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July 1, 2008
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Audrey Huang
410-614-5105; audrey@jhmi.edu
Johns Hopkins University: Phil Sneiderman
443-287-9960; prs@jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins Sets Research Pact with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Partners Will Bridge Biomedicine, Engineering to Develop New Surgical and Diagnostic Tools

The Johns Hopkins University has established a formal research collaboration with Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, described as the largest organization for applied research in Europe. Under the agreement, the Johns Hopkins-Fraunhofer Initiative for Innovations in Interventional Medicine will bring together researchers from the university's School of Medicine and Whiting School of Engineering with biomedical engineers at Fraunhofer to develop new minimally invasive surgical tools.

"This agreement provides a wonderful opportunity for researchers from the two institutions to work together to develop important new medical tools and move them out of the lab and into applications where they can help patients," said Kristina M. Johnson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. "Joining Johns Hopkins' expertise in basic research with Fraunhofer's skills in applied technology should result in a very productive international partnership."

The initial phase of the collaboration, lasting 15 months, will focus on three projects: the development of a computer- aided endoscopy tool that can help diagnose gastrointestinal disease, a laparoscopic surgery tool that will align pre- operative CT scans during surgery, and a new system that will be used to track endoscopes and surgical tools during medical procedures.

"Although this collaboration will initially focus on these three specific projects, we expect that the underlying technology developed can be applied to a broad spectrum of interventional and diagnostic medicine," says Elliot McVeigh, the Massey Professor and director of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins. "Perhaps more importantly, the goal of this joint effort is to develop a long-term working relationship with teams of engineers at Fraunhofer that will bring new medical technologies into practice more rapidly."

Related links:
> Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering
> Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
> NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology