The UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng

Abstract

Digital medical imaging technologies such as MRI, CT and ultrasound have transformed healthcare in the last 3 decades. Computational methods are now becoming available to measure very subtle changes in shape, structure and function of tissue and organs. This is changing the ways that we understand currently incurable diseases such as dementias, arthritis and cancer. These same technologies are allowing us to develop new ways of improving the ways we assess how well new treatments are working. Medical imaging provides information at the spatial scale of 1 mm or greater yet disease manifests itself by changes in molecular processes, cellular function and cellular distributions. Optical methods are becoming available to study these processes in-vivo and so we need methods to relate information at the micron scale to what we can see in medical imaging at the millimetre scale. With this information we will be able to develop new methods to use images to guide therapy and interventions in the treatment of cancer, brain diseases, disorders of bones and joints and cardiovascular diseases.This platform grant will provide is with resources to secure our excellent team of physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians. It will also give us the flexibility to tackle new avenues of research as they arise without the time delay in obtaining funding that would otherwise result. The resource will allow us to explore more speculative avenues of research at the interfaces between medical imaging and cellular and molecular biology; and opportunities for computational imaging at the interface of biology, nanotechnology and quantum physics.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This is a copy of the report submitted to EPSRC in 2011
Introduction:
This report describes the establishment and growth of the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) at UCL. We have always treated the Platform as synonymous with the Centre.
We see CMIC's work as a key component of the translational pipeline of information from imaging methodology arising in mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry and the engineering disciplines to biomedical sciences and healthcare. Close working with our clinical colleagues not only provides us with the means to translate new ideas in computation, informatics and imaging into the clinic, but also creates the environment in which new questions are asked and new problems posed that we can feed back into the development of fundamental new methodology. We operate a matrix structure with orthogonal streams of fundamental methodological development cross cutting with application orientated research. This allows methodology to feed into many applications, each of which can draw on a wide range of methodological expertise. Our close links with industry, including large multinational imaging companies, the pharmaceutical industry and a vibrant community of local SMEs, including our start-ups IXICO and Sageta, allows us to create solutions that can be widely disseminated in healthcare and bio-science.
We have held 3 Open Days since formation and the latest Open Day brochure (December 2010) can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/cmic/ Each researcher, PhD or post doc, has a page in this document describing their project and achievements.
Staff
This grant was awarded in 2006 shortly after Dave Hawkes, Derek Hill and David Atkinson moved their group from KCL to form the UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing with Simon Arridge, Daniel Alexander, Andrew Todd-Pokropek, Alf Linney and Nick Fox. Since then we have recruited a new Reader, Seb Ourselin, from CSIRO in Brisbane and this summer we were delighted to make 4 new junior faculty appointments, Dean Barratt, Gary Zhang, Danail Stoynaov and Ivana Drobnjak. Alf Linney and Andrew Todd-Pokropek have retired, Derek Hill is on leave of absence as CEO of a UCL and Imperial start-up, Ixico Ltd and David Atkinson has moved to a senior lecturing position in academic radiology. This last appointment has linked CMIC more firmly with the newly invigorated Academic Radiology group under the leadership of Professor Steve Halligan. CMIC has grown to 8 active members of academic staff and more than 60 post docs and PhD students. Within UCL we also work very closely with the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI), the UCL preclinical imaging laboratory, the Neuroimaging groups in the Institute of Neurology, the Institute of Child Health, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and the surgical and interventional groups within University College Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.
Facilities
An impressive range of state-of-the-art preclinical imaging facilities are now available at CABI (including 9.4T MRI, micro-Spect, micro-CT, photoacoustic imaging, in-vivo confocal fibred microendoscopy). We also have access to an interventional 3T MRI scanner for neurosurgical use, three whole body 3T MRI scanners with research access, a range of state-of-the-art ultrasound machines including the fully programmable Ultrasonix system. In March 2012 we will have access to the UK's first integrated PET/MRI scanner (and one of the first 4 machines worldwide). A proton radiotherapy facility is planned for 2015. We have input to the planning of the Francis Crick Institute.
Training
With CABI we formed the UCL Doctoral Training Programme in Medical and Biomedical Imaging. This has just started its 3rd year with annual intake of 10 students the first year, 11 last year and 14 this year. The programme attracts approximately 250 applicants each year and demand for our graduates is strong. Our doctoral training programme receives no external DTC Centre grant but is sustainable, currently allocated 5 institutional DTA awards. The remaining studentships arise from a wide range of competitive UCL, national or international awards to PIs or students, industrial sponsorship or overseas students. As the programme gains momentum and reputation the number of students with funding and PIs prepared to allocate their student to the Programme is increasing.
Research programme
The research objectives of the Platform correspond to those of the Centre. In the original proposal we listed 3 strategic themes:
1. Intelligent image acquisition coupling recent innovations in image acquisition to novel reconstruction methods that use prior knowledge of patient anatomy and motion
2. Modelling tissue structure, motion and growth patterns across scale in health and disease.
3. Applying these advances to image guided interventions.
We have made significant progress in all three research themes. The recent award of the program EPSRC Programme Grant H046410, led by CMIC and joint with KCL, Imperial and the Institute of Cancer Research, marks the coming of age of the intelligent imaging paradigm we initiated in the platform. We have proposed a new paradigm for medical imaging. The conventional approach is to acquire the best image that scanning technology can provide, given the constraints of patient workflow, and then as a separate process to interpret or analyse the image data for diagnosis or to guide an intervention. A more logical alternative is to optimise image data collection and information processing given the diagnostic state of the patient to be determined, or the therapeutic procedure to be undertaken. This paradigm is being developed with applications in neonatal imaging, cardiovascular sciences and the detection and treatment of cancers in the breast, lung, liver, colon and prostate. The program grant brings together all three themes with firm goals for clinical translation.
Daniel Alexander's fellowship E007748 extends theme 2 in a new direction modelling micron-scale tissue architecture in the brain. Motion modelling in image reconstruction (theme 2) is now a component of the EPSRC/CRUK-funded Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre (awarded 2008).
Dean Barratt's fellowship R17620 in image guided interventions made significant progress on theme 3, in particular in image-guided prostate biopsy and focal ablation. The first patient was treated using DB's system in July 2011 by Mark Emberton at UCLH (Yipeng Hu et al 2011). The collaboration is set to have a major impact on prostate cancer diagnosis and clinical management having received significant NIHR, MRC and industrial support. Our development in theme 2 also now supports image guidance, image analysis and motion modelling for another EPSRC Programme F025750 developing Transcostal High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound of focal lesions of the liver, as well as more recent work in minimally invasive liver surgery with Brian Davidson at the Royal Free Hospital. A novel representation of the colon has been developed to establish correspondence between multiple CT scans of the colon for colon cancer screening as part of an NIHR programme (Roth et al 2011). This work is now being extended with NIHR support to establishing correspondence with colonoscopy views. We have developed a significant programme of work to establish correspondence between volume medical imaging and endoluminal optical imaging (endoscopy) (Mingxing Hu et al 2010), including correspondence with emerging technologies in optical biopsy. We have just purchased a confocal micro-endoscope to develop these applications further.
As stated above more details on individual projects can be found in our brochure at www.ucl.ac.uk/cmic/ A full list of our publications can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cmic/publications/
Sustainability
We used the resource of the Platform to pump prime a number of activities and to sustain certain activity and retain key members of staff, including Tim Carter, Jamie McClelland, Marta Betcke, Hubert Fonteijn, Xiahai Zhuang, Freddy Odille, Marc Modat and Andrew Melbourne.
Our annual grant income is now in excess of £3M pa and arises from an increasingly diverse range of sources including EPSRC, EU, NIHR, CR-UK, Wellcome, other medical charities and industry. The JeS final report form gives details of grants awarded since 2006.
Highlights
Since the Platform Grant has been in force members of CMIC have received the following honours, personal fellowships and prizes:
Hubert Fonteijn: Francois Erbsmann Prize for best paper by a young investigator at IPMI 2011
Anthony Sherbondy (co-author with Matt Rowe and Daniel Alexander): Young Scientist prize MICCAI 2010
Irina Waechter: Young Scientist prize MICCAI 2007
Daniel Alexander: EPSRC Leadership Fellowship
Dean Barratt: RAE/EPSRC Fellowship
Martha Beckte: EPSRC Fellowship
Ivana Drobnjak: LeverHulme Fellowship
Dave Hawkes: Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2011), NIHR Senior Investigator (2009), Fellow of the MICCAI Society (2009), "The Crookshank Lecture and Medal" Royal College of Radiologists (2008), Fellow of the British Institute of Radiology (2007), "Wilhelm Roentgen Honorary Lecture" European Congress of Radiology (2006).
Exploitation Route See above
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cmic
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £321,513 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H02025X/1 (P14566) 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
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Amount £295,614 (GBP)
Funding ID DT/F002785/1 
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Funding ID EP/H046410/1 
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Start  
 
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Amount £384,646 (GBP)
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Funding ID EP/G026483/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
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Description EPSRC
Amount £6,011,430 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H046410/1 
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Sector Academic/University
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Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £398,662 (GBP)
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Amount £626,665 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/E034950/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £321,513 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H02025X/1 (P14566) 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £332,362 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G026483/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £398,662 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/E064280/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £1,368,757 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G007748/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
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Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £1,368,757 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G007748/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £384,646 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/E031579/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £626,665 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/E034950/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £295,614 (GBP)
Funding ID DT/F002785/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
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Start  
 
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Funding ID 201792 
Organisation European Commission 
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Description European Commission (EC)
Amount £340,752 (GBP)
Funding ID 201792 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
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Description European Commission (EC)
Amount £412,509 (GBP)
Funding ID 224538 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
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Description European Commission (EC)
Amount £247,612 (GBP)
Funding ID 223894 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
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Description MedicSight
Amount £389,669 (GBP)
Organisation Medicsight 
Sector Public
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Description MedicSight
Amount £389,669 (GBP)
Organisation Medicsight 
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Amount £551,094 (GBP)
Funding ID CBRC 168 
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Sector Public
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Description National Institute for Health Research
Amount £191,212 (GBP)
Funding ID CBRC 96 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
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Description National Institute for Health Research
Amount £551,094 (GBP)
Funding ID CBRC 168 
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Amount £191,212 (GBP)
Funding ID CBRC 96 
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Amount £101,336 (GBP)
Funding ID 96208 
Organisation North Bristol NHS Trust 
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Description Philips
Amount £118,500 (GBP)
Organisation Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. 
Department Philips
Sector Private
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Description Philips
Amount £118,500 (GBP)
Organisation Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. 
Department Philips
Sector Private
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Description The Prostate Cancer Charity
Amount £74,014 (GBP)
Funding ID PG 10-30 
Organisation Prostate Cancer UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
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Description The Prostate Cancer Charity
Amount £74,014 (GBP)
Funding ID PG 10-30 
Organisation Prostate Cancer UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
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Description UCLH National Institute for Health Resea
Amount £227,640 (GBP)
Funding ID RP-PG-0407-10388 (P18426) 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
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Description UCLH National Institute for Health Resea
Amount £227,640 (GBP)
Funding ID RP-PG-0407-10388 (P18426) 
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Description Wellcome Trust, The
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