EIBIR SUMMER SCHOOL on Neurology Imaging

August 26-30, 2013, Dubrovnik / HR

The EIBIR Summer School on Neurology Imaging is a multidisciplinary summer school, uniting 50 young researchers coming from a variety of backgrounds. The high scientific level and the relaxed atmosphere invite a close and fruitful interaction between everybody present, both participants and staff.

Imaging modalities (MR, PET, CT), quantitative image analysis, (open-source) tools for image analysis, neuro- and population imaging and image analysis in clinical practice, validation and open-source databases, atlases, applications in the clinic, small animals and clinical trials.

REGISTRATION AND MORE INFO on: www.eibir.org/school


The Perspectief Program “Population Imaging Genetics (ImaGene)” has been granted

Objective of the Program: The objective of the Program is to develop and evaluate novel methods to fully exploit imaging and genetics data from population studies in an integrated manner, for (early) disease detection, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy planning and therapy monitoring.  Prof. Dr. W.J. Niessen is program Leader.

Projects part of the Program:  

Project 1: Search for the yet unknown, projectleader: Prof.dr.ir. A.W.M. Smeulders (UvA / CWI), with participants: UvA, CWI, Euvision 

Project 2: Visual Analysis in Population Imaging Research, projectleader: Dr. C.P. Botha (TU Delft / LUMC), with participants: TU Delft EWI, LUMC Image Processing / Radiology, Erasmus MC, Medis, Synerscope, Treparel 

Project 3: Genes in Space, projectleader: Prof.dr.ir. B.P.F. Lelieveldt (LUMC / TU Delft), with participants: TU Delft EWI, LUMC Image Processing / Radiology / Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC, Percuros, Skyline Diagnostics, Treparel 

Project 4: Advanced diffusion tensor MRI based phenotyping for imaging genetic studies, projectleader: Dr. F.M. Vos (TU Delft / AMC), with participants: Erasmus MC Epidemiology,  TU Delft TNW, Erasmus MC BIGR, Biotronics 3D, Philips Healthcare 

Project 5: Imaging Genetics to unravel the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, projectleader: Dr. M.A. Ikram (Erasmus MC), with participants: Erasmus MC Epidemiology, Erasmus MC BIGR, Erasmus MC Radiology, GE Healthcare, IBM, Quantib 

Project 6: High-field (7T) MR Imaging genetics for early prediction of neurocognitive impairment in diabetes, projectleader: Prof.dr. E. Formisano (Maastricht University Medical Center), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences, UMCU Radiology, NKI Medical Oncology, NKI Bioinformatics, Guerbet, Philips Research 

Project 7: Computer-aided risk assessment of breast cancer using gene-correlated dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, project leader: Dr. K.G.A. Gilhuijs (UMC Utrecht), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences Institute, Radiology, NKI Medical Oncology, NKI Bioinformatics, Guerbet, Philips Research

Project 8: Cardiovascular phenotype-genotype analysis within a CT based lung cancer screening trial, projectleader: Dr. I. Išgum (UMC Utrecht), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences Institute, UMCU Radiology, UMCU Medical Genetics, Medis, PIE Medical Imaging, 3mensio Medical Imaging

 Activities on Program Level:  A Program Committee will be installed. This program committee is responsible for overseeing the overall progress of the programme, the coherence of the programme, and interdependencies between projects. The following member are taking part in this Program Committee: Prof Dr. M. Breeuwer (Philips, TUE), Dr. Ir. B. Goedhart (Medis), Prof. Dr. Ir. B.P.F. Lelieveldt (LUMC, TU Delft), Prof. Dr. W.J. Niessen (Erasmus MC, TU Delft), Prof. Dr. A.W. Smeulders (CWI)

Meetings:  A Kick Off meeting will be organized in November/December 2012.  Two times per year programme meetings will be organized in workshop style in which all projects present their progress. Confidentiality arrangements apply or are made per project. In case it is necessary to share confidential information on program meetings, arrangements can be made by STW.

 Start of the Projects: We aim to start the programme on January 1, 2013. STW wants to have all project started before July 1, 2013. Before a project can start, the contractual arrangement as mentioned below needs to be in place for all projects. 

 Contractual Arrangement per Project: For all projects the STW conditions apply. In particular the ‘general funding conditions’ and ‘ guidelines task and working method of user committee’ apply. These regulations include arrangements on IPR, publication and confidentiality. Per project, the academic partners that receive the funding will receive and sign for approval a letter confirming the amount of funding. Per project, the in kind and/or cash contribution of an industrial partner will be laid down per project and per industrial partner by letter. STW will send the letter to the industrial partner concerned. Per project and in case the in kind and/or cash contribution of an industrial partner exceeds 10% of the project budget, this industrial partner can be offered an option agreement. With this option agreement the partner has the first right to acquire exploitation rights on IPR developed in the project, provided it falls within  a specific application field that is of interest to the industrial partner. STW will take the lead in arranging this option right either per contract or per letter as referred to above.

STW strives to have all contractual arrangements mentioned above in place on 1 January 2013.

Contact persons STW:  All program and project matters: Dr. Piet Lommerse, Program Officer p.lommerse@stw.nl; 030-6001311. Contractual and IPR matters: Sandra Oudejans LL.M., MSc, adjunct head legal department, s.oudejans@stw.nl, 030-6001282.

Medical Delta dient aanvraag in bij EFRO voor versterking Population Imaging

Medical Delta heeft een aanvraag ingediend bij het Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling van de Europese Commissie (EFRO) om haar positie op het gebied van Population Imaging verder te versterken.

Population Imaging is het systematisch maken en analyseren van medische beelden in grote groepen gezonde mensen of patienten. Belangrijke organen die bestudeerd worden zijn hersenen en bloedvaten, gericht op dementie, beroerte en hart- en vaat-ziekten. Het doel van dit soort onderzoek is het ontdekken van biomarkers om in een vroeg stadium de ontwikkeling van ziekten te voorspellen en te voorkomen. Een goede infrastuctuur om op grote schaal beelden te maken en automatisch en systemetisch te analyseren ontbreekt nog. In het project worden MRI scanners ingezet, die met een IT infrastructuur aan elkaar worden verbonden. Zo ontstaat een unieke grootschalige onderzoeksinfrastructuur, die vele  kansen biedt voor nationale en internationale bedrijven en daarmee de regionale economie versterkt. Rotterdam heeft reeds veel ervaring met Populatie Imaging, bijvoorbeeld in de ERGO studie. De drie betrokken universiteiten zijn zeer sterk in het analyseren van beelden. Het is nu de tijd om deze voorsprong te gebruiken voor de opbouw van een research infrastructuur die door locale, regionale, nationale en internationale onderzoekers en bedrijven gebruikt kan worden. (http://www.rotterdam.nl/efro_aanvraag__population_imaging_infrastructuur__ingediend)

Boudewijn Lelieveldt has been appointed professor

On 19 October, Boudewijn Lelieveldt (EEMCS) delivered his inaugural address as a professor of Biomedical Imaging at TU Delft and LUMC. In his address, Lelieveldt stated that medical science can often make excellent use of technologies from other fields. For example, knowledge from automatic facial recognition can also be used for medical analysis of images of organs. This is one reason why collaboration between technologists and doctors is essential. Lelieveldt actually puts his vision into practice, as he is occupying a chair shared by Leiden University and TU Delft.

Role for Population Imaging in the Medical Delta Initiative

The Medical Delta initiative is based on the synergy of the universities of Leiden, Rotterdam, and Delft. Located within a radius of 14 km where scientists work closely together to revolutionize medical technology and develop novel research infrastructure.

Currently, a significant part of the healthcare budget in the Netherlands is used for treatment of cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases. These costs are expected to rise because the prevalence of these diseases increases with age and the growing number of elderly in our society.

Imaging technology has made a major contribution to the improvement of the perspectives of patients suffering from cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases. Innovations in imaging technology will continue to improve the outcome of these patients, and at the same time help to decrease healthcare costs associated with these diseases.

Many projects in varying sizes are part of the Medical Delta program which are run by many involved scientists. Some are particularly committed to several Medical Delta focus fields, a.o. Prof. Dr. Wiro Niessen (Erasmus MC/TU Delft) with “Imaging and image guided medicine”.

Population imaging is going to play an important roll in the Medical Delta Initiative.

ESF Research conference grant proposal

We are excited to announce that our Letter of Intent for a new Research Conferences Series in collaboration with the European Science Foundation has been selected for development into a full proposal. The ESF Research Conferences Scheme (see also http://www.esf.org/activities/esf-conferences.html) provides the opportunity for leading scientists and young researchers to meet for discussions on the most recent developments in their fields of research. It acts as a catalyst for creating new synergistic contacts throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Our proposed new series will encompass Population Imaging in a broad sense, aiming to bring together stakeholders from various disciplines, including epidemiology, radiology, image processing, clinical sciences, health services research and policy makers, to discuss challenges and opportunities in the emerging field of Population Imaging. In the beginning of May 2011, a funding decision will be made by the ESF governance and the Chief Executive. Allocation of ESF funds to our proposal will enable us to organize the first International Conference on Population Imaging in Rotterdam in 2012!

Research MR Scanner for Generation R

The Generation R Study is a prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood in a multi-ethnic urban population in the Netherlands. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health from fetal life until young adulthood. In total, 9778 mothers with a delivery date from April 2002 until January 2006 were enrolled in the study. Extensive data have been collected during pregnancy and children are being followed at set ages after birth. Eventually, results forthcoming from the Generation R Study have to contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. An important recent breakthrough is that funding has been completed to start building an MRI suite for an MRI scanner dedicated to the Generation R project. This will enable the acquisition of advanced brain (including functional MRI) and cardiac MRI data in all children. This will generate an important and unique contribution to the already impressive Generation R study project.

Workshop Population Imaging in Europe

In November 2010, the first international workshop on Population Imaging in Europe was held in Rotterdam. The meeting was a big success, with over 60 participants from 9 European countries. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges and opportunities for Population Imaging in Europe. A brief summary of the workshop and a list of all participants can be found here. 


NWO launches strategy 2011-2014

On June 23, 2010, the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) will present its strategy for 2011-2014, with the message: making a joint investment will eventually lead to knowledge growth. Jos Engelen, NWO chairman, will hand the strategy to Marja van Bijsterveldt, State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and responsible for science policy. After a short response of Van Bijsterveldt, Ruud Lubbers en Els Goulmy will give their vision on the new strategy of NWO. Ruud Lubbers is former Prime Minister and chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). Els Goulmy is Professor in Transplantation Biology and chairman of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH). She received the NWO-Spinoza price in 2002.

The NWO strategy 2011-2014 will be online at 16.00 hrs on www.nwo.nl/strategie2011 (in Dutch)

Source: NWO

GlaxoSmithKline endorsement for TI Pharma

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the leading innovative pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in the world, regrets the decision of the Dutch government for only granting bridging finance to Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma). The resigning cabinet passes the decision making for long-term financing on to the next cabinet. The coming 4 years TI Pharma will need public funding for 60 million Euro. The survival of this important public-private collaboration in the field of drug research is at risk with this decision.

Source: ANP Pers Support (in Dutch)

ICTRegie dissolved after 2010

ICTRegie, the national management body for ict-research and innovation, is likely to lose its mandate after 2010, and will therefore stop its work. A steering group, on behalf of two ministries and the research grant-giving NWO, have decided on this. The decision was made after disappointing results over de past 5 years and because of the lack of a new state budget for the management of ict. The employees are disappointed. ICTRegie was established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and NWO. 14 Innovation Platforms are connected to ICTRegie. It has 10 employees, all of them working at their office  in the Hague.

Source: Computable (in Dutch)

Fast growth in early childhood increases risk of overweight in adolescence

Children who quickly put on weight between the ages of two and seven have a 25 to 35 times greater chance of developing obesity later in life. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have an even higher chance. Children with symptoms of depresseion of who are impulsive also have a higher chance of becoming overweight. This was discoverd by Eryn Liem, researcher at the University Medical Centre Groningen. She will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on June 9, 2010.

Liem conducted her research with the framework of TRAILS (Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey), a large-scale, long-term research project on the mental, physical and social development of about 2,500 adolescents in the North of the Netherlands. The researcher examined the DNA profiles of about 1,200 sixteen-year-olds, with particular attention to genetic variations in two genes (FTO and MC4R) associated with obesity. She then compared the profiles with measures of body fat.

Source: UMCG

Congress Priority Medicines ZonMw

The five Priority Medicines research programs of ZonMw organize a joint congress on December 9, 2010. These subsidy programs arose after publication of the WHO report ‘Priority Medicines for Europe and the World’. The purpose of the congress is to inform policymakers, researchers and representatives of practice organisations about these subsidy programs, to stimulate networking and to promote multidisciplinary working.

For more information and registration: ZonMw

President of KNAW in NOS News

On Juni 1, 2010, Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the KNAW, spoke in the eight-o-clock news of the NOS, about the importance of science and innovation for society. The broadcast is part of a series of the NOS news about vital social sectors, ahead of the elections of June 9.

The video of this broadcast can be viewed here: KNAW

For more information and PDF files of the Jaarrede and Strategic Agenda of the KNAW please click here

KWF makes available 4 million for child cancer

Despite great improvement in the field of child cancer, still a quarter of the children with cancer does not recover and a considerable part suffers from long term side effects. To further stimulate research for child cancer, KWF makes available an amount of 4 million euro. With this amount a cooperation of 4 researchers of the child oncology departments of the EKZ/AMC Amsterdam and the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam, is financed. Purpose of the program is to develop new treatments for child cancer. The EKZ/AMC researchers Caron and Versteeg will focus on the neuroblastoma and the Erasmus MC/ Sophia researchers Pieters and Den Boer on acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL). Both forms of child cancer with a high death risk.

Source: KWF

Knowledge investments lead to higher growth

Research by The Conference Board, an international research institute for business, commissioned by the working group ‘Kennisinvesteringsagenda’ (KIA) of the Innovation Platform, shows that execution of the KIA, investments and measurements, in order to become part of the world top of knowledge economies, will lead to higher economical growth. The study gives a sound quantitative basis for the thesis that expenses for education, research and innovation strongly pays. The study concludes that almost half of the economical growth between 1995 and 2008 was due to investments in knowledge and innovation. One third of this growth originated from public investments and two third from private investments. The conference board research was led by Bart van Ark, chief economist with The Conference Board and professor in economy at the University of Groningen. Van Ark and his colleagues developed a unique dataset for the measurement of material and immaterial expenses in the private and public sector from 1995 to 2008.

Source: The Innovation Platform (in Dutch)

80 million for cooperation companies and knowledge institutes

The Dutch government has the opinion that knowledge and science of universities and graduate schools do not get enough attention. Public science remains unused and hardly finds its way to economically and socially available products and services. The coming three years the government is going to invest 80 million euro in order to improve the cooperation between companies and knowledge institutes. In this view, minister Van der Hoeven (Economical Affairs), also on behalf of minister Verburg (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) and state secretary Van Bijsterveldt (Education, Culture and Science), launched a Valorization Program. According to the government, a better valorization infrastructure is required in order to increase the innovation strength of the Netherlands and to catch up with the USA and the rest of Europe.

Source: AgentschapNL (in Dutch)

NWO invests in national research facilities

The Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) invests 25.8 million euro in large-scale equipment, data collections and software, coming from the program Investments NWO-large. With this program NWO finances a large infrastructure making it possible to perform research on a national level. The equipment, data collections and software strengthen the international position of the Dutch scientific research. The investments needed can mount up to millions of euros and can therefore barely or not be brought up by individual institutes. NWO received 23 applications for the program. Eleven projects have received subsidy.

Source: NWO

Dutch Top Institute invests in young talent

The Dutch BioMedical Materials (BMM) program announced that 6.5 million euro will be assigned to four research projects dedicated to the development of novel biomedical materials and their therapeutic application. Three of the projects result directly from BMM’s Young Investigator Call, an initiative to invest in young talented researchers in the field of biomedical materials. The fourth project results from a Call on ‘Imaging Guided and Targeted Drug Delivery’. With the approval of these four projects, the BMM project portfolio counts 17 R&D projects with a total budget of 85 million euro. The BMM consortium comprises of 52 public and private partners. The Dutch Government will provide 50% of the funding. “We are very happy that our Young Investigator Initiative has attracted such talented young researchers” says Prof. Frank Baayens, PhD, scientific director of BMM.

Source: Life Sciences & Health and Maastricht University

ZonMw and NFU launch European Research Priorities

On April 15, 2010, the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) and ZonMw organised the conference “Healthy Ageing: a European Research Priority, the Dutch Perspective” at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Two European Commissioners, Mr John Dalli (Public Health and Consumer Policy) and Ms. Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (Research and Innovation) were present and both held a warm advocacy for placing Healthy Ageing high on the European research agenda. European parliamentarian Judith Merkies, hostess at the conference, also emphasized that Healthy Ageing should become a top priority for the European Parliament. Other invited speakers were: Prof. Inge Hutter (University of Groningen), Prof. Huib Pols (Erasmus MC), Prof. Erik Buskens (UMC Groningen), Prof. Jaap C. Seidell (VU Amsterdam), Prof. Gabriel P. Krestin (Erasmus MC), Mr. Maurits Ros (AMC Amsterdam), and Prof. Charles Mgone (European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership).

Source: ZonMw (in Dutch)

Launching of ‘the Netherlands 2020: back to the top 5’

Monday April 19, from 13.00-14.30, the Dutch Innovation Platform presents its future vision: ‘the Netherlands 2020: back to the top 5. The economical agenda: Innovative, International, Involving’, at 5 locations in the Netherlands at the same time: The Hague, Utrecht, Enschede, Eindhoven, Amsterdam. Recently, the Innovation Platform has been examining the question what is needed for the Netherlands to become part of the top 5 most competitive countries in the world, by the year 2020. The answer to this question lies in the economical agenda: vision on the Dutch economy in 2020 and some concrete recommendations for governmental and knowledge institutes, companies, and society to make the Netherlands more innovative and competitive.

For more information and participation you may check the Innovation Platform website (in Dutch).

New Alzheimer Centre

On April 13, the go-ahead was given for the building of a new nationwide Alzheimer Centre, a vital step for the development of the Alzheimer Centre VUMC.  Expansion of the facilities makes it possible to combine diagnostics, treatment and scientific research in a unique way. A necessary combination for making progress in the battle against Alzheimer disease. The centre will be officially opened on September 28, 2010.

The building of the centre has been made possible by a donation of 4.5 million euros by the Innovatiefonds Zorgverzekeraars.

Source: VUMC (in Dutch)


Dr. Nico Wulffraat, department of Child Immunology of the UMC Utrecht, receives € 3 million for the project PHARMACHILD (Long-term PHARMacovigilance for adverse effects in childhood arthritis focusing on immune modulatory drugs) in view of the KP7 program ‘Cooperation – Theme: Health’. PHARMACHILD will study the long term effects of certain medication in children with quite serious forms of childhood arthritis.

The UMC Utrecht will coordinate the establishment of a European Registry together with PRINTO, an already existing European Cooperation that coordinates the international pharmaceutical research for these children. Some laboratories (UMCU Utrecht, UMCU St Radboud, Munster, London) will at the same time study the effects on the immune system in these children.  The Erasmus MC will analyse possible reports of adverse events as malignancies or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Also the existing nationwide registries will be made part of the cooperation.

Source: UMC Utrecht (in Dutch)

ZonMw reports on cost savings in care sector

ZonMw presents a report with 100 cost saving ideas for preventive, curative and long-term care, as input for the cut proposals of several official working groups that were also presented today. With these projects the same qualitative care can be given with less expense. On a small scale these cost savings have proven themselves. Further steps will have to underpin and implement them.

Source: ZonMw (in Dutch)