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UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging

Critical Review of Key Papers in Biomedical Imaging (The Journal Club)

Course Information

    Course Credits: 15 (MPHYGB25, first and second term)   

    Assessment: Presentation, Class Contribution and Coursework

    Course Organisers: Dr Andrew MelbourneDr Tammy KalberDr Ivana Drobnjak

Aims and Objectives

Understanding and forming an accurate opinion of a journal article is a crucial skill for research; the CDT Journal Club aims to equip students with the skills necessary to carry out a critical review of literature relevant to their field.

Students will work together through group work and discussion to develop skills for critical thinking and reviewing, and understand the motivation for paper writing whilst developing academic presentation skills.

Class Structure

In 2015/2016 the CDT MRes students, each week in rotation, will present a paper chosen by an academic member of staff who will then chair the session. The format will be a 15 minute presentation by the lead presenter describing the aims and motivation for the work the methodology and the results. After group-based discussion of these sections, this will be followed by two further short presentations by two members of the group which will describe in detail the contributions and limitations of the paper. This will be followed by discussion on these sections and on the impact of the paper. The academic chairperson will help guide the discussion. Written reviews will be due in approximately half-way through the course and at the end of the student rotation.

In 2015/2016 sessions are likely to last about 90minutes.

Assessment and Feedback

Students will be assessed in three categories:

Presentation Skills: Each student will present three times during the rotation, once as lead presented and once each presenting the contributions and limitations of the paper. Students will be assessed on each presentation. Students will be assessed on their general presentation skills, strength of conclusions and ability to handle questions.

Class Contribution (throughout the year): Students will be expected to contribute to the class throughout the year by raising questions, contributing to the discussion and voicing opinions. Attendance will form a component of class contribution.

Individual Paper Review (twice during the rotation): Students will be asked to submit a written review of one of the papers from the first and second half of the paper rotation. The review should summarise the paper and reflect upon contemporary literature. In the case of older papers, it is expected that some discussion of their subsequent impact should be present. The review should not exceed 1000 words.

Important Dates

The first session of the 2015/2016 CDT Journal Club will take place on Wednesday 14th October in MPEB 1.19 from 2-5pm.


Unless otherwise stated, the CDT Journal Club will be held on Wednesdays in MPEB 1.19 between 2-4pm.

First Rotation

14th October 2015: Welcome to the CDT Journal Club.

21st October 2015: Presentation and Discussion Practice Session.

1. 28th October 2015: Non-invasive mapping of connections between human thalamus and cortex using diffusion imaging, Behrens et al, Nature Neuroscience Vol 6 750-757 2003. Lead by Danny Alexander. See also Behrens 2003..

2. 4th November 2015: A positive-negative mode of population covariation links brain connectivity, demographics and behavior. Stephen M Smith et al. nature neuroscience advance online publication. Lead by Andre Altmann.

3. 11th November 2015: Automatic classification of MR scans in Alzheimer’s disease, Stefan Kloppel et al. Brain (2008), 131, 681-689. Lead by Sebastien Ourselin. Starting at 2.30pm.

4. 18th November 2015: Magnetic resonance fingerprinting, Dan Ma et al, Nature 495, 187–192 (14 March 2013). Lead by David Atkinson.

5. 25th November 2015: Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to assess cognitive function in infants in rural Africa. Lloyd-Fox S et al, Sci Rep. 2014 Apr 22;4:4740. Lead by Clare Elwell. Starting at 3pm.

6. 2nd December 2015: KinectFusion: Real-Time Dense Surface Mapping and Tracking, Richard A. Newcombe et al. IEEE ISMAR, 2011. Lead by Christos Bergeles. Starting at 3pm.

7. 9th December 2015: Stable Signal Recovery from Incomplete and Inaccurate Measurements. Candes E., Romberg J. and Tao T. Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, Vol. LIX, 1207–1223 (2006). Lead by Simon Arridge. See also the exercise provided here..

8. 16th December 2015: Gradient-based enhancement of tubular structures in medical images. Rodrigo Moreno and Örjan Smedby, Medical Image Analysis Volume 26, Issue 1, December 2015, Pages 19–29. Lead by Dean Barratt.

9. 13th January 2016: Modeling dendrite density from magnetic resonance diffusion measurements. Jespersen SN et al. Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 15;34(4):1473-86. Lead by Gary Zhang.

10. 20th January 2016: Automatic CT-ultrasound registration for diagnostic imaging and image-guided intervention. Wein, W., et al. (2008). Medical Image Analysis, 12(5), 577–85. Lead by Tom Vercauteren.

Second Rotation

11. 27th January 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

12. 3rd February 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

13. 10th February 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

14. 17th February 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

15. 24th February 2016: Paper TBC. Lead by Matt Clarkson.

16. 2nd March 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

17. 9th March 2016: Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

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