The ‘Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy’ MSc programme in Glasgow (Scotland)

(We are very thankful and happy to receive this guest contribution from Lauren Clunie on the newly introduced ‘MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy’ programme in Glasgow. In this post, she offers us a first-hand glimpse into the contents of this programme.)

Hello, my name is Lauren Clunie and I am a postgraduate student from Glasgow. I am new to the medvis community and I feel privileged to have been asked to write about the course I am studying. I hope to give you a quick, and hopefully interesting, insight into what the course entails.

The MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy is a one year taught masters programme that is run by the Glasgow School of Art in collaboration with Glasgow University. The course is still very new; it began in September 2011 and is the first of its kind in the UK. It is mainly aimed for life sciences graduates who want to increase their knowledge for the digital aspects of medical science; however the course can also accommodate for computer science graduates who wish to specialise in medical technology.

Lab 1 at the Digital Design Studio - The largest stereo projection space in the UK.

Lab 1 at the Digital Design Studio – The largest stereo projection space in the UK.

My background is in anatomy, I graduated from the University of Dundee with joint honours in anatomy and physiology. I was very indecisive as to what my next step would be after I graduated; all I knew for sure was I am motivated by my passion and enthusiasm for the complex structure of the human body and how it works. I had always been intrigued by the use of technology within medical science. In May last year, when I heard about this course, I knew instantly that this was the right step for me to take. I am fascinated by the endless number of applications that are associated with medical visualisation and I am excited to be involved in such an up-and-coming field.

The course is split into 3 stages; Stage 1 is taught at the Glasgow School of Art, Stage 2 at Glasgow University and Stage 3 is spent completing a masters research project. Between September and December last year, I had the privilege of studying at the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio which is the largest 3D stereo lab in Europe. During this first stage we learnt how to use a number of software’s including Autodesk Maya for developing medical animations; Unity3D to develop applications and interactive games for medical education (including the use of javascript) and also Amira to produce 3D visualisations from CT and MRI data. With very little experience in this type of technology I was really thrown into the deep end during this stage of the course. However, it was very much taught in relation to its practical use in medical science which made it interesting and easier to understand. I am now in Stage 2 of my degree which involves learning the anatomy of the whole human body in great detail. This stage is taught in the world renowned Anatomy Laboratory at Glasgow University. Thanks to my undergraduate degree, this stage has not been as difficult as Stage 1; however this has allowed me more time to focus on revising the digital aspect of the course as well as keeping up to date with current research going on in medical visualisation. The final stage of the course will begin in June when I undertake a 3 month long masters project that will combine all the skills I have gained from the first 2 stages.

I have found that I am very interested in the development of new technologies to enhance anatomical education for medical, dental, forensic and anatomy students. This masters course so far has affirmed my passion for anatomy. I hope it will open many doors for me in the future and I am enormously excited to begin my career in medical visualisation.

Thank you for your interest on this topic. Please take a look at the short promotional video that also helps to summarise this masters programme. If you would like to keep up to date with my progress or have any questions, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter (@LClunieMedVis).

Sectra Visualization Table

I just got back home from the excellent EG VCBM 2012 conference and am currently working on my conference highlights write-up. In the meanwhile though, I wanted to show you a video of something else I saw at VCBM: the Sectra Visualization Table. It can be used for surgical planning, medical education and virtual autopsies, but it probably would be quite the conversation starter at a dinner party as well ;) We have posted about this before two years ago, but I think this new video shows off the cool features better:

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This is an excellent example of a good collaboration between research and industry. More information about it can be found here and here. I so wouldn’t mind having one of these to play around with ^^

MedVis Ph.D. vacancy at the TU Delft

The Medical Visualisation group at the TU Delft currently has a fully funded 4-year Ph.D. vacancy. The successful candidate will work together with another Ph.D. student from the LUMC Departments of Anatomy and Surgery on building the Virtual Surgical Pelvis, a next generation surgical model, in silico, of the human pelvis, based on extremely high resolution histological sections. For more details on the project and the vacancy, see this webpage.

The deadline for applying is May 15, so you better hurry up!