We recently hosted a one-day Image-Guided Therapies Network meeting in the impressive surroundings of Darwin College Conference Suite at the Eastern end of the campus. The network, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is designed to link together UK based academics, companies and clinicians who are working in image-guided intervention. Defined loosely, this means anyone who is interested in using some kind of imaging, whether it be optical, CT, MRI, ultrasound and so on, to help improve the quality of surgery and other medical procedures.
The network does lots of different things, including providing small amounts of funding for initial, proof-of-concept type studies involving collaborations between network members from two or more organisations. An example is my colleague Prof. Adrian Podoleanu’s recently awarded funding to work with Ioan Nottingher of Nottingham University on imaging the ear. The network also organises regular network meetings, with hosting duties rotating between the different partners. Adrian Podoleanu is a network partner (I am a mere member), and in February is was his turn to host, and I helped with the organisation.
While it can be sometimes difficult to persuade people to travel to Canterbury (being on a peninsular in the far South East we are closer to large parts of Europe than much of the UK!) we had a good attendance of around fifty people, and were also able to recruit some excellent expert speakers. In the morning I co-ordinated some tours of the Photonics Centre, while the Network Management Meeting went on in parallel. The optics labs are a fair walk from Darwin College, but people managed to find their way, and had a chance to appreciate the campus. We then had a buffet lunch alongside some posters from participants before the main series of talks in the afternoon.
If you’re interested in the network (and if you are at all involved in medical imaging for therapy, you should be), they are always on the look-up for new members, take a look at the website. The official report on the event is on the Applied Optics Group site