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Conference report: ICMP 2013 – International Conference on Medical Physics

A round-up from the International Conference on Medical Physics (ICMP2013) – hosted this year by The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) at Brighton Conference Centre from 1 – 4 September 2013.

The International Conference on Medical Physics is organized between the World Congresses of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering on behalf of the International Organization of Medical Physics (IOMP).

IPEM was asked to host this conference to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the IOMP in Harrogate. The founding partners were the UK, USA, Canada and Sweden. The conference also encompassed the 7th annual congress of the European Federation of Medical Physics (EFOMP).

Peter Jarritt hands over the Presidency of IPEM to Steve Keevil at ICMP2013
Peter Jarritt hands over the Presidency of IPEM to Steve Keevil at ICMP2013

This was a truly international scientific meeting with over 680 attendees from 58 countries.  The organizers had set the theme of the conference as ‘New Horizons – Scientific and Global’. Whilst celebrating the last 50 years of the IOMP at its opening ceremony and in the recognition of 50 luminary medical physicists from the same period, the programme focused on current and emerging science in physics and engineering applied to medicine. The programme included 150 proffered papers, 223 poster presentations along with 3 plenary lectures and 174 invited speakers together with an industrial exhibition.

The key conference themes were:

  • Radiotherapy, practise and Quality Assurance
  • Radiation Protection, legislation, standards and practise
  • Education; Professional Issues and Development across the globe
  • Nuclear Medicine, PET and Molecular Therapy
  • Radiation Dosimetry
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Engineering
  • Novel Medical Devices and Sensors.

Of particular note was the focus on the digital hospital and medical physics in the new era of genomic medicine. The conference abstracts are available on line.

The IPEM annual Woolmer Lecture was given by Professor Molly Stevens from Imperial College London entitled “Designing Biomaterials for Ultra-sensitive Bio-sensing and Regeneration”. This was a truly inspirational lecture revealing the multi-disciplinary base required to develop and implement new patient treatments. Further details are available from the IPEM website

The conference also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Hospital Physicists Association (HPA). This was celebrated with a public lecture given by Francis Duck entitled “Physicists and Physicians: A History of Medical Physics from the Renaissance to Röntgen.” – a fascinating look at the origins of the application of physics in medicine in Europe. The lecture coincided with the launch of Francis’s book providing a fascinating insight into this subject which is highly recommended.

The conference programme was accompanied by a rang of social activities which enabled delegates to sample the delights of Brighton in a week of glorious weather. The meeting saw Professor Steve Keevil take over from Peter Jarritt as President of the IPEM and will serve for the next two years.

Steve is a Consultant Physicist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT and Professor in Medical Physics at King’s College London. David Brettle becomes the new President Elect.

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