Beneficiary 2

University of Dundee


The Institute for Medical Science & Technology, IMSaT, brings engineers, physicists, mathematicians and life scientists together with clinicians, health service providers, and corporates to research and exploit the developments that are occurring at the interface between the biomedical and physical sciences. IMSaT is a single, dedicated organisation with the vision, collaborative ethos and resources to make it happen.
IMSaT is conducting world-class research and development in several areas promising valuable advances for patients, healthcare providers and life science companies alike:

  • Diagnostic & therapeutic imaging: the application of advanced cellular and molecular imaging techniques will revolutionize drug discovery & evaluation, diagnostics, and therapies (e.g. using MRI and ultrasound and advancing instrumentation including robotics to provide precise placement of probes and destructive energy to destroy or shrink malignant tumours)
  • Drug delivery: new technologies for delivering drugs in a highly targeted, efficient fashion will establish new standards of clinical efficacy, efficiency and patient care
  • Regenerative medicine: technologies for wound healing and tissue correction have huge economic potential for the medical device and allied biotechnology industries
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques: emerging technologies such as Minimal Access Surgery, ultrasound imaging, radio-frequency devices, cryogenics and lasers are driving the potential for new state-of-the-art equipment

IMSaT is an interdisciplinary institute for future Medical Technologies positioned at the interface of Physics, Engineering with Clinical and Life Sciences founded in 2006 as a joint initiative by the University of Dundee and the University of St. Andrews, supported by Scottish Enterprise and the EU. Independently, the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee have enviable reputations in the fields of medicine, physics and the biological sciences. St Andrew’s School of Physics and Astronomy is an acknowledged centre of excellence in physics research and a focal point for medical photonics. Around the University of Dundee, with its eminent Schools of Medicine, Life Sciences and Engineering, and Ninewells Teaching Hospital (part of the UK’s NHS), a community of knowledge has grown up in the last two decades that offers unique scientific and commercial opportunities to make far-reaching advances in diagnosis and treatment. Add the two together and they represent a formidable bank of research excellence, clinical expertise and application development - a force with the potential to create world-class research of enormous benefit to 21st century healthcare.

IMSaT is a dedicated organisation that integrates a wide range of expertise available across all disciplines and combines it with our academic and corporate research partners and investors. IMSaT bridges the traditional gap between scientific research and the conception and implementation of novel biomedical devices and clinical procedures. The result is unequalled innovation and speed of implementation from lab to clinic.


IMSaT is the lead organization in the medical aspects of FUTURA, involved in WPs 2, 4, 5, and 8, as well as leading on WP9 Medical Assessment, Pre-clinical and Clinical Studies. As one of the two academic partners, IMSaT will also make a big contribution to dissemination of the results of FUTURA.


Since its formation six years ago, IMSaT has gained research project funding totaling more than €25M, including several major projects. These include several EU FP7 projects taking in highly relevant topics such as ultrasound-mediated targeted drug delivery (, mechanisms to deal with tissue motion in FUS (, and methods to integrate new, minimal access surgery techniques and image-guided interventions with workflow in the operating room ( Substantial other UK, EU, and US funding has been won for specific projects on devices and systems, supporting IMSaT’s population of approximately 60 researchers.


Prof.  Andreas Melzer is Professor of Medical Technology and Founding Director IMSaT, and Co Hard of the Division Imaging&Technology of the Medical School Dundee. He is an unusual academic with experience crossing the clinical / technology interface. He has been a key player in seven medtech startup companies and has experience of a wide range of relevant technology including development of the world’s first MRIcompatible robot, research into tissue motion and perfusion of soft-embalmed cadavers for pre-clinical demonstrations, and exploration of new applications for FUS. Prof. Melzer is a recognized opinion leader with >100 patents and >200 papers and book chapters as well as >300 invited talks.

Prof. Sandy Cochran is Professor of Biophysical Science and Engineering in IMSaT, Dundee. He has been working in ultrasound for almost thirty years, covering many fields, with a special attention in medical ultrasound for more than 10 years. He has generated research funding of more than €6.5M as PI, and has more than 250 publications, around 70 in peer reviewed journals. He has focused particularly on knowledge transfer and has worked with a very wide range of industrial partners internationally.

Ghulam Nabi is consultant Urologist at Ninewells Hospital and Senior Lecturer Urology. His core research is in the field of biomarker, early detection of renal and prostate cancer and in the field of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and MRgFUS. He has extensive knowledge of Thiel soft embalmed cadaver experiments and Ultrasound guided procedures including Focused Ultrasound applications.

Zhihong Huang is a Senior Lecturer in Bioengineering who carried out early work on the combination of FUS with robotics using a standard industrial robot.