Research bursary awarded to support motor neurone disease

11 December 2019

Siemens award 2019

Dr Andrew Nanapragasam, from King’s College Hospital, London, has been presented with a BIR/Siemens Healthineers research bursary to develop a clinically applicable means of identifying muscle fibres affected by motor neurone disease (MND). The award was presented by Peter Harrison, Managing Director GB and Ireland, Siemens Healthineers and Dr Jane Phillips-Hughes, President of the British Institute of Radiology (BIR).

Motor neurone disease is a chronic progressive neuromuscular condition that is disabling and ultimately fatal.

It often takes around 12 months to make a diagnosis of MND, a delay that can be principally attributed to the poor sensitivity of electromyography (EMG). This project will develop a clinically applicable means of identifying muscle fibres affected by MND using a fusion ultrasound system, which will allow superposition of volumetric MR data into a 3 dimensional ultrasound space, providing a cost-and-time-efficient solution to this problem. The aim of this project is the refinement of the radiological workflow with a view to creating a design for an ultrasound-EMG hybrid tool.

The £1,000 award provides pilot funding for research in radiology, radiotherapy, oncology, radiography or medical physics. This helps researchers attract further funding from external sources.

Dr Nanapragasam, an Academic Clinical Fellow in Clinical Radiology said “The generosity of the BIR and Siemens in helping to fund our work is much appreciated. Their assistance will allow us to investigate our imaging techniques with a view to making a real difference to the investigation of this debilitating condition.”

The award is in memory of Sir James Mackenzie Davidson, a pioneer in British radiology. 

Applications are now open for 2020 bursaries, also supported by Siemens. To apply, participants should provide a 750 word outline of the intended research project and send this to by 30 April 2020.

More details are available on the BIR website.

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