The life expectancy of the 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. 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 the EU is close to 2 % of the EU BDP with €126 billion total expenditure for cancer, €105.2 billion for dementia, and €13.9 billion for parkinsonism.

Medical Physics Research Program (MPRP) is extremely ambitious in its efforts to address significant socio-economic challenges in healthcare in Slovenia and worldwide, focusing on each of the three MPRP research pillars on:

  1. Early and more accurate diagnosis of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and inflammatory diseases by developing novel Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers and improved imaging technologies.
  2. Personalized medicine accounting for biological heterogeneity by developing innovative treatment strategies spanning from immunotherapies, theranostics, and image-guided interventions.
  3. Developing disease models to allow a better understanding of the fundamental causes of diseases and response to treatment, including novel approaches to big data analytics.
  • MPRP will provide a unique multidisciplinary platform for the translation of fundamental physics discoveries into clinical practice.
  • MPRP will provide the main organized effort to translate the cutting-edge medical technologies from academia to commercialization.
  • MPRP will provide the main research environment for broadening the education of Medical Physics in Slovenia.
  • MPRP will provide the main public forum for educating the general public about advanced medical physics science through outreach efforts.

MPRP Development Goals, Targets and KPIs (year 2021)

  • Advanced PET detectors
  • PET harmonization
  • Image database
  • Personalized radiation therapy
  • Biomarkers in neurology
  • Biomedical optics
  • Personalized screening
  • Novel imaging biomarkers
  • Personalized therapy for cancer
  • Theranostics
  • Personalized neurology
  • Biomedical optics
  • Research infrastructure and staff enabling rapid identification of new, often unpredictable needs and opportunities for translating basic science to medical applications
  • Medical Physics MSc program
  • Prepared curriculum for medical physics course (1. cycle FMF)
  • New “Diagnostic methods in neurology” course introduced
  • Organized international school on radiation therapy
  • Establish our medical physics curriculum on all levels of study
  • Create new courses for medical students
  • Regular international schoola
  • Create new courses and experiments for secondary school teachers and students
  • Establish ourselves as leaders in teaching medical physics in Slovenia on all educational levels
  • Open our curriculum to international opportunities
  • ARRS program
  • ARRS projects (3)
  • IAEA projects (3)
  • Participation in EU projects
  • Applied projects with industry (4)
  • ARRS program
  • ARRS projects (4)
  • Leading EU projects (4)
  • Applied projects with industry (4)
  • Self-sustained from international projects and industrial applications
  • Creation of a new institute for medical physics
International Partnership
  • Established connections with international centers and networks
  • Limited student/staff exchange
  • Formal collaboration/joint projects
  • Regular student/staff exchange
  • International consortia
  • Establish ourselves as one of the leading international centers
Industrial Collaboration
  • Laser therapy optimization
  • Hyperspectral imaging research system
  • Optical rheumatoid arthritis diagnostic system
  • Optical cancer diagnostic system
  • Integral collaboration with industrial partners, constant output on innovations and products
Healthcare impact
  • Pre-clinical trials of drugs (peritonitis, radiopharmaceuticals)
  • Clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis diagnostic, biomarkers in neurology
  • Personalized breast cancer screening (DORA)
  • Personalized therapy for cancer
  • Treatments for dementia, thyroid nodules
  • Provide medical practitioners with access to the latest developments in medical technology and methodology, directly and positively affecting patient outcomes