Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIOMEDICAL IMAGING (Multimodal Biomedical Imaging for Research and Clinical Application)

Biomedical imaging techniques such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS), Computed tomography (CT), Positron emission tomography (PET) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) are key methods with continuously increasing importance for a huge variety of non-invasive functional and metabolic studies in humans. Many of these studies focus on a better understanding of physiological processes in the body as well as on the pathogenesis of relevant diseases with high incidence, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. Many studies confirm the importance of applications of modern biomedical imaging techniques for individual diagnostic staging of diseases and therapy monitoring and for optimised individual therapy planning, e.g. by Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). It therefore becomes more and more evident that the clearly rising demand on specialists in the field of biomedical imaging techniques in the past years is not reflected by a sufficient number of well educated medical physicists in Europe.

The implemented Early stage training (EST) centre clearly helped to overcome the mentioned lack of experts in the field of biomedical imaging and related areas by providing a high level programme of teaching and research activities. The very successful actual Marie Curie training site on biomedical imaging was based on the experiences originating from the former Marie Curie training site in Tuebingen entitled 'Optimisation techniques in conformal radiation therapy' which was run with funds from the European Community's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).

The project wanted to establish a basis for a suitable education of medical physicists in the field of the most important biomedical modalities used by research units and university hospitals. Tuebingen Medical Faculty, with its interdisciplinary working groups, had close links to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, to companies such as Siemens healthcare, Philips medical systems, CTF Systems Inc. and firms engaged in the development of new biomedical imaging systems and new instrumentation for clinical applications, like the development of MR-compatible instruments. Sufficient access to all relevant biomedical modalities, i.e. MRT, MRS, CT, PET and MEG, was offered to the Marie Curie fellows by the integrated working group serving as host for the training site.

Within the training site there were two closely interlinked working tracks:
1. The training programme that was offered to all fellows consisted of a general part to develop strength in the fundamental principles of all mentioned biomedical modalities and in applications in experimental studies and clinical examinations.
2. A specialised part provides insight in a specific area of research and a working plan for each fellow allowing contribution to a significant piece of work to the fellow's doctoral thesis.

The primary benefit to fellows having passed the Tuebingen training programme on biomedical imaging was that they easily found a position in a research centre or in a large hospital. The main advantage for the potential employers inside Europe was that well-educated medical physicists were able to work in interdisciplinary groups and support experimental and clinical studies with their knowledge.

Altogether 10 fellows participated in the EST in Tuebingen and all of them were successful and moved an important step forward in their careers. Several highly ranked publications were written by the fellows as first authors and many contributions to scientific meetings were made. Several fellows proceeded in working on their PhD thesis and one female fellow from Italy had already finished her thesis, by the time of the project completion, based on her successful work in our EST.

Reported by

Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Wilhelmstraße 7
72074 Tübingen
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