Sebastien Ourselin – “Network and collaboration”
“I had the opportunity at CSIRO to build an international profile. After working with the Centre for Medical Image Computing at UCL and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging, I’ve moved to King’s College London where I’m continuing my journey of developing translational healthcare research.”
I joined CSIRO as a research scientist in 2002 at the telecommunication division based in North Ryde, with Laurence Wilson. There I launched the CSIRO BioMedIA Lab which had a lot of alignment in informatics and mathematics with the CMIS division at Macquarie University.
The group started to grow quite significantly, and we managed to align our strategic directions in neurodegenerative disease and colorectal cancer with two of the main flagship programmes at the time. This gave us an opportunity to be part of national initiatives such as the AIBL study, led on the imaging side by Chris Rowe, and create a commercialized surgical simulator for colonoscopy.
Eventually it became strategically important to move our lab to Brisbane. The e-Health Resarch Centre, a new joint venture between CSIRO and Queensland Health, had just been established by Gary Morgan and all the CSIRO ICT medical imaging activity, led by Alex Zelinsky, was at this site too.
I definitely think this was the right move, as our lab continued to flourish at its new site, growing to 40 staff and becoming a core component of the e-health research programme at CSIRO. I’m most proud of the fact that BioMedIA is still thriving to this day, contributing to healthcare research internationally.
At the time I worked for CSIRO they had a very interesting model, being a mix of company and university. I had to learn to manage a research programme whilst building my industry relationships to ensure our projects had commercial insight.
This gave me the opportunity to build an international profile and, in 2007, I was offered an unmissable chance to develop translational research with the Centre for Medical Image Computing at UCL, led by Dave Hawkes. I stayed at UCL for the next 10 years where I went on to become Director of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging.
In 2019, I moved to King’s College London as Head of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences where I’m continuing my journey of developing translational healthcare research.
I am still in close contact with the CSIRO lead, Olivier Salvado. I also meet my previous PhD and Post-Docs, who are now senior scientists, at conferences and other events. It is always a pleasure to see colleagues who have gone on to build successful careers at CSIRO, such as Jurgen Fripp and Pierrick Bourgeat.
I built my career by working across disciplines and sectors which often requires a lot of networking. I’m a strong believer that you need to collaborate globally to move beyond the boundary of your own research to achieve really ground-breaking results.