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Department of Medical Physics: Short profile

The Department of Medical Physics was established in 1978. Currently it employs 7 full-time faculty staff and oversees two European Postgraduate Programs in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering with over 60 postgraduate students. In the last 10 years the Department has published more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals in the following research areas: modeling of biological systems, signal processing, chaotic time series analysis, Bayesian network analysis, artificial intelligence, novel formalisms of modular neural networks, image analysis in biomedicine. It has participated in numerous European Programs, such as IST-FET, BIOMED, AIM, TEMPERE, ERASMUS etc. The Department has organised many conferences and symposia at a national, regional and international level such as the 5th Mediterranean Conference on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in 1989 and the 6th International Conference on Medical Physics in 1999.

The department has participated in over 50 joint national R&D projects with other university institutions, industrial and governmental partners, over the last ten years. Examples of such projects include tele-monitoring/control of buildings using web-based and automation technologies, distance learning and knowledge dissemination as well as distributed information system for decision support and data mining (combined budget of over 1 million Euros).

Recently the department has joined a number of high-impact initiatives in the IST (Information Societies Technologies) including the EXYSTENCE Network of Excellence on Complex Systems and the Neuro-IT (Neuro-Informatics Technologies) NoE. Within the IST-FET (IST-Future and Emerging Technologies) initiative of the 5-FP of EU funded research, the department of Medical Physics is currently co-ordinating the SOCIAL (Self-Organised Societies of Connectionist Intelligent Agents capable of Learning IST-2001-39032 ) project. The SOCIAL project is a 2 million Euro research effort at the frontier of current artificial intelligence, statistical signal processing, microelectronics and material sciences technologies, which aims to design intelligent microscopic robotic agents for biomedical applications.

Department of Medical Physics: Organization and Research Groups

Currently the Department of Medical Physics oversees a number of activities pertaining to the development and deployment of informatics tools to support the Medical School of Patras, Patras University Hospital as well as its own research activities. Such activities include but are not limited to network management, administering the various servers and routers of the School of Medicine that provide the gateway to the GUNet (Greek Universities Network) and to the Internet, quality control of biomedical and computing devices connecting to the network. These services are provided under the umbrella of the Computer Lab of the Medical School, which the Department of Medical Physics runs.

Current research activities include:

  • Data Mining in Knowledge Databases (in collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery)
  • Probabilistic and Connectionist Models of Knowledge Representation and Artificial Intelligence
  • Statistical Models of Gene Quantification Technologies (Microarrays, Quant-PCR) and Experimental Validation Strategies in Lymphocyte Biology (in collaboration with the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Haematology and Experimental Immunology of the Medical School of Patras
  • Biological Image Analysis (Microscopic as well as in vivo assessment of tumour angiogenesis in collaboration with the Departments of Radiology and Pharmacology)
  • Modelling of physiological systems and processes (mathematical models of tumour angiogenesis and mixed pharmacokinetic -pharmacodynamic models)
  • Intelligent agent technologies in education and research

During the last years the Laboratory has obtained licenses to a number of high profile software packages needed to support its own research activities (proprietary acquisition cost of more than 50.000 EUR). A partial list of these software tools relevant to the current proposal is given below:

  • Computer algebra and numerical mathematics software: MATLAB & MATHEMATICA
  • Relational Database Servers capable of Decision Support and Data Mining
  • Academic licenses to install, develop and deploy applications in the Microsoft .NET development platform
  • Image Analysis Software (ANALYSE AVW 3.0)