Mattias Heinrich receives prestigious MICCAI Young Scientist Award

The Department’s Biomedical Engineering DPhil student, Mattias Heinrich (St Hilda’s College), has just won one of the prestigious Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Young Scientist Awards at the 2011 MICCAI Conference in Toronto for his paper titled: “Non-local shape descriptor: a new similarity metric for deformable multi-modal registration”. The MICCAI Conference is the most important conference in the field of medical image analysis.

Mattias said: “The main aim is to find new automated techniques, which can help radiologists to deal with large amounts of medical images for tasks such as diagnosis, treatment monitoring and image-guided interventions. The work I presented at the MICCAI Conference in Canada is a new method, which allows the combination of two scans of the same patient of different imaging modalities - for example, CT (Computed Tomography) combined with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or Ultrasound. Potentially, my approach can help to improve the diagnostic accuracy if the clinician can make use of the complementary information of two modalities. It could also be used in radiotherapy, where a tumour is delineated by a clinician in a pre-diagnostic scan - my technique could automatically locate the tumour during treatment, which moves due to patient movement and breathing”.

Mattias Heinrich receives MICCAI Young Scientist Award
Professor Jim Duncan (left) is seen here presenting Mattias Heinrich with his award at the prestigious MICCAI Conference in Toronto.
The prize ($500 plus a $500 travel award) was presented to Mattias Heinrich by Jim Duncan, President of the MICCAI Society and Professor at Yale University (who also gave the Oxford Medtronic Lecture at the Department of Engineering Science in June this year). To enter the Young Scientist Award, Mattias submitted an article in March and his paper was selected for an oral presentation and shortlisted together with 13 other articles. At the September Conference in Toronto, Mattias and four other young researchers were selected by committee of the MICCAI Society to win the prize.

Mattias, who graduated with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany in 2008, and who started his DPhil in 2009 on the Image Analysis Programme of the CRUK/EPSRC Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre (OCIC), added: “I love engineering because you can be innovative and create things that improve life. My grandfather was an engineer at Grundig-Philips and developed video cameras and VCRs. I always admired his work and the fact that he taught himself to repair radios during war captivity and became a successful engineer without studying at university. Nowadays, I think the most valuable inventions are mobile internet devices. They bring the whole world closer together and allow us to communicate with everyone, which is especially good for people in emerging countries. I think it will bring great benefits in areas like education and telemedicine. I thank my supervisors Drs Julia Schnabel, Mark Jenkinson and Professor Sir Mike Brady for their support and inspiration”.

After finishing his DPhil next year, Mattias plans on staying in research. He said: “I want to work as a postdoctoral fellow or in a research company. I would also like to teach - in the long term I want to become a university lecturer”.

Acknowledgements: MICCAI