From Molecule to Man, a large scale imaging core facility in Bergen
The partners in Medviz and the Molecular Imaging Centre (MIC) together aim to establish a large scale core facility, From Molecule to Man, for medical imaging in Bergen. The facility will comprise all relevant imaging modalities from molecular imaging to clinical scanners as well as all the relevant support functions and will have open access to all Norwegian researchers. It is now up to the NRC to decide upon the future of this initiative as further funding is necessary.
Medical and molecular imaging has proven to be crucial in our understanding of biological processes in pathology, patient diagnosis and the development of new and improved treatment strategies. Accordingly, strong research consortia in medical and biological imaging have been developed in the Bergen area through MedViz and in and around MIC.
It is, however, a clear feature in biomedical imaging in Norway of today that individual researchers receive funding for imaging equipment according to the needs of their specific research projects. This fragmentation makes it difficult for other researches to get access to the whole range of modalities and the adherent necessary expertise despite a substantial number of imaging modalities scattered within the Norwegian research community. This in turns hampers development of novel imaging techniques and prevents the exploitation of the full potential of available technology, both in terms of quantity and quality.
As an answer to this situation, the above mentioned groups and other imaging groups in Bergen now want to concentrate expertise and modalities and create a nationally unique and compact core facility for medical imaging. In practical terms, one aims to gather all imaging modalities available in the MedViz consortium (of which MIC is a member) in one core facility modelled on the setup of the MIC and to supplement the present instrumentation with the necessary upgrades to offer the whole range of imaging modalities from molecular imaging to clinical imaging. The core facility will be staffed by highly trained and specialized technical personnel. In this way we can provide all available imaging modalities and the highest competence to the Norwegian research environment, enabling outstanding biomedical imaging and visualisation. This effort will be mainly for the purpose of improved health care but also open for other non-health related disciplines.
From Molecule to Man will be a strong resource for the whole Norwegian community with interest in biomedical and translational research. It will represent a common technology base and discussion forum for and between disciplines and will also require input from biology, medicine, mathematics, informatics, physics and technology. It will be an efficient way to produce reproducible and comparable results between research groups since the applied methods will be accessible to various research communities. It will remain under one organisational umbrella, perform imaging R&D and offer all modalities and methods developed as service on and equal pay per service terms to all researchers from Norway and their international collaborators.
The facility will also play a central role in the national interdisciplinary PhD school in medical imaging and through research school training courses, held by national and international capacities, influence education and the future pool of researchers in the medical imaging domain. Ultimately it shall contribute towards moving the Norwegian translational research to the forefront.
For further information on the planned core facility please consult the attached project description (below).