Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Medical physics

January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2021
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
B002  Biomedical sciences  Biophysics 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Medical physics, Imaging, Therapy, Modeling
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (36)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  15973  PhD Božidar Casar  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  127 
2.  29519  PhD Rok Dolenec  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  88 
3.  54651  Živa Drakulić  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  14 
4.  11039  PhD Simona Gaberšček  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2015 - 2021  453 
5.  33876  Luka Jensterle  Cardiovascular system  Technical associate  2016 - 2021  42 
6.  15737  PhD Robert Jeraj  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  556 
7.  32770  PhD Tadej Kanduč  Mathematics  Researcher  2021  59 
8.  53651  Žan Klaneček  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020  26 
9.  23364  PhD Petra Kolenc  Pharmacy  Researcher  2015 - 2021  139 
10.  32227  PhD Dimitrij Kuhelj  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2021  373 
11.  22346  PhD Luka Ležaič  Human reproduction  Researcher  2015 - 2021  239 
12.  16183  PhD Mateja Logar  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2020 - 2021  249 
13.  09757  PhD Matjaž Lukač  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  184 
14.  52752  Jan Malec  Energy engineering  Technical associate  2020  56 
15.  38161  PhD Ana Marin  Systems and cybernetics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2020  36 
16.  11742  PhD Marko Marinček  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  59 
17.  22288  PhD Matija Milanič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  250 
18.  50623  PhD Doroteja Novak  Pharmacy  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  20 
19.  51885  PhD Matej Perovnik  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  98 
20.  12531  PhD Primož Peterlin  Oncology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  133 
21.  51913  PhD Gašper Razdevšek  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2020  10 
22.  50670  PhD Luka Rogelj  Physics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2020  29 
23.  27760  PhD Urban Simončič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  121 
24.  39233  PhD Jošt Stergar  Physics  Technical associate  2016 - 2021  70 
25.  21552  PhD Andrej Studen  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  134 
26.  27754  PhD Barbara Šegedin  Oncology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  208 
27.  53652  Eva Štokelj  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020  17 
28.  54831  Tadej Tomanič  Physics  Junior researcher  2020  30 
29.  24691  PhD Petra Tomše  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2015 - 2021  124 
30.  15442  PhD Maja Trošt  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  462 
31.  38235  PhD Maruša Turk  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2020  15 
32.  36913  PhD Damijan Valentinuzzi  Physics  Technical associate  2015 - 2020  29 
33.  39158  PhD Nina Verdel  Sport  Junior researcher  2016 - 2020  73 
34.  19032  Barbara Vidergar - Kralj  Oncology  Technical associate  2015 - 2021  89 
35.  21746  PhD Martina Vrankar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  132 
36.  20484  PhD Katja Zaletel  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2015 - 2021  422 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,374 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,408 
3.  0302  Institute of Oncology Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5055733000  15,750 
4.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  77,764 
Medical physics is an interdisciplinary research field aiming at development of novel applications of physical processes and techniques in various fields of medicine. Medical physics has and continues to have a profound impact on the practice of medicine by developing improved imaging and treatment technologies, and helping to advance our understanding of the complexity of the disease. Medical physics is intimately connected to medicine, which is experiencing a dramatic shift from acute to chronic disease. This shift has resulted in (1) diagnostic procedures that are becoming more extensive, (2) therapies that are becoming more personalized and (3) better understanding of incredible complexity of the disease. Addressing these challenges is leading to the New Medicine (“The 4 P’s of Medicine”): medicine that is more Predictive, Personalized, Preemptive, and Participatory.   The proposed Medical Physics Research Program (MPRP) is structured around three key challenges, which also represent the following programmatic pillars: (1) MPRP-Imaging, (2) MPRP-Therapy, (3) MPRP-Modeling.   MPRP-Imaging will advance the science of quantitative imaging by developing novel technologies that will improve quantitative accuracy of molecular imaging (advanced PET detectors, advanced MRI pulse sequence and probe design, advanced kinetic modeling). MPRP-Therapy will advance the science of personalized medicine by employing molecular imaging techniques to develop personalized approaches to diagnosis and treatment in oncology (personalized radiotherapy, personalized therapy of advanced cancers) and neurology (personalized management of neurocognitive brain disorders). MPRP-Modeling will advance the science of physical modeling of complex biological systems by development of improved models of normal and diseased tissue (optical and thermal transport, tumor growth) and response to therapies.   We have assembled a unique interdisciplinary MPRP research team that includes members from the major Slovenian university (University of Ljubljana), the major research institute (Jozef Stefan Institute), the comprehensive cancer center (Institute of Oncology) and the main tertiary hospital (University Medical Center Ljubljana). As such the MPRP will provide unique multidisciplinary platform for: (1) Translation of fundamental physics research into clinical practice, (2) Translation of cutting edge medical technologies from academia to commercialization, (3) Support to university-level education in Medical Physics in Slovenia.   It should be mentioned that medical physics has not had its own research program in Slovenia, in spite of its high propulsion and relevance for local economy and health care, and reflected in the popularity of the Medical Physics MSc training program. Indisputably a research program in medical physics is urgently needed to support such activities. The proposed MRPR program directly responds to this need.
Significance for science
While medical physics itself contributes to the general field of physics, specific scientific contributions are closely related to answering the major scientific challenges that medicine is facing. The major challenges that medicine is facing today are related to “further our understanding of the fundamental causes of diseases at their earliest molecular stages. But individuals respond differently to environmental conditions, according to their genetic endowment and their own behavior. In the future, research will allow us to predict how, when, and in whom a disease will develop. We can envision a time when we will be able to precisely target treatment on a personalized basis to those who need it, avoiding treatment to those who do not. Ultimately, this individualized approach will allow us to preempt disease before it occurs, utilizing the participation of individuals, communities, and healthcare providers in a proactive fashion, as early as possible, and throughout the natural cycle of a disease process.”, as summarized in “The 4 P’s of Medicine” (http://www.nih.gov/strategicvision.htm).   Medical Physics Research Program (MPRP) will focus on some of the major scientific challenges in medicine today in all of the three key pillars of the program: (1) MPRP-Imaging, (2) MPRP-Therapy and (3) MPRP-Modeling.   MPRP-Imaging will primarily focus on advancing the science of quantitative imaging by developing novel technologies that will improve quantitative accuracy of molecular imaging (advanced PET detectors, advanced MRI sequences and probes, advanced kinetic modeling). Image quantification is prerequisite for more accurate use of imaging for prediction of the disease and personalized approach to treatment. Development and characterization of advanced PET detectors and advanced MRI sequences and probes will reduce imaging uncertainties, allowing more efficient detection, and consequently earlier diagnosis of the disease. Development of the concurrent PET/MRI systems, which will be allowed by these new technologies will open unprecedented opportunities for combining molecular and anatomic imaging. Development of advanced kinetic analysis methods for FLT PET imaging will allow extraction of concurrent information on cell proliferation and various vasculature parameters. Extraction of this information will advance our understanding on the temporal development of the key tumor processes leading to poor treatment response, particularly in anti-angiogenic therapies.   MPRP-Therapy will advance the science of personalized medicine by employing molecular imaging techniques to develop personalized approaches to diagnosis and treatment in oncology (personalized radiotherapy, personalized therapy of advanced cancers) and neurology (personalized management of neurocognitive brain disorders). The proposed clinical trials in personalized radiotherapy will provide new insights in spatio-temporal development of tumor and normal tissue effects to radiation. Determination of the radioresistant and radiosensitive parts of the tumors and normal tissues will allow for more efficient dose delivery, which will be tested for its clinical efficacy. The proposed clinical trial in personalization of advanced cancer therapies will focus on investigating pharmacodynamics of the modern AR-directed targeted therapies for prostate cancer on a per-lesion basis, which has never been quantified to that level of detail. Marrying our unique Quantitative Total Bone Imaging (QTBI) image analysis methodology with 18F-fluorocholine (FCH) PET/CT and 18F-fluorodexoygluoce (FDG) PET/CT will provide unprecedented insight into intrinsic and acquired treatment resistance in prostate cancer patients. Exploration of the biomarkers of the neurodegenerative brain disorders, by means of analysis of the characteristic metabolic patterns in brain will provide unique understanding of the early origins of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Better understanding of the etio
Significance for the country
Life expectancy of population has markedly increased due to the progress made in reducing death from acute conditions. However, advances in medicine indirectly led to a major rise in the burden of chronic long-term conditions. It is estimated that 75% of today’s healthcare expenditures are related to chronic diseases. Cancer and neurocognitive brain disorders contribute a lion share to these expenditures. Worldwide, there are approximately 33 million people who have had cancer diagnosed in the last five years. There are additional 37 million people who live with dementia and 8 million with parkinsonism. The financial burden of these diseases in EU reached approximately 2% of the EU BDP with €126 billion total expenditure for cancer, €105.2 billion for dementia and €13.9 for parkinsonism.   Medical Physics Research Program (MPRP) is extremely ambitious in its efforts to address major socio-economic challenges in healthcare in Slovenia and worldwide focusing on: (1) Early and more accurate diagnosis of cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease by developing better imaging tools; (2) Personalized medicine accounting for biological heterogeneity by utilizing advanced molecular imaging techniques and (3) Developing disease models to allow better understanding of the fundamental causes of diseases and response to treatment.   MPRP will provide unique multidisciplinary platform for translation of fundamental physics discoveries into clinical practice. The MPRP research team includes members from the major Slovenian university (University of Ljubljana), the major research institute (Jozef Stefan Institute), the comprehensive cancer center (Institute of Oncology) and the main tertiary hospital (University Medical Center Ljubljana). The anticipated synergistic interactions between the fundamental research (e.g., advanced kinetic modeling, modeling of light transport), technology developments (e.g., advanced PET detectors) and clinical trials (e.g., personalization of therapies) will be directly aimed at such a translation. Furthermore, engagement of the MPRP in international clinical trials (e.g., joint EU project proposal in biologically conformal radiotherapy – MOSART) provides direct integration of the Slovenian medical physics and clinical research into major international efforts. The broad socio-economic relevance of the MPRP proposal is directly underlined by one of the EU "Horizons 2020" priorities: "Clinical trial(s) supporting proof of concept in humans to assess the potential clinical efficacy of the novel therapeutic concept(s) and/or optimization of available therapies (e.g., drug repurposing)." Namely, more efficient use of molecular imaging, which will be extensively explored in the MPRP, has a strong potential for guiding optimization of available therapies.   MPRP will provide the main organized effort for translation of the cutting edge medical technologies from academia to commercialization. For example, the developed methods for advanced kinetic analysis will be very helpful for pharmaceutical industry as a unique tool in drug development to more accurately assess phamacodynamics of the investigated drugs. These methods, in conjunction with the modeling of tumor growth and response to therapy, will also increase understanding of curative potential and side effects of the drugs. As the Slovenian pharmaceutical industry (Krka, Lek) has a strong presence in oncology and neurodegenerative disorders, the results of the MPRP program will be of direct economic interest. Similarly, research efforts in biomedical optics will be particularly important for the strong Slovenian industry focused on laser medical devices (Fotona, Optotek). Finally, development of detectors for PET scanners and other applications in the field of medical physics has a potential for commercial exploitation by emerging Slovenian high technology sector (e.g., Cosylab, Instrumentation Technologies, Elgoline). Existing collaborations bet
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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