The University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht has been awarded 1.3 million euros by the Dutch technology foundation STW. The money is intended for research into imaging and genetic information on Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disorders and breast cancer.
The subsidy falls under the Population Imaging Genetics (ImaGene) project, which has been given a total of 6.1 million euros. The aim of ImaGene is to develop technology that allows imaging and genetic information to be collectively analyzed. The methods that are developed will be used for improving diagnostics and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disorders and breast cancer.
UMC Utrecht is looking for new image markers in contrast-enhanced MR images that are linked to a genetic risk profile for breast cancer. In addition, researchers at UMC Utrecht will look at automatic detection of calcification on CT images that were taken to detect lung cancer. The calcification process can be a predictor for cardiovascular disease. The researchers want to link this with genetic information in order to gain better insight into how and why calcified blood vessels develop. This calcification is linked to cardiovascular disease.
The Imaging Division of UMC Utrecht is one of the participating centers and will be awarded 1.3 million euros. The project leaders for this research are Dr. Kenneth Gilhuijs and Dr. Ivana Išgum, from UMC Utrecht’s Imaging Division. Also involved in the project are Professor Paul de Bakker, Dr. Pim de Jong, Professor Willem Mali and Professor Max Viergever.
ImaGene is one of the five (out of a total of 52) research programs awarded a subsidy as part of the STW Perspective for Top Sectors program.