Publish Date: 
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 09:00


On the 5th and 6th September Imaging specialists from around Brisbane and the world gathered to hear about the latest advances in Imaging technology since the launch of the TRI Innovation and Translation Centre (IAT Centre) in collaboration with Siemens Healthcare in 2016. Representatives from Harvard in Boston specialising in radiology, the UK's Combat Stress supporting veterans, the Australian Army and defence forces funding PTSD research along with local researchers and clinicians working to advance imaging technologies nationally gathered at TRI for the two day symposium. 


Click here to access the photo gallery on Flickr, or browse using the slideshow below. 

Imagine 2017


TRI based readers can find copies of video and some slides from the event in the communications and marketing section of T drive. Follow the folders "TRI SERVICES > Communications & Marketing > Photos > Imagine 2017".

Summaries of some talks are available below and PDF versions of some presentations, linked from the presentation column. Please note that most information contained in the presentations is confidential or unpublished research and can't be published here. Some speakers are working on condensed versions of their talks which will be uploaded when provided. Please contact us or the speaker directly if you have questions about any presentations not covered here. 


Chaired by Major General Paul David Mclachlan from the Australian Army, the first session looked at the driving need for better diagnostic tools for PTSD, blast injury and concussion or related brain trauma. 

Speaker & Affiliation Presentation Key Learnings

Major General Paul David McLachlan

Commander, 1st Division and Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Australian Army

Need for better diagnosis and treatment of front line defenders 
  • TRI research has the potential to change the lives of soldiers and improve the lives of their families
  • The ADF has the intent, will and means to help soldiers but how best to treat the ~8.3 % of the ADF with PTSD and measure treatment outcomes remains a problem
  • Imaging technology to look at brain chemistry of soldiers with PTSD and Blast injury will make a difference to soldiers and help to destigmatise the condition.

Dr Walter Busuttil

Medical Director, Combat Stress, UK

Management of mental health disorders in British help-seeking Veterans 
  • COMBAT STRESS charity treats over 3500 veterans in the UK
  • Veterans from more recent conflicts are likely to seek help more quickly than from previous conflicts. This reflects more education now around the effects of trauma
  • COMBAT STRESS has a multidisciplinary approach integrating Psychiatrists, Psychologists, OT, Art Therapists, Nurses and support workers. They have pop in centres and 3 treatment clinics
  • Offer a 6 week intensive program for PTSD, involves group therapy, individual therapy and group skills training. They have treated ~1400 people and with a very low drop out rate of only 3-4%

Dr David Crompton

Executive Dean, Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services

Are we closer to the Holy Grail? 
  • Veterans with PTSD usually have other physical, mental and family problems so it is often difficult to work out what is wrong in the mental health area.
  • There is a difficultly of diagnosis as many symptoms for pain, PTSD, brain injury and schizo-affective disorders overlap.
  • Neuroimaging has identified a number of biomarkers which may help these problems. MR spectroscopy has identified signatures for PTSD, depression and brain injury.
  • This technology is useful not only for diagnosis but for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.

Prof Carolyn Mountford

TRI CEO and Director of Research

Neuro-chemical evaluation of PTSD and Blast Exposure 
  • MR spectroscopy is giving insight into changes in brain chemistry associated with degeneration and disease. Particularly for PTSD and brain injury.
  • Currently working towards a product that can be used routinely on MR scanners as part of a standard imaging protocol
  • Bioinformatic analysis is critically important for the correct analysis of samples.
  • There is now a capacity in development to assess front line defenders for PTSD and blast injury using 2D MR spectroscopy. There is an ability to distinguish features using spectroscopy that aren’t visable by current convential MR imaging.

Dr John Irvine 

Chief Scientist, Data Analytics, Draper Laboratories, Boston, USA

New methods for biomarker discovery from MRS Signals 
  • From Draper Labs, Cambridge USA, works with data from Professor Mountford's PTSD research
  • Methods for classifier development and validation of biomarkers identified by 2D MRS
  • Machine learning tools such as Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) are likely to improve classifier development
  • Development of new methods of biomarker discovery from MR spectroscopy signals.
  • Methods use data analysis of MRS to discover features of the MRS signal that will provide information to help diagnosis. The method uses unique signal processing methods that leads to classifiers that can distinguish between groups.
  • Machine learning is being utilized to combine MRS data with other relevant measurements in order strengthen the classifiers


Chaired by Dr Herb Kressel from Harvard Medical School, editor of Radiology journal and pioneer in the development of MR-PET technology. 

Speaker Presentation Key Learnings

Prof Alberto Bizzi

Carlo Besta Neurological Institute Milan, Italy

Imaging response to immunotherapy
  • Using MRI to assess response in patients who receive immunotherapy for glioblastoma (GBM)
  • Immunotherapy works best in tumours with lots of mutations, but in GBM there are not many mutations so immunotherapy is difficult
  • MRI can be used to assess / differentiate progression of tumour versus pseudoprogression
  • In addition to conventional imaging additional information can be gained by adding new methods such as Therapy Response Assessment Assay, Perfusion, Diffusion and MRS
  • Timing of imaging after therapy is critical in order to make appropriate decisions as to whether therapy is effective 

Prof Ken Miles

Radiologist, PAH, Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College London

PET/MRI biomarkers in oncology: towards personalisation of immune targeted therapy for body tumours
  • Adding value to PET/ MRI, not just diagnosis but prognosis and indication of best treatment
  • PET / MRI is well suited to biomarker discovery
  • Immune therapy only has long term benefits for a minority of patients so it is important to identify those who will benefit /respond early, so the non responders others can start alternative treatments.
  • Biomarkers can indicate tumour inflammation, tumour heterogenetity and bone marrow response.

Prof Stephen Rose

Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

The role of molecular imaging in glioma research 
  • Using PET-MRI imaging to measure treatment response in Glioma
  • The clinical problem is that high grade glioma has a poor prognosis, is highly infiltrative in the brain, very heterogenous and can have different genetic profiles in the same tumour.
  • PET MRI can be used in a number of areas; to delineate tumour margins and guide biopsy, to monitor baseline and stratify before therapy and to give an early (pre 3 month) indication of surgical success. 

Michael Kean 

Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne 

MRI-PET in Paediatric Oncology: beyond the status go!
  • Using MRI-PET in paediatric oncology at RCH Melbourne
  • This combination technology has enabled a good improvement to the imaging of cancers.
  • With the MRI-PET scans have been streamlined and workflows improved.
  • Most imagining can now be done in one session rater than over multiple scan sessions


The integration of Imaging technologies into cancer treatments allows for more accuracy, less collateral damage and a better quality of life outcome for the patient post treatment. We heard from local researchers working to improve the options available to patients, and the frustrations in their work due to policy and processes which prevent options from making it to the patients who may benefit from them. Integrity and safety vs progress and improvement drove the presentations.

Speaker Presentation

Professor Sandro V Porceddu  

Director of Radiation Oncology Research, Cancer Services Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health and Associate Editor, Oral Oncology

Integration of functional imaging in the management of head and neck cancer

Dr Liz Kenny

Medical Director, Cancer Services Central, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital

The importance of targeted local treatment and changing the evidence paradigm in cancer

Prof Stuart Crozier

Associate Dean, Research UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Development of MRI guided radiotherapy

Dr Robert Krieg 

Siemens Healthcare

MR-guided Therapy

Prof Carolyn Mountford Chair,  Dr Herb Kressel, Prof Alberto Bizzi , Dr Walter Busuttil, Prof David Crompton, A/Prof Clifton David, Prof Liz Kenny

Closing Panel Discussion 


In this session speakers were treated to a presentation and Q&A from Chief Entrepreneur, with some interesting perspectives on output measures that had the audience buzzing with frustration. The session highlighted the challenges in healthcare of measuring outcomes vs outputs, and the importance of finding metrics that include short and long term quality of life measures in addition to dollars saved or earnt. Head to T drive for the full videos.

Speaker Presentation

Mark Sowerby 

Chief Entrepreneur, DSITI Queensland 

Why is Government support of medical innovation important to bring about commercilisation? 

Dr Christine Williams 

Chief Scientist, DSITI Queensland 

Advance Queensland and the support of translational efforts focused on key health needs of Queenslanders. 

Mike Molinari 

Investment Manager, Brandon Capital Partners 

Seed and venture capital to support life science companies: what are investors looking for? 

Prof Kirby Vosburgh

Harvard Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology 

Experiences in Boston- gaining institutional and project success.

Elliot Smith

Co-founder MaxwellMRI 

Industry perspective from a new start-up MaxwellMRI

Session speakers 

Round Table Discussion


Chaired by Prof David Whiteman, Medical Epidemiologist from QIMR Berghofer, this session introduces the work and experience of the speakers in complex medical research data analysis. The opening session looked at reproducibility and integrity, while the following presentations took a technical approach to avoid 'garbage in garbage out' results often found from poor data collection and incorrect analysis.

Speaker Presentation

Prof Herb Kressel MD

Harvard Medical School 

Reproducibility of results a concern to hospitals, the journals and to industry 

Dr John Irvine 

Draper Laboratory, Boston 

Do results generalise in clinical practice? 

Dr Gunter Hartel 

QIMR Berghofer

Are we wasting money on RCTs because power calculations are irrelevant in a multivariate situation, which all health issues are?
Session Speakers  Round Table Discussion 

Thank you for joining us for Imagine 2017!