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European Research Council to Fund Innovative Endoscopy Platform

Two million euro of funds for research collected by the University of Lübeck to develop an innovative platform for advanced diagnostics

The European Research Rouncil (ERC) will be funding a novel endoscopy platform currently being developed by Prof Dr Robert and his team in the course of the EENCOMOLE-2i“ project at the Institute of Biomedical Optics at the University of Lübeck. The consolidator grant has been granted within the framework of the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 programme. Robert Huber’s project “ENCOMOLE-2i” will receive the two million euro over a period of 5 years. The project will start in January 2016 and seamlessly continues his ERC Starting Grant (ERC StG) project “FDML-Raman”.

The Aim: A Novel Endoscopy Platform

The project „Endoscopic Comprehensive Optical Multimodal Molecular Intelligent Imaging“ (ENCOMOLE-2i) aims to develop a novel endoscopy platform. One the one hand, some of the most advanced biomedical optical imaging modalities will be integrated one the other hand, an imaging and navigation system with some basic artificial intelligence will be implemented. A very fast OCT, capable of acquiring billions of pixels per second at microscopic resolution, will be implemented to image tissue morphology and structure. The structural information will be used for localization and navigation. Then the system will automatically select regions of interest and analyse the bio-molecular profile of the tissue at these locations in order to identify pathologies. The molecular analysis will be done by Raman scattering, another optical sensing method. By automated intelligent guiding of the imaging process ENCOMOLE-2i will try to improve the diagnostic value of endoscopic in vivo imaging. Robert Huber considers Lübeck University an ideal location for the projected research endeavor, regarding the great potential in the fields medicine, computer science and optics on campus.

Scientific Excellence Recognised

According to ERC statutes ( ) “ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, and confer status and visibility on the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.

Advanced Methods for In Vivo Imaging

Robert Huber studied physics at the LMU Munich and received his PhD there in 2002. After working at Frankfurt University from 2002 to 2003 and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2003 to 2007, he came back to LMU heading an Emmy Noether research group. There he was awarded an “ERC Starting grant 2010”. In September 2013 he moved to the University of Lübeck as professor for optical in vivo imaging. His research group is affiliated with the Institute of Biomedical Optics. The researchers in the Huber group work on novel laser light sources for medical diagnosis, they develop fastest optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems and they investigate future optical methods for molecular in vivo imaging.

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