September 13, 2010 - The Biomedical Imaging Research Centre (BIRC), announced today at The University of Western Ontario, has a very clear vision: to be the best integrated biomedical imaging research program in Canada and to rank among the top five in the world.
BIRC is focused on the discovery and development of innovative imaging techniques and instrumentation to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases.
“Biomedical imaging is already recognized as one of the great research strengths in London,” says Dr. Aaron Fenster, BIRC’s Director and a Scientist at Robarts Research Institute where the announcement was made. “By integrating all of our scientists and resources under the umbrella of BIRC, we will expand our research, generating advances in medical imaging that will change clinical practice.”
In the next few days, an announcement will be made about one such advance by a BIRC scientist, which will impact the way heart surgeries are performed.
“Western has identified imaging is one of its signature research areas,” says Western’s President Amit Chakma. “This centre will put Western and London on the world map as a leader in the development of imaging techniques and tools that will benefit human health.”
BIRC has a core of 39 scientists, along with an additional 50 associated basic and clinical researchers and 150 graduate students. Recruiting and training the future leaders in medical imaging is a priority at BIRC.
The BIRC partners include the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Lawson Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at Western. This group of imaging scientists has received external funding worth over $120 million over the past six years.
BIRC will generate even more joint funding opportunities. The group has also enjoyed success in commercialization with more than 39 patents filed, 15 licensing agreements and seven spinoff companies.