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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 7, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 39
Johns Hopkins Sets Research Pact With Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

By Audrey Huang
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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 researchers from the university's schools of Medicine and Engineering together 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 Johns Hopkins. "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 track endoscopes and surgical tools during medical procedures.

Elliot McVeigh, the Massey Professor and director of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins, said, "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. 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 Web sites

Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering
NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology


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