Siemens and CHUV Create a Research Group at EPFL’s Innovation Park

Siemens and CHUV Create a Research Group at EPFL’s Innovation Park

20.01.15 – Another large company installs itself on EPFL’s campus. Today, Siemens Healthcare, leader in medical technology, and the medical radiology department of the CHUV inaugurated their new facilities hosting a group of scientists in medical imaging. This unique research unit is collaborating with HUG, CIBM and EPFL.

Today at EPFL’s Innovation Park, Siemens Healthcare and CHUV inaugurated a research and development unit specialized in medical imaging—the result of many years of successful collaboration among the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and EPFL in the fields of morphometry and advanced techniques of cerebral and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

The proximity between advanced facilities, industry, engineering, and clinical research makes it possible to follow the process from the first laboratory tests through to the pre-industrial phase. “In the medical field, the close interaction between industry and clinicians plays an important role in the development of revolutionary techniques that improve diagnosis and patient care. Innovation Park is an ideal base for us, given our desire for long-term collaboration with our partners,” says Tobias Kober, Head of the Lausanne branch of Siemens.

For a decade now, a Siemens’ research team has been working on the facilities of CIBM and CHUV. The close collaboration began with the CHUV radiology department jointly developing, along with clinicians, new methods of brain and heart imaging to improve both diagnosis and patient comfort. In particular, this has resulted in the ability to automatically quantify the volumes of key structures in the brain, which helps in the diagnosis of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results have already been implemented on commercial devices. “Since 2010, thousands of patients have benefited from these new techniques,” says Reto Meuli, Chair of the Radiology Department at the CHUV.

In addition, research in connection with EPFL’s Signal Processing Laboratory (LTS5, led by Jean-Philippe Thiran) and the research center CVMR (CardioVascular Magnetic Resonance, led by Matthias Stuber) has now resulted in a method that has already significantly improved image contrast. The goal now is to expand the range of conditions for MRI diagnosis by enhancing the quality and speed of acquisition. “MRI is a growing field,” affirms Tobias Kober.

A dozen researchers, including two doctoral students supervised by Jean-Philippe Thiran, Professor at EPFL’s Signal Processing Laboratory and the Radiology Department of the CHUV, are working at this new center in Lausanne. On the hospital grounds of the CHUV, a group of 18 researchers supervised by Professor Matthias Stuber are developing new quantitative methods for MRI.

Opened in 2010, EPFL Innovation Park encourages collaborations between industry and academia by hosting researchers and engineers from major corporations. Nestlé, Credit Suisse, Logitech and PSA Peugeot Citroen, among others, have set up R&D teams there.

CIBM – The Center for Biomedical Imaging is the result of a research and teaching initiative of the project Science-Life-Society (SVS) between EPFL, UNIL, UNIGE, HUG and CHUV. Its objective is to advance our understanding of biomedical processes.