Adding a dozen new nodes and one member state in the past year, Euro BioImaging is rapidly expanding its network of research facilities. The new additions will broaden the network’s array of imaging technologies as well as access to research opportunities. Poland has acceded as a member state, including cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Education and Science and a new node, a consortium of imaging facilities known as the Advanced Light Microscopy Node Poland. Euro BioImaging also offers a number of upcoming events, all of which are detailed in their newsletter.
As part of the Euratom Research and Training Programme approved today by the European Commission, research in radiation protection and detection of ionising radiation will receive €30 million funding over the next five years (2021–2025). Funding is intended to improve exposure risk estimates in a broad range of scenarios for members of the public, patients, workers and the environment. A number of additional issues, such as the link between exposure and effects, emergency preparedness and radiation protection guidelines, will also be addressed. In line with the mission statement of the European Alliance for Medical Radiation Protection Research (EURAMED), proposals in accordance with Horizon Europe guidelines for European partnerships that will strengthen the knowledge base and develop innovative means to examine the impact of ionising radiation and improve protection are encouraged, beginning 7 July.
Euro-BioImaging is organizing an online User Forum on “Understanding and Fighting Cancer”. The event takes place on June 17, 2021 from 14:00-17:00 CEST.
This event will highlight the importance of cutting-edge imaging technologies in support of cancer research and showcase the specific expertise available at our 25 Nodes across Europe. In addition, keynote presentations from Kevin Brindle, University of Cambridge, and Frank Winkler, DKFZ, will further reveal the potential of biological and biomedical imaging technologies to boost cancer research.
Please help us spread the word within your network! The event is open to everyone.
Expressions of Interest are invited for the position of Director of Medical Imaging at Euro-Bioimaging ERIC. The recruited Director will be part of the organization’s operational leadership with a special focus on advancing technologies, services, and applications related to medical and pre-clinical biomedical imaging.
This leadership opportunity is for those who are passionate about medical imaging and would be interested in an international engagement to advance the technologies, services, and applications of medical and pre-clinical biomedical imaging. The Medical Imaging Director will be part of the senior management team 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.
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 Organization, 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. The Med-Hub Director would likely have high-level expertise in multiple aspects and technologies related to medical and pre-clinical biomedical imaging.
A letter expressing an interest in the position along with a CV and any other relevant information should be sent (electronically) by the 7th of May 2021 to the Chair of the Euro-BioImaging selection panel.
The EURAMED rocc-n-roll project proposes an integrated and coordinated European approach to research and innovation in medical applications of ionising radiation and related radiation protection (RP) based on stakeholder consensus and existing activities in the field.
Education and Training (E&T) in medical application of ionizing radiation and related radiation protection is a major element of the project, aiming to develop a methodological framework and guidance document on how to organise, implement and disseminate E&T in medical RP amongst health professionals and how to include E&T in all research projects to equip researchers with a sound knowledge base of the science required for RP research, to build capacity in RP research and ensure sustainability of the field, including the link with industry regarding new technological developments, from a RP perspective.
To identify the needs/problems/challenges for each health profession in relation to RP E&T and to assess the status quo of national implementation of the E&T requirements laid down in the European Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom – Basic Safety Standards (BSS), a survey has been developed. It is addressed to relevant national stakeholders, including national scientific and professional societies, regulators, and to individuals with an interest in medical imaging (radiology, nuclear medicine, hybrid imaging) and radiotherapy from the 27 EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
Please click here to access the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_PiAkhCUzT0DQkZ5sohwywzchyuFoZ_RW32ColGdsJkIMHw/viewform
The survey contains 40 questions mostly in multiple choice format and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. The deadline for survey completion is 26/03/2021.
In December 2020, the European Council reached a political agreement on establishing a research and training programme of the European Atomic Energy Community for the period January 2021 to December 2025. The aim of this programme is to pursue nuclear research and training activities, with an emphasis on the continuous improvement of nuclear safety, security and radiation protection, as well as to complement the achievement of Horizon Europe’s objectives.
The total budget for the new EURATOM programme is €1.38 billion, with €266 million for indirect actions in nuclear fission, safety and radiation protection. This also includes medical radiation protection research.
The new programme will pursue the previous programme’s key research activities (nuclear safety, security, radioactive waste and spent fuel management, radiation protection and fusion energy), expand research into non-power applications of ionising radiation and make improvements in the areas of education, training and access to research infrastructures. Furthermore, it will support the mobility of researchers in the nuclear field in the framework of Horizon Europe’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).
The new Euratom programme complements Horizon Europe using the same instruments and rules for participation.
We’re proud to report that four new Horizon 2020 projects with a strong focus on medical imaging just kicked off in September and October 2020.
The new projects include the EIBIR-coordinated SINFONIA and EURAMED rocc-n-roll projects in the field of radiation protection research. The CHAIMELON and EuCanImage projects focus on AI in health imaging and aim to set up and contribute to populate large interoperable repositories of health images. In these projects, EIBIR is leading the dissemination activities.
The 3-year EURAMED rocc-n-roll project aims to propose an integrated and coordinated European approach to research and innovation in medical applications of ionising radiation and related radiation protection based on stakeholder consensus and existing activities in the field (incl. existing SRAs of radiation protection platforms, EC health and digitisation programmes, EURATOM-funded projects, SAMIRA initiative). To achieve this, research and radiation protection needs in the clinical disciplines using ionising radiation will be analysed with the aim to generate the largest benefit for the European population in an equal, safe, high-quality way throughout Europe, by fostering clinical translation, while at the same time strengthening economic growth and industrial competitiveness, supported by research and innovation in the field.
Representation of relevant radiation protection disciplines like radiation biology, dosimetry for medical applications, ethics as well as clinical expertise in the fields of radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, neurology, paediatrics complemented by regulatory and health policy, AI and industry experts in the consortium will ensure a fully integrative approach and allow embedding the project work into a broader framework of quality and safety in healthcare. Based on wide stakeholder input and consultation on above aspects, EURAMED rock-n-roll will produce a strategic research for medical applications of ionising radiation and related radiation protection and a corresponding roadmap, as well as an interlink document, integrating the views and identifying synergies from the areas of radiation protection, health research and digital, with impactful guidance to the EC and stakeholders on future research in this area. This will be accompanied by proposed and tested education and training schemes for health workforce and scientists to increase Europe’s research capacity in the field.
Reinforced risk appraisal of medical exposure is needed due to an extensive use of ionizing radiation for diagnosis and therapy. The main objective of the 4-year SINFONIA project is to develop novel methodologies and tools that will provide a comprehensive risk appraisal for detrimental effects of radiation exposure on patients, workers, carers and comforters, the public and the environment during the management of patients suspected or diagnosed with lymphoma and brain tumours.
The scientific work will (1) develop novel AI-powered personalised dosimetry and risk appraisal methods and tools to estimate the radiation burden on patients undergoing state-of-the-art radiological, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy procedures, (2) reinforce risk appraisal for exposed staff, comforters, the public and the environment during nuclear medicine and proton therapy procedures, (3) determine the degree of patient variability in radiation sensitivity for the risk of developing secondary malignancies and (4) design and develop data management techniques for managing data from imaging and non-imaging examinations and radiation therapy sessions. A data repository will be developed for storing data as well as for the deployment of AI algorithms on an online platform.
SINFONIA research outcomes for the two clinical examples, lymphoma and brain tumours, will be also applicable to other diseases. AI-powered personalised dosimetry tools will provide advanced knowledge on parameters affecting radiation detriment. This will help balancing risks and benefits of ionising radiation procedures and developing dose optimisation strategies. Additionally, radiation biology studies will identify individuals with increased susceptibility of developing cancer from ionising radiation exposure. SINFONIA also will organise high-level multidisciplinary training in the field of radiation dosimetry, risk appraisal and radiation protection and develop recommendations on radiological protection.
CHAIMELEON aims to set up a structured repository for health imaging data to be openly reused in AI experimentation forcancer management. An EU-wide repository will be built as a distributed infrastructure in full compliance with legal andethics regulations in the involved countries. It will build on partner ́s experience (e.g. PRIMAGE repository for paediatriccancer and the Euro-BioImaging node for Valencia population, by HULAFE; the Radiomics Imaging Archive by MaastrichtUniversity; the national repository DRIM AI France, the Oncology imaging biobank by Pisa University). Clinical partners andexternal collaborators will populate the Repository with multimodality (MR, CT, PET/CT) imaging and related clinical data forhistoric and newly diagnosed lung, prostate and colorectal cancer patients.
A multimodal analytical data engine will facilitate to interpret, extract and exploit the right information stored at theRepository. An ambitious development and implementation of AI-powered pipelines will enable advancement towardsautomating data deidentification, curation, annotation, integrity securing and images harmonisation, the latest being of thehighest importance for enabling reproducibility of Radiomics when using large multiscanner/multicentre image datasets.
The usability and performance of the Repository as a tool fostering AI experimentation will be validated, including avalidation subphase by other world-class European AI developers, articulated via the organisation of Open Challenges to theAI Community. A set of selected AI tools will undergo early on-silico validation in observational (non-interventional) clinicalstudies coordinated by leading experts in Gustave Roussy (lung cancer), San Donato (breast), Sapienza (colorectal) and LaFe (prostate) hospitals. Their performance will be assessed, including external independent validation, on hallmark clinicaldecisions in response to some of the currently most important clinical end points in cancer
The goal of EuCanImage is to build a highly secure, federated and large-scale European cancer imaging platform, with capabilities that will greatly enhance the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in oncology. Firstly, the EuCanImage platform will be populated with a completely new data resource totaling over 25,000 single subjects, which will allow to investigate unmet clinical needs like never before, such as for the detection of small liver lesions and metastases of colorectal cancer, or for estimating molecular subtypes of breast tumours and pathological complete response.
Secondly, the cancer imaging platform, built by leveraging the well-established Euro-Bioimaging infrastructure, will be cross-linked to biological and health repositories through the European Genome-phenome Archive, allowing to develop multi-scale AI solutions that integrate organ-level, molecular and other clinical predictors into dense patientspecific cancer fingerprints.
To deliver this platform, the consortium will build upon several key European initiatives in data sharing for personalised medicine research, including EUCANCAn (cancer genomics and health data sharing), euCanSHare (cardiac imaging and omics data sharing) and EUCAN-Connect (federated data analytics). Furthermore, to foster international cooperation and leverage existing success stories, the consortium comprises the coordinators of The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA), the US cancer imaging repository funded by the National Cancer Institute. This will allow EuCanImage to leverage a unique 10-year long experience in cancer imaging storage, anonymisation, curation and management. Finally, a close collaboration between world renown clinical, radiomics, AI and legal experts within the consortium and beyond will establish well-needed guidelines for AI development and validation named FUTURE, for delivering Fair, Universal, Traceable, Usable, Robust and Explainable decision support systems for future cancer care.
We released a statement on the recent significant budget cuts for EU health and research programmes.
While EIBIR welcomes the European Parliament’s vivid reaction to the political agreement on the 2021-2027 funding framework and the COVID-19 recovery fund, we urge European institutions to collaborate closely with each other and to provide strong and ambitious health and research budgets for the safety and prosperity of Europe‘s society.
Euro-BioImaging recently distributed a newsletter on how Euro-BioImaging Nodes are contributing to COVID-19 research and adapting to a new normal.
In the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, imaging technologies play a crucial role. From fundamental research at the molecular and cellular level to medical applications and diagnostics, imaging clearly supports the global response to the pandemic. Euro-BioImaging Nodes are updating their working procedures to continue to provide access to key imaging technologies.