Medical imaging represents a diverse and highly technical field of science that has produced a multitude of promising basic, translational, and clinical research investigations. The ongoing challenge is one of integration, collaboration, and planning. The University of Maryland’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine has long been recognized as a leader in imaging informatics, with the first dedicated fellowship program in this area and widely sought-after clinical and application expertise. Eliot L. Siegel, MD (right), recognized the need for a formal group that could focus on the research potential of imaging informatics. In 2009, he founded MIRTL, which in 2010 moved into its home in the Gray Lab on the University of Maryland School of Medicine campus. The space includes staff offices, meeting rooms, secure server and technology areas, a more than 1,500-sf “bullpen” area for collaborative research and development, and “MIRTL Beach,” an informal and reconfigurable meeting space.
MIRTL is home to a dedicated core of imaging informatics researchers, including faculty, graduate research assistants, developers, and fellows. MIRTL is led by a core of directors who draw on a range of expertise that is custom-configured for each research project. MIRTL members are skilled at integrating new projects, hard- and software, and new personnel into their flexible open-space work lab.
MIRTL also draws on the expertise of those in nearby campus research facilities across the range of medical and scientific disciplines. MIRTL’s clerical and administrative support comes from the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, with additional administrative support (research and development administration, grants processing, legal support) through the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). UMB also provides the consultative and legal services of an experienced team of technology development specialists who help to advance IP and discoveries to commercialization and licensing.