Life Sciences Minister George Freeman today announced £10 million investment in five new research centres around the UK that will explore how mathematics and statistics can help clinicians to tackle serious health challenges such as cancer, heart disease and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Located at universities in Liverpool, Glasgow, London, Cambridge and Exeter, researchers at the centres will develop new tools from predictive mathematical models to enable earlier diagnosis of chronic diseases such as epilepsy, and new systems to make clinical imaging more accurate and efficient.

The EPSRC Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Analysis of Multimodal Clinical Imaging is led by Professor John Aston and Carola Schönlieb and includes Dr Stefanie Reichelt, Head of the CRUK Cambridge Institute’s Light Microscopy Core Facility, and Dr Sarah Bohndiek, leader of the VISION laboratory at the Institute.

The centre aims to achieve synergies between applied mathematics and statistics through a focus on the analysis of clinical imaging, particularly that arising in neurological, cardiovascular and oncology imaging. Current image analysis is based on techniques such as manual segmentation and technician reading of scans. The methodologies developed in the Centre will look to directly automate many of these steps. This will allow considerably greater flexibility in the types of clinical questions that can be addressed using populations of images.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the centres will enable mathematicians and statisticians to work closely with healthcare planners, clinicians, policy makers and industry partners across the UK to deliver high quality, multidisciplinary research that will help overcome some of the big challenges facing the NHS.

18 Dec 2015