EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent, Integrated Imaging In Healthcare (i4health)

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

Abstract

We propose to create the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in intelligent integrated imaging in healthcare (i4health) at University College London (UCL). Our aim is to nurture the UK's future leaders in next-generation medical imaging research, development and enterprise, equipping them to produce future disruptive healthcare innovations either focused on or including imaging.

Building on the success of our current CDT in Medical Imaging, the new CDT will focus on an exciting new vision: to unlock the full potential of medical imaging by harnessing new associated transformative technologies enabling us to consider medical imaging as a component within integrated healthcare systems. We retain a focus on medical imaging technology - from basic imaging technologies (devices and hardware, imaging physics, acquisition and reconstruction), through image computing (image analysis and computational modeling), to integrated image-based systems (diagnostic and interventional systems) - topics we have developed world-leading capability and expertise on over the last decade. Beyond this, the new initiative in i4health is to capitalise on UCL's unique combination of strengths in four complementary areas: 1) machine learning and AI; 2) data science and health informatics; 3) robotics and sensing; 4) human-computer interaction (HCI). Furthermore, we frame this research training and development in a range of clinical areas including areas in which UCL is internationally leading, as well as areas where we have up-and-coming capability that the i4health CDT can help bring to fruition: cancer imaging, cardiovascular imaging, imaging infection and inflammation, neuroimaging, ophthalmology imaging, pediatric and perinatal imaging. This unique combination of engineering and clinical skills and context will provide trainees with the essential capabilities for realizing future image-based technologies. That will rely on joint modelling of imaging and non-imaging data to integrate diverse sources of information, understanding of hardware the produces or uses images, consideration of user interaction with image-based information, and a deep understanding of clinical and biomedical aims and requirements, as well as an ability to consider research and development from the perspective of responsible innovation.

Building on our proven track record, we will attract the very best aspiring young minds, equipping them with essential training in imaging and computational sciences as well as clinical context and entrepreneurship. We will provide a world-class research environment and mentorship producing a critical mass of future scientists and engineers poised to develop and translate cutting-edge engineering solutions to the most pressing healthcare challenges.

Planned Impact

The critical mass of scientists and engineers that i4health will produce will ensure the UK's continued standing as a world-leader in medical imaging and healthcare technology research. In addition to continued academic excellence, they will further support a future culture of industry and entrepreneurship in healthcare technologies driven by highly trained engineers with deep understanding of the key factors involved in delivering effective translatable and marketable technology. They will achieve this through high quality engineering and imaging science, a broad view of other relevant technological areas, the ability to pinpoint clinical gaps and needs, consideration of clinical user requirements, and patient considerations. Our graduates will provide the drive, determination and enthusiasm to build future UK industry in this vital area via start-ups and spin-outs adding to the burgeoning community of healthcare-related SMEs in London and the rest of the UK. The training in entrepreneurship, coupled with the vibrant environment we are developing for this topic via unique linkage of Engineering and Medicine at UCL, is specifically designed to foster such outcomes. These same innovative leaders will bolster the UK's presence in medical multinationals - pharmaceutical companies, scanner manufacturers, etc. - and ensure the UK's competitiveness as a location for future R&D and medical engineering. They will also provide an invaluable source of expertise for the future NHS and other healthcare-delivery services enabling rapid translation and uptake of the latest imaging and healthcare technologies at the clinical front line. The ultimate impact will be on people and patients, both in the UK and internationally, who will benefit from the increased knowledge of health and disease, as well as better treatment and healthcare management provided by the future technologies our trainees will produce.

In addition to impact in healthcare research, development, and capability, the CDT will have major impact on the students we will attract and train. We will provide our talented cohorts of students with the skills required to lead academic research in this area, to lead industrial development and to make a significant impact as advocates of the science and engineering of their discipline. The i4health CDT's combination of the highest academic standards of research with excellent in-depth training in core skills will mean that our cohorts of students will be in great demand placing them in a powerful position to sculpt their own careers, have major impact within our discipline, while influencing the international mindset and direction. Strong evidence demonstrates this in our existing cohorts of students through high levels of conference podium talks in the most prestigious venues in our field, conference prizes, high impact publications in both engineering, clinical, and general science journals, as well as post-PhD fellowships and career progression. The content and training innovations we propose in i4health will ensure this continues and expands over the next decade.

Organisations

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2270054 Studentship EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Samuel Sandor Rot
2269803 Studentship EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 James Young Chapman
2270324 Studentship EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Jake Anthony Bewick
2270631 Studentship EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Nina Brenda Brown
2269735 Studentship EP/S021930/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Fiona Young