Poster award for Marco Lai at SPIE Medical Imaging

During the SPIE Medical Imaging conference 2020, Marco Lai wins the Honorable mention award for his poster on “Automated classification of brain tissue: comparison between hyperspectral imaging and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy”.

As one of the leading international conferences on medical imaging, the SPIE Medical Imaging conference takes place every year during the second week of February. The conference attracts over 1200 leading researchers in medical imaging from all over the word, which present their work in image processing, computer-aided diagnosis, image-guided procedures, radiology and digital pathology, with an increased focus on fast emerging areas like deep learning, AI, and machine learning. The conference annually hosts the Best Student Poster presentation contests, with certificates awarded, and this year Marco won the Honorable mention award for his work on endoscopic hyperspectral imaging.

Working full-time at Philips Research, the work of Marco focuses on the development of a novel endoscopic navigation technique for endo-nasal skull-base surgery. This new AR endoscopic navigation system aims to improve and facilitate minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures by combining CT and MR images with endoscopic images. In this way, this technological approach could be a valuable aid for improving surgical tool navigation and accuracy, as well as reducing procedure times and risk for the patient.

Marco Says: “Besides the main track of the PhD, I am also exploring other imaging technologies that enable real-time tissue classification during surgery; this is the reason why I worked also on hyperspectral imaging (HSI). The work I presented at the SPIE conference is a feasibility study on the integration of HSI on an endoscope for neurosurgery, which may allow in the future the real-time classification of brain and tumorous tissue.”

FBI meeting in Eindhoven

From the 20th to the 23rd of February, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Philips Research hosted the second meeting of the FBI project in Eindhoven. In the first three days of the event, the ESRs had the opportunity to attend two different workshops: one focused on improving their own skills in scientific writing, and the other one to get a flavour of entrepreneurship. During the last day the ESRs presented the progress in their own work.

During the workshop on scientific writing of Tuesday and Wednesday, Nathalie Le Bot and Rosy Favicchio,  editors at Nature, explained what are the strategies and techniques that will help us improving our scientific writing skills, giving us a first-hand insight into the publishing process at top-tier journals. This was a unique opportunity to interact with experienced Nature journal editors, who offered a mix of expert instruction and hands-on support, tips on making the most of our manuscript preparation and, also, providing practical solutions to common science communication problems.

The entrepreneurship workshop, held by professor Jes Broeg from the Technical University of Denmark, offered us a broad overview of  the importance of extending research ideas into a business model. He did offer a wide variety of practical examples, such as Google and Facebook and he shared his own experience as entrepreneur, from his first discoveries as a PhD student to the funding of his own start-up. During the afternoon, the ESRs tested what they learned with a pitch competition. Divided in three teams, they had to propose their own service/product in front of a jury representing a future customer or investor.

On Friday morning, the ESRs shared their own progress in a brief presentation.  A follow up discussion allowed the ESRs to receive inputs and suggestions on their work opening for future collaborations among the several organizations involved in the FBI project. During the afternoon, the ESRs enjoyed a visit to the clean room of TU/e. Two experts guided them in the lab, showing the equipment they use and explaining the several processes involved in the microfabrication.

Me, Roger and Rastko, as ESRs organizing the event, would really thank all the FBI members for participating in this meeting. For us, it has been a pleasure hosting the meeting in our city and overall we hope this gave you some inputs in pursuing your own projects.