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UCL Doctoral Training Programme in Medical and Biomedical Imaging

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

Course Information

    Course Credits: 30

    Terms: 1,2,3 

    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 DTP 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 2013/2014 the DTP MRes students, each week in rotation (for two rotations), will present a paper chosen by an academic member of staff. The format will be a 20 minute presentation by the lead presenter, plus any other comments. The remaining members of the group will use the last 40 minutes to ask questions or add their own opinions and for the chairperson to help guide the discussion.

Assessment and Feedback

Students will be assessed in three categories:

Presentation Skills (once during each rotation): In the week that a student is the lead presenter of a paper, they 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 (one at the end of each rotation): Students will be asked to submit a written review of one of the papers from each 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.


At the end of each rotation, there will be a feedback session for the organisers to provide feedback to the students and for the students to comment on the papers.

Important Dates

The first session of the DTP Journal Club will be on 9th October 2013 in MPEB 2.14 from 2-4pm.

The deadline for the first individual paper review will be around middle of February 2013.

The deadline for the second individual paper review will be around June 2013.


Unless otherwise stated, the DTP Journal Club will be held on Wednesdays in MPEB 2.14 between 2-3pm.

Rotation 1

1. 9th October 2013: Welcome to the DTP Journal Club. Slides are available here. Handouts are available here. 2-4pm in MPEB 2.14.

2. 16th October 2013: No session this week.

3. 23rd October 2013: Modeling dendrite density from magnetic resonance diffusion measurements. Jespersen SN et al. Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 15;34(4):1473-86. Lead by Gary Zhang.

4. 30th October 2013: The clinical use of structural MRI in Alzheimer disease, Giovanni B. Frisoni et al, Nature Reviews Neurology 6, 67-77, February 2010. Lead by Sebastien Ourselin.

5. 6th November 2013: The Black Falcon: A Teleoperated Surgical Instrument for Minimally Invasive Surgery Akhil J. Madhani et al. Intl. Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 1998. Lead by Dan Stoyanov. To be held in Foster Court room 123.

7. 13th November 2013: [18F]T807, a novel tau positron emission tomography imaging agent for Alzheimer’s disease. Chun-Fang Xia, et al, Alzheimer’s & Dementia - (2013) 1–11. Lead by Erik Arstad. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

8. 20th November 2013: Magnetic resonance fingerprinting, Dan Ma et al, Nature 495, 187–192 (14 March 2013). Lead by David Atkinson.

9. 27th November 2013: Imaging brain deoxyglucose uptake and metabolism by glucoCEST MRI, Fatima A Nasrallah et al, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism (2013), 1–9. Lead by Xavier Golay.

10. 4th December 2013: No session this week.

11. 11th December 2013:  Nonrigid registration using free-form deformations: application to breast MR images, D. Rueckert et al, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 18:8, 712-721, 1999. Lead by Dave Hawkes. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

12. 22nd January 2014: The importance of appropriate partial volume correction for PET quantification in Alzheimer’s disease. Thomas BA, et al. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2011; 38: 1104-1119. See also the review paper. Lead by Brian Hutton. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

13. 5th February 2014 2pm: Deadline for the first written review.

Rotation 2

14. 5th February 2014. 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. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

15. 12th February 2014. First Feedback Session. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

16. 19th February 2014. Paper TBC. Chair TBC.

17. 26th February 2014. Visual assessment of the accuracy of retrospective registration of MR and CT images of the brain Fitzpatrick, J.M. et al. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 17, 4, 571-585, 1998. See also Gibson 2013. To be lead by Dean Barratt. To be held in Cruciform Foyer 101 Seminar Room 1.

18. 5th March 2014. High-field MRI of brain cortical substructure based on signal phase. Jeff H. Duyn† et al, PNAS, 104, 28, 11796–11801, 2007. See also Haacke2005 for a review of iron imaging. Lead by Karin Shmueli. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

19. 12th March 2014. Magnetic resonance imaging of perfusion using spin inversion of arterial water. Williams DS et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 89(1), 212-216, 1992. Lead by David Thomas. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

20. 19th March 2014. 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. To be held in MPEB 6.12A.

21. 1st April 2014: Group Session Ultrasonographically detectable markers of fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Nicolaides KH et al, Lancet, 340:8821, 704-707 1992. Lead by Anna David. To be held in MPEB 1.19 2-3pm. Note that this is a Tuesday!

22. 4th April. Multiscale Imaging and Computational Modeling of Blood Flow in the Tumor Vasculature. Kim et al. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 40, No. 11, November 2012 (Ó 2012) pp. 2425–2441. To be lead by Rebecca Shipley. To be held in MPEB 1.19. Note that this is a Friday!

23. 9th April 2014: No session this week.

24. 30th April 2014: White, B.R. and Culver, J.P. (2010) Phase-encoded retinotopy as an evaluation of diffuse optical neuroimaging. NeuroImage 49, 568-577. Lead by Jem Hebden. To be held in MPEB 1.19.

25. 23rd July 2014: Final Feedback Session. To be held in MPEB 2.14.

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