Monday, February 20, 2012

CERN Conference To Unite Physics, Biology And Medicine For Better Healthcare

A new kind of conference will be launched next week in Geneva, uniting physics, biology and medicine for better healthcare. Starting on 27 February, the ICTR-PHE conference brings together the long established International Conference on Translational Research in Radiation Oncology, which has been held every three years from 2000, with CERN1's Physics for Health workshop, which was launched in 2010. A press conference will be held at 10:15 on 29 February at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), and there will be a public lecture from renowned human oncologist Søren M. Bentzen at 6:30pm on Tuesday 28 February.

"We hope to create a global network in which information between scientists from the various disciplines can be successfully exchanged," said Jacques Bernier, conference co-chair and head of Radiotherapy at Geneva's Genolier Clinic. "The common effort of all the parties involved will maximize the effect of the therapy and improve the quality of life of patients."

"The reason for bringing the two conferences together is to catalyze stimulating exchanges and interactions between experts in various fields, from biology and physics to clinical medicine," added Manjit Dosanjh, CERN's Life Sciences advisor and the conference's other co-chair. "It will broaden the horizons of research in diagnosis, treatment and healthcare."

The two conferences are a perfect match. Translational research aims to move the latest findings from basic research swiftly and efficiently into application, and that's precisely the reason that CERN established a Physics for Health workshop two years ago. Technologies adapted from accelerator and detector physics, as well as data management and computer assisted imaging techniques are widely applied in medicine, and this is a trend that CERN aims to make more systematic. At the same time, further biological research is necessary to better understand the behaviour of various diseases, while medical trials and studies provide crucial information on the effect of therapies.

Joining the two conferences will create new interdisciplinary networks and allow participants to exchange know-how and information to achieve faster and better results. The new ICTR-PHE 2012 Conference brings together leading experts from the major disciplines involved in improving health, as well as young researchers who are taking their first steps.

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