Research Highlight

Project REVAMMAD: Training of new generation of scientists to detect diseases through retinal imaging

The REtinal Vascular Modelling, Measurement and Diagnosis (REVAMMAD) project aims to train a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists for the academic, clinical and industrial sectors, and to trigger a new wave of biomedical interventions; PhD students will be trained by some of the EU’s leading academics and practitioners to further advances in diagnosis, prognosis and prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and coronary heart disease and retinal diseases. The project is funded by the European Union's 7th Framework (FP7) Marie Curie Initial Training Network programme and has a 3.8 million euro budget.

The retina provides a unique window into the circulatory system (vasculature) making it an appropriate organ for diagnostic purposes, even for vascular diseases primarily affecting other organs. Further research into measuring subtle changes in this area will enable the risk of conditions developing to be detected and tracked non-invasively through routine procedures such as standard eye tests at opticians.

Along with partners in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, researchers at the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) will work with young researchers in order to effectively translate the latest vascular modelling theory and computerised image analysis techniques into effective disease interventions.

The consortium includes clinicians, hemodynamic (blood movement) theorists, physiologists, imaging experts, computer scientists, pharmacologists and healthcare/bioinformatics companies.

The PhD students will be trained through one common basic scientific course, several blocks of additional modules, plus individual on-site and on-the-job experience at the host partner but also during workshops and summer schools. The breadth of training would not be possible without a European approach because no individual partner or country has the full range of desired expertise or training courses.

Full Network Participants:
The University of Lincoln, School of Computer Science, United Kingdom
VirtualPie Ltd. T/A BHR Group, United Kingdom
INRIA, France
Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Department of Physiology, Germany
University of Dundee, School of Computing, United Kingdom
University of Copenhagan, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Denmark
Aarhus University Hospital, Department Ophthalmology, Denmark
University of Padova, Biomedical Imaging Lab, Italy
Orobix – Italy
Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Computer Science, Greece

Associated Partners:
Sunderland Eye Infirmary, United Kingdom
Centervue, Italy
Hippokration General Hospital Thessaloniki, Aristotelian University, Greece
Medalytix Ltd, United Kingdom
Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom
University College London, United Kingdom

About the Marie Curie Initial Training Network programme:
“Framework programmes” (FPs) have been the main financial tools through which the European Union supports research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines. The Marie Curie Initial Training Networks provide training and research experience for researchers of any age or nationality by giving them the opportunity to spend between three months to three years in another country as part of an international high-quality research project. The networks contribute to the transfer of knowledge through the promotion of multidisciplinary research. The schemes also support the interaction and exchange of all research staff working on the project. (Project number: 316990)

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