ESR Research Seed Grants 2022

The European Society of Radiology (ESR), in cooperation with the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR), invited applications for the ESR Research Seed Grants 2022 to stimulate and provide funding for innovative projects and pilot studies that will subsequently lead to larger studies and further funding applications.

Overall, we’ve received 99 applications from 21 European counties across the two thematic areas for 2022: Artificial Intelligence (73 applications) and Interventional Oncologic Radiology (26 applications).

We’d like to thank all applicants for their innovative submissions.

After an extensive review by a panel of 25 international experts, the following proposals were selected for funding.

Artificial Intelligence

  • The Brain Age Biomaker Initiative in Stroke 

Expected Impact: To deliver brain age: a clinical brain health biomaker useful in stroke patients at the hyperacute stage and during follow-up which will be obtainable for patients admitted to the CHU de Lille and collaborating centers. 

Martin Bretzner Department of Neuroradiology, Lille University Hospital, Lille/FR

  • PI-QUAL and artificial intelligence: a pilot study to test a novel tool to assess the quality of multiparametric MRI of the prostate

Expected Impact: To represent the first step towards the standardisation of a scoring system to assess the quality of prostate MR imaging prior to radiologist’s interpretation and allow clinicians to have more confidence in using the scan to determine patient care. 

Francesco Giganti Radiology/UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London Hospital, London/UK

  • Diffusion Probabilistic Models to Reduce the Use of Contrast Agent in Breast MRI

Expected Impact: The established computing infrastructure and first successful proof-of-concept application of diffusion probabilistic models to breast subtraction images will enable the pursuit of further research and strengthen a larger grant application for future projects to pursue the direct path to reduced CA. 

Teresa Nolte Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen/DE

  • Fetal MRI radiomics for machine learning-assisted lung maturation assessment and outcome prediction

Expected Impact: This project aims to maximise the predictive power of fetal MRI by mining visually imperceptible image biomarkers representative for lung maturation and postnatal respiratory function.

Florian Prayer Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna/AT

  • Artificial Intelligence for Fracture Detection in Paediatric Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Expected Impact: This project will expose whether AI tools can and should be used for fracture detection in OI cases (potentially avoiding future misdiagnoses), lead to improved and more generalizable AI algorithms, and grow research capacity. 

Susan Shelmerdine Clinical Radiology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London/UK

  • A Convolutional Neural Network for Automated Segmentation of Solid Renal Tumors on CT Images

Expected Impact: The availability of a CNN for robust automatic renal tumor segmentation on CT studies will facilitate the utilization of radiomic analyses, bypassing arduous and inconsistent manual segmentations, and provides immediate visual feedback with a CNN feature map.  

Johannes Uhlig Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen/DE

Inteventional Oncologic Radiology

  • Feasibility and pathophysiologic implications of endovascular portal vein arterialisation in a porcine model

Expected Impact: In severely ill patients who require portal vein arterialisation, a new, minimally invasive procedure could offer an advantage over surgical therapy. This study will help expand the interventional radiology portfolio with a new, life-saving method for treating oncology patients and liver transplant recipients in whom the hepatic artery cannot be preserved. 

De-Hua Chang
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Zagreb/HR

  • ICE STUDY – To detect cryoimmunologic response induced by ultrasound-guided Cryoablation on early breast cancer:  evaluation of specific local and circulating markers

Expected Impact: The study aims to evaluate the cryoimmunological response and define the mechanisms involved in immunogenic cell death induced by cryablation treatment on early-stage breast tumors (<2 cm). 

Francesca Galati
Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome/IT

  • Optimization and validation of highly accelerated compressed sensing whole-heart 4D-Flow imaging

Expected Impact: The project aims to optimize and validate compressed sensing-accelerated whole-heart 4D-Flow imaging, to enable simultaneous assessment of cardiac function and flow in a single measurement in clinical reasonable scan times.

Clemens Reiter
Department of Radiology, Medical University Graz, Graz/AT

  • Safety and oncologic outcome of percutaneous cryo-ablation compared to partial nephrectomy for T1b RCC: a propensity score matching analysis

Expected Impact: To find out whether cryo-ablation could be a good alternative for the treatment of T1b RCC. If the results are positive, a prospective trial to compare results of cryo-ablation and RAPN will be introduced. 

Elisabeth G. Klompenhouwer
Radiology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam/NL

  • Application of perinterventional computed tomographic perfusion imaging before and after intraarterial application of vasoactive substances during treatment of primary and secondary liver cancer with radioembolization and chemoembolization

Expected Impact: If the perinterventional use of perfusion CT can be established, tumour perfusion will be better understood and will possibly be able to detect continuously hyervascularized tumour areas perinterventionally with the option to intervene straightaway as compared to detecting residual perfusion with CTA the following day.

Christine March
Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Otto-von-Guericke University Hospital, Magdeburg/DE