Future of imaging science depends on risk takers

May 1, 2007

Radiologists need to become great risk takers and follow clinical science's move toward systems biology or become irrelevant, according to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Radiologists need to become great risk takers and follow clinical science's move toward systems biology or become irrelevant, according to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Imagers need to replace the current imaging approach to understand complex disease mechanisms, such as inflammation or apoptosis, rather than simply specific conditions, like arthritis or cancer. That means moving down the angstrom scale to resolve complex macromolecular structures, Zerhouni said.

Radiologists should develop biomarkers to assist in the study of treatments for long-term chronic diseases and get involved in image-guided intervention and microsampling for disease characterization, he said.

Zerhouni spoke during a session on the future of biomedical imaging and imaging research at the European Congress of Radiology. The NIH will invest about $1 billion in 2007 in projects with non-U.S. partners.