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Warwick Medical Imaging Network

W-MIN is a Network of Excellence funded by the Science and Technology for Health GRP.

It is led by Joanna Collingwood (School Engineering) and Tom Nichols (Statistics & WMG) (pictured right).

W-MIN is broad in scope, not just focusing on brain or even human imaging, but all types of research involving imaging in a biomedical context.

The monthly network meeting is on the last Friday of every month, from 3pm – 4pm in WMG’s IDH auditorium, unless otherwise advertised. The meeting usually includes a seminar on a medical imaging topic, and volunteer speakers or suggestions for topics to be covered are welcomed.

To be added to the mailing list, please contact Joanna Collingwood or Tom Nichols.

Upcoming Seminars:

Date: Friday 28th March
Time: 3 pm – 4pm, with networking and refreshments 2.30 pm – 4.45 pm
Venue: IDL auditorium

Speaker: Dr Vicky Bull, from the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Title: Non-Invasive Image Guided Therapy using Sound.

By bringing a beam of ultrasound to a tight focus within the body, it is possible to impart sufficient energy into tissues to cause rapid cell necrosis through thermal ablation. This principle forms the basis of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy, otherwise known as Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS). HIFU is a desirable form of therapy for many diseases due to its non-invasive nature, heating only the target area and avoiding damage to surrounding tissues. Imaging – either Ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance (MR)) is used not only to plan the treatment and for initial localisation, but is also used to provide real-time feedback, informing the operator as soon as sufficient energy has been imparted. This allows personalised, conformal therapy to be delivered accurately and efficiently.
It has taken several decades and many technological developments for HIFU to be adopted by clinicians in the UK, but it is now being used for a number of applications, including cancer treatment. In order for clinicians to gain confidence in HIFU as a viable alternative to, for example, radiotherapy, its accuracy and efficacy must be demonstrated through basic physics research and clinical trials.

Although it is inherently a non-invasive technique, exposure to high acoustic intensities and pressures can cause undesirable bioeffects. Accurate real-time image guidance and monitoring is therefore a vital part of the process of delivering effective treatment. Various clinical systems are available, and a vast range of clinical trials are currently underway throughout the world. It is hoped that over the next few years, long term follow-up data will help to bring about a revolution in focal therapies for a variety of conditions.
This talk introduces the principles of MR and US-guided HIFU, the technology involved, the potential pitfalls, and various areas of application. Current areas of research, both in the laboratory and in the clinic, will also be described.

Dr. Vicky Bull completed her first degree, an MSci in Physics, at Royal Holloway, University of London. Following a further MSc in Medical and Radiation Physics at the University of Birmingham, she completed a PhD in Therapeutic Ultrasound at the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton. During her PhD she worked on the development of a hybrid MRI and Ultrasound imaging system for the guidance and monitoring of Focused Ultrasound Surgery in small animals. She is currently training as a clinical scientist in MRI and Ultrasound at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Previous seminars:

Feb 2014 

“Intransitive Preferences, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem and the Society of Mind: a Preliminary Analysis Using fMRI"

By Dennis Leech (Professor of Economics - Warwick) and Robert Leech (Senior Lecturer - Division of Brain Sciences in the Department of Medicine, Imperial College).

Jan 2014: Prof Theo Arvantis - Prof of e-Health Innovation - IDH

Dec 2013: Prof Charles Hutchinson - Professor of Clinical Imaging - WMS/UHCW

Joanna Collingwood
Tom Nichols