The 11th SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting was held on 21 June 2019 at the Apex City Quay Hotel Dundee. The programme featured stimulating proffered presentations, three excellent keynote speakers in a plenary session on the topic of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging, an invited talk about the recently funded project that will enable research access to routinely collected and linked medical imaging data for the Scottish population, and – as ever – opportunities to network with fellow imaging researchers from across Scotland.

PhD student Maria Clara Liuzzi prepared the following summary of the meeting:

This year’s meeting was hosted in Dundee, the “City of Discovery”, at the Apex City Quay Hotel, very close to the V&A museum and the long waterfront along the River Tay. Researchers from different parts of the UK and Europe joined together to discuss the role and the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical image analysis, how this area of research is under development now and in which way this is changing our and patients’ lives.

Dr Jennifer Macfarlane (NHS Tayside) welcomed the audience and chaired the first session of the day which started with Ms Vasiliki Mallikourti (University of Aberdeen) introducing a method of polyunsaturated fatty acids quantification in Breast Cancer, via multiple quantum coherence MR spectroscopy. The second speaker was Prof Andrew Evans (University of Dundee), talking about the development of a preoperative prognostic index based on ultrasound and ultrasound guided biopsies in Breast Cancer. The third speaker, Prof Edwin van Beek (University of Edinburgh), presented his findings on the detection performance of lung nodules with deep learning CAD systems. The first session ended with 60-second lightning talks pitched by some of the poster presenters. More than 50 posters were displayed during the entire meeting and discussed over the tea breaks.

Prof Keith Muir (University of Glasgow) chaired the following plenary session, which focused on the application of AI in medical imaging, and saw very interesting and inspiring talks from the three keynote speakers. Prof Fiona Gilbert showed how the detection of breast cancer could be quicker with the aid of an AI tool able to sort out mammograms and develop a risk score associated with the pathology. Dr Keith Goatman used a SWOT analysis approach to discuss about the strengths and opportunities but also the weaknesses and threats of current AI technologies, and why it is taking long to adopt them in general healthcare. Prof Giovanni Montana presented the development of an algorithm for the organisation of large chest X-ray dataset into priority classes, for quicker examination.

Keynote speaker Prof Fiona Gilbert from University of Cambridge
Keynote speaker Dr Keith Goatman from Canon Medical Research Europe
Keynote speaker Prof Giovanni Montana from the Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence at University of Warwick

After the lunch break, three parallel sessions allowed the audience to choose from a great array of talks and listen to interesting discoveries in a more focused setting; the three topics covered were Image Analysis, Methods Development: Emerging Techniques, and Methods Development: Applying & Refining Techniques.

After a lively poster session, SINAPSE Director Prof Alison Murray (University of Aberdeen) chaired the last session of the day. Firstly, Dr Emily Jefferson (University of Dundee) described the current progress of the PICTURES programme in longitudinal health record and clinical imaging research in Scotland. Then, Dr Jonathan Ashmore (NHS Highland) showed the audience how an app can help to prepare young patients for MRI through Virtual Reality. Finally, Dr Ourania Varsou (University of Glasgow) and Dr Michael Stringer (University of Edinburgh) talked about public engagement and shared tips for delivering it correctly as well as enjoying it throughout.

The day concluded with different prizes being awarded for best poster and talk presentations, and with announcements for future topic meetings. Positive feedback was collected through the day and at the end of the meeting, confirming this ASM to be yet another successful event organised by SINAPSE.


The prizes for Best Proffered Talk were awarded to the following presenters from each parallel session theme:

  • Image AnalysisDr Sai Man Cheung, University of Aberdeen (Lipid composition is associated with lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and serotonin turnover in human breast tumours)
  • Methods Development: Emerging Techniques – Andrew Paul Dennison, University of Dundee (Simulating Respiratory Motion in Pre-clinical Validation of MRgFUS Systems)
  • Methods Development: Applying & Refining Techniques – Mark Worrall, NHS Tayside (The optimisation of paediatric CT examinations in Scotland: phase one; benchmarking current performance)

As described in the summary above, proffered talks from SINAPSE members also filled the first and last sessions of the day, presented to the full ASM audience. The prize for Best Plenary Talk went to Dr Jonathan Ashmore from NHS Highland (Preparing paediatric patients for MRI with a free and accessible Virtual Reality experience).

The ASM programme featured a wide array of proffered poster presentations, as well, and around 20 were previewed in 1-minute ‘lightning talk’ pitches. In the poster session that followed, delegates indicated their favourite poster through a public voting system, in which the Best Poster prize went to Shengli Zhang from University of Dundee (Force and pressure measurements during simulated nerve block on the soft embalmed Thiel cadaver).


The meeting was supported with generous sponsorship provided by:

  • Partners: Canon Medical and NHS Research Scotland
  • Exhibitors: Bartec, Holoxica, Kheiron Medical, NRS Mental Health Network, and Southern Scientific/Molecubes



The following presentation slides have kindly been made available for SINAPSE members to download (log-in required):