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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 31, 2007

Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging approved by Board of Regents

At its Oct. 31 meeting in Iowa City, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the establishment of the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging at the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) is a collaborative venture between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the UI College of Engineering that aims to foster multi-disciplinary and cross-college research and discovery in biomedical imaging, and improve training and education.

Biomedical imaging and image analysis play a critical role in modern medicine, both in the diagnosis and, increasingly, in the treatment of disease. A primary aim of the institute is to translate the advances in imaging research to the clinic, where they can improve health care for patients. The collaborative nature of the institute will also ensure that insight from the "bedside" informs and helps direct fundamental imaging research at the "bench."

Geoffrey McLennan, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of internal medicine, radiology and biomedical engineering, is the director, and Milan Sonka, Ph.D., UI professor of electrical and computer engineering, ophthalmology and visual sciences, and radiation oncology, is the co-director of the institute. The institute's leadership will report to the deans of the College of Engineering and the Carver College of Medicine.

"The active, cross-discipline collaborations in biomedical imaging that we have at the UI are essentially unparalleled anywhere else in the nation," McLennan said. "Establishing this institute will further enhance cooperation and communication between researchers from many disciplines, making already productive relationships even more efficient and providing health and economic benefits to Iowans and to people around the world."

"The institute provides a home for the campus's entire biomedical imaging community whose research interests span a diverse and varied range of disciplines," Sonka added. "This breadth and scope of research is the key to our strength and success, and the institute's infrastructure and organization will help focus that talent and keep us at the forefront of the field of biomedical imaging."

Interdisciplinary biomedical imaging groups at the UI have a long-standing and successful track record of securing external funding -- more than $33 million in the past five years -- and biomedical imaging at the UI is one of the nation's largest programs focused on this important area of research. More than 110 UI faculty from four colleges -- medicine, engineering, liberal arts and sciences, and public health -- are involved in biomedical imaging, with projects in such diverse areas of medicine and engineering as image acquisition, pulmonary, cardiovascular, orthopedic and ophthalmologic image analysis, radiation treatment, and virtual surgery planning.

The institute aims to further enhance the efficiency and strength of biomedical imaging research by improving communications among researchers and external partners; facilitating imaging instrument acquisitions and device development; and improving image processing, analysis, archiving and retrieval.

Key objectives of the IIBI include:

-- Further understanding of the scientific basis of medical image analysis, and explore medical image analysis utility in health care through basic and applied research;

-- Contribute to development and clinical use of new imaging technologies, both hardware and software;

-- Disseminate knowledge and information regarding new imaging advances;

-- Train graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and other researchers in image-based discovery;

-- Help establish research programs at the UI, multi-center where needed, that bring results of biomedical imaging analysis research from bench to bedside;

-- Promote interactions with industry in the development and implementation of new imaging technologies; and

-- Contribute to the national and international development of image-based standards.

The IIBI also is expected to form collaborative ties with many existing UI research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Center for Computer-Aided Design, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research, Cardiovascular Center, Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Iowa Center on Aging, Iowa Center of Excellence in Image-Guided Radiation Therapy and the planned Institute for Biomedical Discovery.

Another anticipated benefit of the IIBI is its role in helping create new jobs and attract high-tech companies to Iowa. UI bio-imaging researchers have already established two companies locally -- VIDA Diagnostics, Inc. and Medical Imaging Applications, LLC -- that provide medical image analysis software. Many of the institute's scientific leaders also participate in research collaborations with major multinational corporations, including Siemens, General Electric, Philips and Olympus, to develop advanced imaging technologies.

The IIBI Web site is http://www.biomed-imaging.uiowa.edu/.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACTS: Geoffrey McLennan, Internal Medicine, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, geoffrey-mclennan@uiowa.edu; Milan Sonka, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Radiation Oncology, milan-sonka@uiowa.edu; Jennifer Brown, Health Science Relations, 319-335-9917, jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu