This is your place to catch up with the characters and conversations that make 3Scan such an inspiring place to work, and work with.






New Article in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine featuring 3Scan’s Chief Medical Information Officer – Dr. Navid Farahani read it here.




Meet Crutcher Dunnavant! 

What is your role at 3Scan?  Instigator of Mayhem… I am Tech Lead of Infrastructure.

What does that mean?  I lead design and implementation to our petabyte scale data storage and processing framework, as well as, most of the logging data metric collection and low level system engineering.

What do you like the most about 3Scan company culture? Accessible decision-making, plurality of ideas, food, most of the people here are involved in a bunch of weird random projects of their own, which brings a lot of interesting energy into the space and it’s nice to work in a space that lets people do stuff like that.

What inspires you about working at 3Scan. I get to work on technology stacks that I am very interested in, and with the help of a bunch of crazy people I am building towards an infrastructure that will be able to take a real swing at global scale problems. There are a lot more problems than there are people so we have to address them by digging them and doing low level infrastructure that build big leverage. We have complex, multisystem integrative needed so there’s a constant churn of new information and scale issues that even if we fail at we will learn a lot. But there’s a good chance we will succeed at it and I’m working hard to make that more likely.

How long have you lived in San Francisco? I’ve been in the Bay since 2005, and SF since 2009.

Do you like it here? I do like San Francisco a lot. It’s the closest place to home I think I’ve found so far.

What do you do for fun? I run a Burning Man camp. I build large sets for burlesque shows in the city. I’m the principle artist in a series of interactive art for art parties. I sew. I dance and sometimes perform as a dancer. I cook. I do BBQ for like 50 – 100 people at a time.


Meet Tess Aquarium!

What is your role at 3Scan? I am the office manager of 3Scan, which means because we are such a dynamic workplace my role is quite dynamic and changes every day.

What does that mean? Typical day at 3Scan means I roll in, check on the kitchen and plants, check on our pet cockroaches and fish and make sure their needs are met, chat with people as they roll in (I’m usually the first person to arrive). That usually takes an hour. After I cook breakfast for myself and others and then get to my to do list. One of the favorite things I get to source company shwag, and I enjoy the challenge of finding cool stuff to brighten people’s days with. I also get to be responsible for our employee food program which means I make sure the fridge is stocked with healthy produce and other items. I make sure we have enough snacks to keep people’s energy flowing through the workday. And, I work with a local catering company that provides us with an incredible farm to table lunch every Thursday before our noon conference.

What do you like the most about 3Scan company culture? I love that 3Scan is a place where everyone is trying to do something that has never been done which makes the company culture curious and engaged in all sorts of things – work, personal life, health. I always have interesting conversations with my coworkers and what they are doing and what I’m doing. It’s a culture of sharing information.

What inspires you about working at 3Scan. I love supporting the future of medical technology. I love that I get to hear what’s new in regenerative medicine and what our company is doing to make that happen. We have a lot of problems in our health because of modernity and seeing how all the different businesses including 3Scan are working to help people solve those problems is really cool.

How long have you lived in San Francisco? My 6 year anniversary will be in January. Fun fact, I met Todd and Katy after living here for 3 days. I was staying at Langton Labs, where they lived which was right around the corner to where 3Scan was founded.

Do you like it here? I love it here. Aside from the reasons above, I’m never bored, I’m always active, and I can bring my cat to work.

What do you like to do for fun? A few times a year I do a performance art piece. When I’m not doing that I make a lot of potions and do a lot of cooking, read a lot and try to have really good dinner parties.


Meet Squirrel (Emily) Collins!

What is your role at 3Scan? I make the microscopes slice!

What does that mean? We have these 6 machines in various stages of operational running. The decision-makers create the scheme for which scopes should be slicing when and I watch the machines run to optimize for whatever the region or area of interest is for that sample.

What do you like the most about 3Scan company culture? It really just lets people be who they are. You get your job done and the rest of the time they just let you be you. It’s not super conservative.

What inspires you about working at 3Scan. My personal mission statement has a lot to do with making the world more sci-fi future, not the dystopian sci-fi but the ideal sci-fi. 3Scan is working in a very clear and obvious path for an ideal sci-fi future.

What does that look like? Something about having all the knowledge about your body in one place and that grand idea of a quick turnaround cancer diagnosis or a pharmaceutical company that can just test the product and get it out there in a way that streamlines its path to usefulness. Bioprinting, growing new things, creating greater resolution on cellular structures. If a cell is a sentence, and tissue is a paragraph, we’re translating the book. I don’t think there is anywhere else where I could work that would allow me to contribute in this way to this grand future.

How long have you lived in San Francisco? 5 Years.

Do you like it here? I plan to stay as long as 3scan is here. If I weren’t at 3Scan I would potentially relocate to find something else as interesting, but I don’t know where I could possibly do that.


Meet Alex Braun!

What is your role at 3Scan? I am tasked with building the visualization pipeline.
What does that mean? In summary, the visualization pipeline takes a stack of images and converts it into 3D meshes, video and other complex data structures. These outputs are delivered to clients and will eventually be used for rapid hypothesis testing and training machine learning models. For instance, we may slice up a part of a human trachea on our microscopes. My job is then to segment into its different features, like cartilage and bronchial wall, turn it into a mesh and ensure it is printable. A lot of my work is aimed toward providing data for the 3D printing of biological material. It’s the pipeline architecture incorporates tools and methods of both the data science and visual effects industries.
What do you like the most about 3Scan company culture? I like the freedom and trust placed in me to do my job. I like self-organized groups provided that they consist competent, driven people. I like working with people who are passionate about what they are doing.
What inspires you about your work at 3Scan? There’s the personal thing I get to build something I’ve always wanted to build, a system that addresses scientific problems through a predominantly visual-spatial paradigm. For me, reasoning along this paradigm enables me to intuit conceptual links, and corresponding algorithms, that would otherwise be very opaque. Problems tend to become simpler, the more dimensions you spread them over.
Then there is the less personal thing, which is that I would like to contribute to work alongside scientists and add something valuable to that enterprise.
How long have you lived in San Francisco? 2 years.
Do you like it here? It’s a mixed bag. It’s kinda dirty and the cost and parking is outrageous. But, the culture is interesting and food is good. I’m a bit more partial to the country, but I can drive to the ocean or a park and listen to the song birds.


Human enabled, machine enhanced
Automation as a framework for computer assisted diagnosis in pathology
By Dr. Navid Farahani

Pathologists have used light microscopes to examine tissue sections on slides since the mid-19th century. Until very recently, this method was the only one available to look at these histological preparations. However, as new technologies and microscopy techniques are developed, pathology is becoming more digital, and a new arsenal of tools is available to pathologists. One of these tools is whole-slide imaging (WSI), wherein conventional slides are scanned to produce digital slides. Once these slides are scanned, specialized software allows pathologists to view the samples in a virtual slide viewer. This has the potential to greatly speed up a pathologist’s job. However, an even more exciting technology is tantalizingly close, and would massively reduce the time involved in diagnosis and routine tasks. While still theoretical, the pathology machine-enabled diagnosis (pMED), an intelligent computer assistant, would be able to view whole-slide images and measure things like tumor size, make lymph node counts, and flag regions of interest (ROIs) for a human pathologist to take a closer look at. It could even write most of the pathologist’s report, leaving the pathologist more time to do the important work of diagnosis. While this may seem far-fetched, complex automata already exist—consider Google’s (Mountain View, California) self-driving car project or Amazon’s (Seattle, Washington) inexpensive autonomous flying drone aircraft. In the medical field, a computer-screened Papanicolaou test is already used in cervical cancer screening.

A highly sophisticated pMED would require a combination of advanced image analysis modalities, well-designed human-computer interfaces, and an understanding of the traditional pathology workflow. It would integrate several facets of artificial intelligence technologies, such as computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and speech recognition. These technologies would allow pMED to, respectively, identify objects in whole-slide images, learn new information and perform pattern recognition through exposure to data without being explicitly programmed to do so, produce pathology reports in ways humans can read, and respond to commands vocally from a pathologist.

While the technology to have a fully functional pMED is still lacking, Dr. Navid Farahani and colleagues at 3Scan, Inc. in collaboration with Dr. Zheng Liu (Department of Pathology, Barnabas Health, Livingston, NJ) and Dr. Jeffrey Fine (Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), recently developed a prototype of a pMED using slides of a breast cancer specimen. They reimagined the workflow with pMED assisting a pathologist and explained how steps can be automated. This prototype is published as a Powerpoint (Microsoft, Seattle, Washington) presentation, and is publicly available. For more information about this exciting new step in digitizing pathology and to see the prototype yourself, please click on the link to see a full copy of Dr. Farahani’s article.

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