General information about the research cluster
The Medical University of Vienna has defined Medical Imaging as one of its five key focal areas of research.
This decision was based on the particularly high level of expertise in imaging technologies and the wide use of such technologies already in place at our university. Modern imaging methods reveal information about genetic, biochemical and cellular processes within the living organism and not only enable precise visual representations of morphological conditions, but also the visualisation and quantification of organ-specific functions. As a result, imaging methods help create a better understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological processes that occur in the human body. Imaging is essential for an understanding of all disease processes and comprises diagnosis, personalised risk stratification and treatment planning and monitoring in the context of modern, personalised diagnostic and treatment concepts.
The complexity of imaging research requires an extensive network of methods to meet the needs of various specialist disciplines. As a result, the cluster regards itself as a multi-modal and multi-disciplinary network that brings together clinicians, researchers and scientists at the Medical University of Vienna in order to optimise existing synergies. The common interest of the Medical Imaging cluster lies in the further development and research of morphological, functional and molecular imaging.
This multi-modal approach uses the most varied imaging methods possible, including:
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Single-photon emission computer tomography (SPECT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound (US)
- Computer tomography (CT)
- Optical imaging (bioluminescence, fluorescence, multi-modal coherence tomography (OCT))
- Photoacoustic tomography, nonlinear optical spectroscopy
- Conventional X-ray
- Ultrastructure microscopy
- Image fusion and processing
- Visualisation and quantification
- Image-guided interventions and theories
- Microscopic techniques (electron tomography, confocal microscopy, HREM, etc.)
Structure and objectives
The Medical Imaging cluster oversees the collaboration of several institutions and research bodies involved in imaging at the Medical University of Vienna, and represents these organisations in six, theme-oriented focal areas of research (“nodes”). A management team is in charge of coordinating this research. An international external Advisory Board provides advice to the research cluster. The Medical Imaging cluster also focuses on cooperative agreements with other research clusters within the Medical University of Vienna.
The objective of the Medical Imaging cluster is to effect a fundamental paradigm shift in access to translational research from the single cell to the individual. New ways must be developed in order to diagnose disease earlier, determine its nature more effectively, and evaluate new therapeutic approaches, all of which require a synthesis of information gathered from many disciplines. This synthesis of anatomical, functional, and molecular information — provided by an extensive and innovative array of imaging methods — will play a key role in realising bench-to-bedside personalised medicine.
Wolfgang Birkfellner (Speaker)
Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth (Speaker)