Public Engagement

Research worked on by members of the Translational Imaging Group (TIG) was featured in an article in The i this week, written by CDT Deputy Director Gary Zhang. Their study, known as the Insight 46 Study as its participants are all from the same Medical Research Council (MRC) National Health Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) 1946 birth cohort, found that a fifth of people in their 70s are at a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Advanced brain scans showed evidence of lumps of sticky protein known as amyloid plaques in nearly 20 percent of participants’ brains. The presence of amyloid plaques indicates a greater risk of Alzheimer’s, even in otherwise healthy individuals. Work with the study is still ongoing and hopes to establish the exact extent of this link. 


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Researchers from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) and the Translational Imaging Group presented innovative new findings in orthopaedic research to an audience of 30,000 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons last week.


Professor Alister Hart’s 10 strong research team from RNOH presented a total of 24 papers at the back-to-back meetings of the conference, which was held in Las Vegas, US, Tuesday 24th March – Saturday 28th March. The new findings included: a new blood test for measuring corrosion of orthopaedic implants; the reason for failure of recalled implants; and a novel low radiation dose CT method. The centrepiece of their work is a collaboration with the Translational Imaging Group.


Together, both RNOH and TIG teams have created software which automatically measures 3D muscle volume using standard MRI scans, and are the first to validate and apply this software to patients with muscle problems. The software was originally developed to measure the volume of cerebral cortex from MRI which has revolutionised clinical trials in dementia by providing a quantifiable measure of brain atrophy. 


“The results of measuring muscle volume were astonishing. The software improved our understanding of hip and knee problems and generated 3D images that can be used to easily explain the problem to patients.” commented Professor Alister Hart, “We now have a new tool to assess human physical function. In minutes we can measure automatically the 3D muscle volume of individual muscles. This opens up a whole new field for patients, athletes, in fact anyone who is interested in their muscles.”


The software can be used to measure the effect of any intervention on human muscles, such as "What are the best surgical techniques to conserve muscles?", "Which Pilates techniques are best for strengthening our core muscles?", "Which artificial legs and rehabilitation techniques are best for injured soldiers?", "Which sports are best for our muscles?"


The team first chose patients with hip problems but will now turn to address problems of the muscles around the spine, shoulder and knee.




Some of the members of the research team from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital pictured at the conference, R-L: Alister Hart, Robert Whittaker, Harry Hothi, Anna D Laura and Jay Meswania. 


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ART EXHIBITION | Monday 13th - Sunday 19th October 2014 @ The Portico, UCL Main Quad, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT


This art exhibition supports our Wellcome Trust & Department of Health funded translational research project aiming at developping a clinical system for detecting anomalies in brain scans with the aid of machine-learning (HICF-R9-501).   


EXHIBITION DESCRIPTION: Inside the citadel of rational analysis is here redefined imaginative synthesis. A new series of works reverses the conventional arrow of creativity, extracting ideal, canonical human forms not from the imagination but directly from thousands of concrete particulars, by brute force, synopted through a humanized machine. In transforming the idea of the imaginative we transform the idea of the biological, revealing it to be intelligible only when viewed as a human being looks upon another.




The Conversation reporting on our foetal Wellcome Trust/EPSRC Project:





Guardian News about our foetal Wellcome Trust/EPSRC Project:


Guardian News