plan is the goal of image guided surgery research and the focus of this thesis. In this thesis accurate 3D models of cancer tumour phantoms are generated and displayed to the surgeon. This is achieved via the development of: an ultrasound calibration technique (Chapter 2); the augmented reality ultrasound navigation system (ARUNS) (Chapter 3); a miniature projector for surgery called the Pico Lantern (Chapter 4); and the Projector-based Augmented Reality Intracorporeal System (PARIS)(Chapter 5). The ultimate goal is to improve surgical navigation which will help surgeons be more accurate and reduce the amount of healthy tissue they excise during operations.The ultrasound calibration technique improved ultrasound-based pinhead point reconstruction accuracy from 3.1mm to 1.3mm. The Pico Lantern and the PARIS were developed to improve surface reconstruction and to improve the realism of the augmented reality in surgery. The Pico Lantern is a miniature projector for surface reconstruction, augmented reality and guidance in laparoscopic surgery. The PARIS was tested by two surgeons in a user study of 32 simulated kidney cancer surgeries. Compared to using a laparoscopic ultrasound transducer alone, when using the PARIS, surgeons found the surgical navigation more intuitive and they had a better spatial understanding of the underlying anatomy. Furthermore, positive margin rates decreased and there was a statistically significant reduction in the amount of healthy tissue excised. Key conclusions are that wide baseline ultrasound calibration is effective, simple guidance cues are important in augmented reality in surgery and that projected light in surgery is a viable strategy for surface reconstruction and augmented reality.

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Current Students & Alumni

This is a small sample of students and/or alumni that have been supervised by this researcher. It is not meant as a comprehensive list.

Membership Status

Member of G+PS
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Vancouver General Hospital

Program Affiliations


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