Euro-BioImaging is inviting applications for the the Directorate positions of the newly formed Euro-BioImaging ERIC

Euro-BioImaging is seeking to recruit excellent candidates for its Directorate positions.

Euro-BioImaging is the European landmark research infrastructure for biological and biomedical imaging technologies as recognised by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Through Euro-BioImaging, life scientists can access cutting-edge imaging instruments, expertise, training opportunities and image data services that they might not find at their home institutions or among their collaboration partners. Euro-BioImaging is structured as a distributed hub, which consists of Finland as the statutory seat, Italy as the medical imaging coordinator (Med-Hub) and EMBL as the biological imaging coordinator and host of the data services (Bio-Hub).

The Directorate of Euro-BioImaging is composed of the Director General, the Section Director of the Med-Hub and the Section Director of the Bio-Hub. The role of the Directorate is to both provide advice to, and implement the decisions of, the Euro- BioImaging Board. In addition, the Directorate will be responsible for: the day-to-day management of the Organisation, promoting the research infrastructure nationally and internationally, ensuring the coordinated provision of access, services and training to state- of-the-art imaging technologies for all life scientists in Europe and beyond and finally, to foster liaison and cooperation across the broad bioimaging communities.

This is an exciting leadership opportunity to form the foundation senior management team as fulltime employees to further build, develop and coordinate the recently established Euro-BioImaging ERIC. The mission of this new research infrastructure is to provide the European research community, collaborative partners and industry with world class imaging services that bridge biological and biomedical imaging and enable innovative and world- class research. Whatever the scale of imaging, Euro-BioImaging provides the tools and support to explore and answer research questions.

Expressions of interest are therefore invited for the following roles:
– Director General (Statutory seat, Turku, Finland)
– Section Director (Med-Hub, CNR, Turin, Italy)
– Section Director (Bio-Hub and Data Services, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany)

More information and details on the application procedure is available here.

IMI launches final IMI2 Calls for proposals

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has launched the last calls for proposals under the IMI2 programme, with topics on tackling cancer through artificial intelligence, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative diseases, rare disease diagnosis, the return of clinical trial data to participants, and patient adherence.

IMI will contribute a total of EUR 59 million to the projects funded under the calls; these funds come from Horizon 2020 and will support the participation in the projects of organisations such as universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, and patient groups. EFPIA companies and IMI Associated Partners will contribute EUR 47 million.

Topic 4 of Call 23, on using artificial intelligence to select the best cancer treatment, is of particular interest to the biomedical imaging community. Advances in research mean that for many cancers, there are more treatment options than ever. Physicians face a growing number of potential therapeutic options, each of which needs to be understood and adopted effectively to ensure each patient receives the right treatment. The goal of this topic is to develop a treatment decision support tool with AI technologies to support decision making and research for cancer. The topic focuses on breast, lung and prostate cancer as there are large numbers of patients, a high unmet medical need, and a rapidly evolving treatment environment. However, it should be possible to apply the project outputs to other cancers afterwards.

More information about the call topic can be found here.

EU launches new €122m call for COVID-19

Today, the European Commission launched the second Emergency Call on COVID-19 under the Horizon 2020 programme with a total budget of €122 million. Similar to the first Emergency Call in February, the procedure is again expedited. The deadline for the full-length proposals is June 11.

The call includes of five topics:

– Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19 (coordination and support action, €2-3m for 1 project)

– Pan-European cohorts (research and innovation action, €15-20 million)

– Medical technologies, Digital tools and AI analytics to improve surveillance and care at high TRLs (innovation action, €2-5m per project)

– Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment (innovation action, €5-6m per project)

– Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response (innovation action, €4-10m per project)

To read the full topic description and expected impacts, click on the topic title above.

EIBIR continues to offer its expertise in proposal preparation and project management free-of-charge to everyone applying for COVID-19 research funding provided availability of resources and suitability of project with call topic.

Furthermore, we have compiled an always up-to-date list of open access COVID-19 datasets for teaching, training and/or research (depending on license).

European Commission to launch new €120m call for COVID-19 research proposals

The European Commission is set to launch a second Emergency Call on COVID-19 under the Horizon 2020 programme with a total indicative budget of €120 million.

Similar to the first Emergency Call in February, the procedure will again be expedited. The call is expected to be published on May 14th and the deadline for the full-length proposals expected for June 11th.

Expected topics of the call are:

– Social and economic impacts of the outbreak response and mental health
– Pan-European cohorts united against the pandemic
– Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment
– Medical technologies, Digital tools, AI analytics

Unfortunately a draft of the full call text is not yet available. As soon as this becomes available, we will of course share this information.

EIBIR continues to offer its expertise in proposal preparation and project management free-of-charge to everyone applying for COVID-19 research funding – this offer extends to basic and applied research, as well as clinical studies. Furthermore, we have compiled an always up-to-date list of open access COVID-19 datasets for teaching, training and/or research (depending on license).

Overview of COVID-19 imaging repositories

EIBIR launched an always up-to-date overview of COVID-19 imaging repositories and datasets. You can access the overview here.

Imaging databases and registries are essential for diagnosis in radiology, as well as for the development of artificial intelligence tools for machine-based diagnosis. We have compiled a list of open access COVID-19 repositories, which can be used for teaching, training and/or research. This preliminary overview will be updated continually with new databases and registries as they become available.

Furthermore, EIBIR continues to offer its expertise in proposal preparation and project management free-of-charge to everyone applying for COVID-19 research funding – this offer extends to basic and applied research, as well as clinical studies.

Support services for COVID-19 research proposals

We’re extending our support services to research proposals on COVID-19.

EIBIR is offering its excellent track-record and longstanding experience in proposal preparation and project management free-of-charge to everyone applying for COVID-19 research funding. This offer is extended to basic and applied research, as well as clinical studies. The EIBIR membership policy does not apply for COVID-19-related research proposals.

You can find more details about this here, or read more about our services here. For further information and to discuss your research ideas, please get in touch.

Annual Scientific Report 2019

EIBIR is proud to look back on another successful and productive year of engaging with its members and partners. This annual report summarises the activities of the EIBIR community, including on-going research projects, an update on our joint initiatives, as well as an outlook into the future. Enjoy the read and let yourself be inspired to become involved in EIBIR’s activities in the field of biomedical imaging research!

You can read the Annual Report for 2019 here.

An overview of all Annual Reports can be found here.

Free lecture by Prof. Josef Penninger on potential COVID-19 treatment

Addressing the ongoing developments and challenges for public health related to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the European Society of Radiology (ESR) will be hosting a top-class online event on the disease on March 12, featuring Prof. Josef Penninger, a world-leading geneticist and immunologist.

Despite the postponement of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2020, the ESR remains fully committed to supporting the fight against COVID-19 through science and research. For this reason, the session on COVID-19 will be made available to all, streamed live and free-of-charge from the ESR studio in Vienna on Thursday, March 12 at 17:00 CET.

The event will feature the lecture, “ACE2 – a rational frontline therapy for COVID-19” given by Austrian scientist Prof. Josef Penninger, one of the world’s leading geneticists and molecular immunologists. He will aim to shed light on the discovery and function of ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) and will also cover the relationship between ACE2 and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), a hormone system responsible for systemic vascular resistance and for regulating blood pressure and fluid-electrolyte balance in instances of lung injury. He will highlight the predisposition of ACE2 as a SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 receptor and therefore as a potential treatment approach.

A recipient of numerous prestigious prizes, Penninger established the Viennese Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, and is the current Director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The main focus of his work has been autoimmune, bone, heart and lung diseases, and cancers. APEIRON Biologics AG, a company Penninger founded, is currently tackling the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 in China and started a pilot clinical trial for their newly developed drug that is supposed to decrease mortality in those affected by the virus.
The session at the ESR Studio will be hosted by Austrian radiologist, Prof. Christian Loewe and will include the opportunity for viewers to ask live questions. For further details about the session, click here.

The decision to make this event publicly available is in keeping with the ESR’s continued commitment to bringing the latest scientific developments to its members and the public. During these challenging times, not only for the ESR and ECR but also for the world over, the society wishes to help in any way it can to fight the coronavirus outbreak, and its commitment to science and public health remains its No.1 priority.

The online event will be streamed live via ESR Connect. You can register for the event now by clicking here.

EIBIR at ECR2020 – Learn how to succeed in the European funding landscape

Visit the EIBIR Lounge at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2020 to talk to us about funding opportunities for imaging research, and see demonstrators and prototypes of projects we support.

Or attend the EIBIR session to enjoy a complimentary coffee while having the opportunity to ask the experts about artificial intelligence in medical imaging and the future of research funding in Europe.

AI and the future of imaging: European funding prospects
Friday, March 13, 12:45-13:45, room 4

– Introduction (G. Krestin, Erasmus MC)
– The importance of AI in imaging research (W. Niessen, Erasmus MC)
– Deep learning in imaging and cancer care (G. Langs, Medical University Vienna)
– Applying AI for biomarker discovery (A. Alberich-Bayarri, QUIBIM)
– European funding and support services for AI and imaging research (P. Zolda, EIBIR)

The GLINT project successfully concludes

The GlucoCEST Imaging in Neoplastic Tumours (GLINT) project will successfully conclude in December 2019. This ambitious project focused on developing a new, non-invasive MRI method using native D-glucose and 3-O-methyl-Dglucose (3OMG) as non-radioactive tracers to assess cancer glucose uptake and metabolism.

Over the past four years, GLINT has compiled crucial new knowledge about the glucoCEST technique. Among others, the project partners improved the analytical equations of CEST quantification, which allow more accurate exchange rate determination of the glucoCEST signal. A new data acquisition technique called snapshot-CEST was developed for fast and robust volumetric CEST imaging and a complete post-processing software suite for analysis of general CEST experiments was developed by one of the non-academic partners and will be available soon to the whole MRI community. The GLINT consortium evaluated the glucoCEST technique in terms of repeatability and reproducibility in a multicentre study, which demonstrated that the method was robust enough to detect the small signal changes expected in vivo at clinical field strengths. Furthermore, the project partners showed that it was possible to detect a positive glucoCEST signal in glioma patients, while detection of such a signal in solid tumours remains elusive at this stage.

Other deliverables of the project included a radiometric approach for accurate estimation of pH change and, using CEST-pH imaging, the partners were able to detect in vivo changes in tumour acidosis. Moreover, research on glucose analogues demonstrated the ability to image tumours by many new possible contrast agents, from 3OMG and other non-metabolizable glucose analogues, to glucosamine (GlcN) or N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) CEST MRI in animal models. Generally, images produced using these analogues at high field strength corresponded well to FDG-PET.

GLINT has significantly contributed to the development of novel CEST-based procedures for cancer imaging. The project partners intend to continue their research and exploit GLINT’s results to bring the use of either native glucose or glucose analogues to the clinics.

More information about the project and its results can be found at www.glint-project.eu.