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Three Rensselaer Alumni Unite to Fight Breast Cancer

U-Systems Inc., located in Mountainview, Calif., shares a unique roster of Rensselaer alumni, all of whom are working toward a day when all breast cancers will be clearly detected at an early stage.

Founder Bob Wang ’57, CEO John Pavlidis ’85, and board member Andrew Jay ’84 are part of the U-Systems team involved in bringing more sophisticated imaging tools to today’s cancer imaging technology. The company’s SomoVu automated breast ultrasound system provides patient-friendly 3-D ultrasound imaging that is especially effective in the screening of dense breast tissue.

“It is great that three RPI graduates, in different capacities—investor, founder, and director—are involved in a single company, whose mission is using ultrasound for early detection of cancer in breasts with dense tissue,” says Bob Wang. “Mammography is not sufficient for breasts with dense tissue, and approximately 30 million women in the U.S. have these higher-risk breasts. The majority of the 40,000-per-year breast cancer deaths are from dense breasts.”

When Wang started out, mammography was deemed unsafe for screening purposes due to its high radiation levels. The high-resolution and low-dose rare-earth X-ray radiography technology developed by Wang allowed a 50 percent dose reduction to all radiography procedures.

In the 1990s, Wang founded R2 Technology to develop computer-aided detection technology to reduce screening oversights in mammography and lung CT scanning. In 1997, he founded U-Systems Inc. to develop the technology behind the SomoVu system.

John Pavlidis served as the CEO of R2 Technologies prior to joining U-Systems. Andrew Jay, a managing director at Siemens Venture Capital, joined the board in 2003.

Poly Plans Celebration

In honor of its 125th anniversary, The Rensselaer Polytechnic is planning a celebration to be held during Homecoming 2008, Oct. 17-19.

Alumni members who would like to be included on a mailing list to receive information about the event should send an e-mail to or to Peter Pedone at Please include the years you were involved with the publication and the positions you held.

Pasquale “Pat” Forni ’38 Exhibit

The Shelnutt Gallery in the Rensselaer Union will host an exhibit of artwork by Pasquale “Pat” Forni ’38 throughout the summer. Forni started his art career at age 87, after retiring in 2004 from Mohawk Paper Co., where he worked for 52 years.

* “Steel Rising” photo by Kris Qua
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.