SecondLondonMtg Summary

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BioImagingUK Meeting Report: 10 November 2009

Location: MRC Head Office, 20 Park Crescent, London

The meeting was attended by ~30 representatives of UK academic research and funding institutions.

As indicated in the agenda, the major themes discussed were facilities, access to technology, and careers. In addition, we discussed extensively how BioImagingUK should include representation from a broad range of imaging communities—e.g., EM, medical imaging, materials, etc.

On broadening the scientific community included within BioImagingUK.

  1. The goal of BioImagingUK are likely shared by all scientific imaging communities in the UK, and there are clear benefits to presenting a unified, coordinated strategy and statement to our funding bodies.
  2. The scientific goals of biological discovery and improved health delivery are what unite us.
  3. BioImagingUK should reach out to any group using imaging as a critical scientific tool.

On imaging facilities for UK life sciences research

Presentations on imaging facilities for the UK
  • Dave Clarke (ISC, Harwell) presented a very nice summary of ongoing and planned work at Harwell/ISC. Anyway wishing to access tech available at ISC can get relevant forms.
  • Paul French (Imperial) discussed his ideas on the overall goals and features of BioImagingUK and imaging facilities.
Conclusions from presentations and discussion
  • Harwell/ISC is a strong example of one facility; others will be needed, defined by the needs of specific scientific applications.
  • The requirements in different domains (ALM, In Vivo, EM, biomedical) will certainly vary. There will not be a single formula useful across all these domains. However, there will be real benefit in coordinating efforts across different domains of bioimaging
  • There is some sensitivity to the word “facility”—it suggest a single physical enitity. We understand that that a “facility” can be constituted in many different ways—as part of an institute, or a distributed collaboration or partnership. The specific architecture depends on the nature of technology and, critically on the needs of the community.
  • Facilities/institutes/centres should foster
    1. Development of innovative technologies
    2. Delivery of precommercial technologies for scientific discovery
    3. Definition of process for funding development and delivery of beta systems
    4. Access to software running these systems
    5. Developing IP models that respect this
  • Characteristics of facilities
    1. Are best understood as partnerships/collaborations, where fundtionality developed within a scientific framework is made available for access by the scientific community
    2. Defined by science application
    3. Training ground for next generation of scientists focussed on advanced technology
    4. A spectrum of expertise and practice
    5. Requires career structures for the scientists involved in development and delivery
    6. Develop and provide technology, but also invest in engineering to deliver value for specific applications and excellent science

Actions for BioImagingUK

We must start defining the actions we want to take across across infrastructure, access, and careers. We discussed a number of themes, each of which will define a working party who will begin developing a report that considers the issues and draft recommendations for the next BioImagingUK meeting.

The themes, and the people who volunteered to participate in them:

Bioimaging infrastructure issues
  1. Showcase of commercial methodologies
  2. Access to precommercial imaging technology, Members: Brad Amos ...
  3. Software tools & Data Management (data acquisition, analysis, archiving, sharing ...), Members: Jason Swedlow, Paul Thomas ...
  4. Careers (e.g. non-academic science roles, recognition, training,)
  5. Sustainability (finance, management, leadership etc), Members: Martin Spitaler, Paul French ...
  6. Connectivity (biological microscopy ↔ medical imaging etc)
  7. Access Policies for Visitors, Animals, Patients
Bioimaging scientific themes (for world leading capability)
  1. Higher optical spatial resolution (single molecule imaging, super resolution ..), Members: Ann Wheeler, Gail McConnell, Dave Clarke, Ian Dobbie, Mark Neil, John Girken, Andrew Carter'.
  2. Electron imaging (microscopy, tomography, correlative imaging ..), Members: Jemima Burden, Raffaella Carzaniga, Jeremy Skepper ...
  3. Higher speed/content/throughput functional imaging, Members: Paul French, Alessandro Esposito, Nick Barry ...
  4. More physiological (in vivo) imaging, Members: John Girkin, Theresa Ward, Kurt Anderson, Chris Dunsby ...
  5. Probes & Biosensors (labelling technologies, multi-modality, label-free ...), Members: Alessandro Esposito ...

(these are moving to a new page BioImagingUK Working Groups)

Next meeting Date

The next meeting of BioImagingUk will be held in Feb 2010. Our goal will be to review reports from the various working groups. Meeting location TBD. Doodle link for scheduling will be sent week of 23 Nov 2009.

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