In recent decades, medical imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US), and especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have gained a central role in the clinical management of disorders of the brain. Since brain imaging often visualizes disease effects with much greater sensitivity than clinical observation, it holds great promise to help diagnose patients at the earliest stages of their disease, when treatment is most effective; and personalize their treatment by evaluating their response to a specific intervention.
A fundamental bottleneck in translating the wealth of information contained in medical images into optimized patient care is the lack of patient-specific computational tools to help analyze and quantify the torrent of acquired imaging data. The last two decades of medical image computing research have matured to allow robust and automatic assessment of carefully homogenized scientific studies of mostly healthy brain scans. Yet analyzing the "wild" type of neuroimaging data arising in the standard clinical treatment of brain disorders remains a hard and unsolved problem.
The overall goal of the TRABIT project is to enlarge the scope of quantitative brain image analysis from scientific group studies of the human brain into improved healthcare delivery in clinical applications, benefitting individual patients suffering from brain disease. Towards this end, TRABIT aims to significantly advance the current state of the art in the field of computational neuroimaging to achieve the following specific research objectives:
- RO1: To develop fundamentally new computational models to reliably analyze clinical brain scans in several major brain disease categories;
- RO2: To implement the developed methods in software tools that can be robustly applied across imaging sites;
- RO3: To test and validate the proposed methods and tools on large collections of (multi-site) clinical neuroimaging data;
- RO4: To share the accomplished methodological advances across the network and beyond;
- RO5: To facilitate true clinical adoption of the developed methods and tools by strongly engaging with the medical imaging industry.
In order to achieve these ambitious research objectives, there is a strong need for a new generation of young European researchers capable of seamlessly combining a deep understanding of computational neuroimaging; the clinical needs and constraints arising in the treatment of brain disorders; and the commercialization processes needed to bring new research developments into actual clinical practice. Towards this goal, we will train 15 early-stage researchers, each with an individual research plan centered around one of four major brain disease categories - Multiple Sclerosis (WP1), Fetal Brain Disorders (WP2), Brain Tumors (WP3), and Stroke/Neurovascular Disease (WP4) - and each supervised by an academic, a clinical, and an industrial mentor.