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The 2007 IBM Hursley Lecture: ‘The Many Uses of Images in Healthcare’

Published: 3 October 2007

Professor Sir Michael Brady FRS FReng, BP Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Oxford, will deliver the 8th IBM Hursley Lecture this month.

The lecture, entitled ‘The many uses of images in healthcare’, takes place on Wednesday 31 October at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton.

In his lecture, Professor Brady will discuss how imaging – that was once considered too expensive for routine clinical use – is becoming increasingly available. This has fuelled the massive growth of an industry currently worth approximately $40bn, and it encourages the close cooperation of clinicians, researchers, and industry.

The first part of his talk will be illustrated with examples of recent developments in image analysis based on such collaborations. These will include: advances in MRI image analysis to detect small liver cancers from a series of breath-hold images; PET image analysis to assess the effect of chemoradiotherapy prior to surgery; and the new 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis).

Professor Brady will then show how imaging can do much more than support detection and diagnosis. It can be used to evaluate therapy non-invasively or to guide such therapies. Finally, he will introduce the rapidly developing subject of molecular imaging – the integration of molecular biology and image analysis. He will illustrate this by highlighting the work on determining the hypoxic state of a tumour (the extent to which it is being starved of oxygen) and report on the development of a software tool for in silico drug design.

Professor Brady will explain that such developments are increasingly dependent on rapid advances in IT, for rapid processing of complex algorithms, for visualisation, and for the secure transmission of patient data between dozens of sites around the world. Equally, how IT is providing the software technology to build decision support systems, for example for the multidisciplinary team meetings in cancer patient management.

Refreshments are available from 5.30pm prior to the start of the lecture, which will begin at 6.00pm, and end at 7.15pm. It is open to the public and free to attend but advance booking is required.

Notes for editors

  • Established in 2000 and sponsored by IBM Hursley Laboratory, the IBM Hursley Lecture series was created to provide an annual lecture at the University with the underlying theme being the interface between science and industry. Over the years, the University has welcomed a host of distinguished speakers to present the lecture, including Dr John Taylor OBE FRS FREng, Dr Caroline Kovac and Sir David King ScD FRS.
  • Professor Sir Michael Brady FRS FREng, is BP Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Oxford. Professor Brady combines his work at the University of Oxford, where he founded the Robotics Laboratory and the Medical Vision Laboratory (MVL), with a range of entrepreneurial activities. He is the author of over 450 articles and 25 patents in computer vision, robotics, medical image analysis, and artificial intelligence, and the author or editor of ten books. Professor Brady was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) in 1991 and a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK) in 1997. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Society and was awarded the IEE Faraday Medal for 2000 and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal for the UK. He was awarded the Henry Dale Prize (for “outstanding work on a biological topic by means of an original multidisciplinary approach”) by the Royal Institution in 2005. Professor Brady was knighted in the New Year’s honours list for 2003.
  • The IBM Hursley Laboratory is the largest IBM software development site in Europe. Employing over 1,400 software developers and with a total population on site of around 2,800, Hursley Laboratory has responsibility for a portfolio of IBM middleware components and products in the areas of Service Oriented Architecture, transaction processing, commercial messaging and storage virtualisation. The skills and expertise of the development community are also utilised for the direct benefit of IBM's clients through “Unleash the Lab” initiatives. The lab invests in innovation that matters and attracts top talent through links with leading UK universities and scientific institutions. In 2006, Hursley took on 24 new graduates.

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