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Why doctors and scientists need to work closer

Apr 20, 2011

The experts say that the bringing together of disparate groups in science and medicine is the only way to ensure rapid applications from the lab to the medical theatre.

On Wednesday 27 April 2011, in a major meeting at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of the Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas (IESL-FORTH) at Heraklion, Crete, over 50 key experts from Europe will outline what they can do to improve the speed of new developments at the cutting edge of healthcare, thus paving the most efficient way of tackling emerging healthcare threats.

New applications involving the use of light in early cancer detection, dentistry and Alzheimer's will be outlined during the two day event. In the field of biophotonics, light-based technologies are applied to problems in medicine and life sciences. This event will bring together medical professionals, specialising in cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and immunology to engage directly with laser physicists, lab-on-a-chip technologists, and advanced microscopists. The group aims to tackle new collaborative efforts under the banner of understanding, diagnosing, and treating emerging healthcare needs.

The event is led by Photonics4life, an EU-funded consortium involving 13 partner institutions, formed to establish better working relationships between the disparate groups in science and medicine.

IESL-FORTH is the only Greek institution involved in the pan-European body. Speaking in advance of the event, co-ordinator Professor Jurgen Popp said, "Imagine medicine today without x-rays or microscopes - inventions all made by physicists long ago. In the 21st century the rise of cancer, heart diseases, AIDS, and emerging pandemic threats pose new and staggering challenges to the medical community."

"A major challenge is to ensure that cutting edge developments in the diverse and separate fields of physics, engineering, chemistry, and biology are rapidly applied to the medical theatre. We believe bringing together the disparate groups of science and medicine to be the most efficient way to tackle emerging healthcare threats."

The event will include talks by leading experts from Heraklion, Dr. Maria Farsari, organiser of the meeting and Dr. Yannis Zacharakis.

According to Maria Farsari, "Affordable and effective healthcare would ideally be available to all of mankind and hence it is more important than ever that the scientific and medical communities unite in their efforts."

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Dr. Maria Farsari