Rationale for CERIMED.NET, a European open Campus for Research in Medical Imaging technologies
The international and multidisciplinary community working on detector developments at the cutting edge of technology for large physics and astrophysics experiments is more and more involved in technology transfer activities in the medical imaging area. Its action in networking physics and medicine is illustrated in a number of large-scale projects and coordinated activities involving physicists and physicians, some of them directly funded by the European Commission (EndoTOFPET-US, PICOSEC, FAST, MINDVIEW, TRIMAGE, SUBLIMA, …). It has also established strong links with non-European institutions and medical centers in USA, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, Russia and Ukraine.
The scientific strategy is regularly updated on the basis of the evolution of the medical demand and of the potential offered by the development of breaking technologies at the occasion of frequent meetings, thematic workshops, conferences organized by this community.
Medical imaging being a very dynamic domain it requires a high degree of reactivity from the developers from academia and industry. In particular the growing interest for personalized medicine and theranostics is challenging this pluridisciplinary community. Therefore we are considering important to structure this community in a similar way as particle physicists and astrophysicists did in the past. One important objective is to setup a common strategy based on agreed scientific priorities and to speak a common voice to the different funding agencies and decision makers. Another objective is to organize a sharing of resources for proposing and running ambitious international projects as well as for coordinating a multidisciplinary and translational education & training program.
An immediate consequence will be to increase our visibility and allow us to transmit a clear and higher impact message to the different stakeholders (institutions, funding agencies, industry).
The underlying motivation is not to compete with but to complement the actions of already existing networks, scientific societies, foundations (most of them more involved in the use than in the development of medical imaging techniques) with which we plan to collaborate in a constructive way as we did so far.
In this context a number of physicists and physicians are promoting since several years the concept of a European Center for Research on Medical Imaging (CERIMED).
The construction of an infrastructure in Marseilles, which was part of the initial project is now completed. But the conditions to running it as an open campus as originally foreseen are presently not met and are unlikely to be met in the short or medium future. Moreover several similar multidisciplinary infrastructures have been built in the meantime in Europe and other places in the world, enlarging the potential for international collaborations to work in a multicentric environment.
Working as a decentralized open campus CERIMED.NET should offer to the community access to existing large research infrastructures for developing new concepts of medical imaging devices as well as to recognized preclinical and clinical investigation centers for multicentric evaluation of prototypes.
The role of such an organization would be to setup a framework, where to define and regularly update the scientific strategy on the basis of the evolution of the medical demand and of the potential offered by the development of breaking technologies through the organization of frequent meetings, thematic workshops, conferences and large scale collaborative projects.
A number of European and national institutions have already expressed their interest for such an initiative: CERN and EPFL (CH), DESY (Ge), CNRS (Fr), INFN (It), CIEMAT (Sp), LIP (Pt), … as well as a number of university hospitals in Münich, Milano, Marseille, Madrid, Geneva, Lausanne, to cite a few.
Robert Aymar, Former General Director of CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
Paul Lecoq, PhD, Senior Physicist, CERN, Geneva,Switzerland
Jose-Manuel Perez, PhD, Head of Department of Technology, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain
John O. Prior, PhD MD, Head of Nuclear Medicine Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
Stefaan Tavernier, PhD, Full professor Vrije Universiteit Brussel Physics department, Brussels, Belgium
David Townsend, PhD Director, Singapore Clinical Imaging Research Centre, Centre for Translational Medicine, Singapore
Joao Varela, PhD, Director of TagusLIP - Centre for Molecular Imaging Instrumentation, LIP, Lisbon, Portugal
For more information and to express an interest in this proposal, please do not hesitate to contact us.
ENDOTOFPET-US funded by the European Commission for 4 years
Conceptual design of the endoTOFPET-US Imaging device (not to scale).
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