Imperial announces new initiative in Internet technology

November 20, 2000

Imperial College, London, England, has announced a new initiative in internet technology for remote medical imaging and visualisation.

Alumnus and entrepreneur, Dr Gary Tanaka, whose £27 million donation to the College was announced in October, has endowed £2 million to fund the initiative.

Funding will allow Imperial to develop technology which has the potential to help millions of people worldwide, by enabling doctors to access and share patient information, and carry out remote diagnosis using 2D and 3D images.

Professor Richard Kitney, Head of the Department of Biological and Medical Systems, said: "There is a need for major computing facilities to convert raw images from hospital scanners into a form which can be used for effective diagnosis and treatment planning. The Tanaka initiative will enable us to develop both the telecommunications and internet service technology to make this possible."

"We have arguably the most powerful visualisation computer in Europe (a 44 processor Silicon Graphics Reality Monster), but until recently were limited by the inability to transmit images across telecommunications networks. The introduction of broadband networks and the widespread introduction of web-based technology has changed this, and the Tanaka initiative will keep us at the forefront of these developments."

Imperial will establish a chair in the Bagrit Centre - headquarters of the Department of Biological and Medical Systems - to develop a programme of research in the area of the application of web-based broadband technology for medical imaging and visualisation. Additionally, the new professor will carry out research with colleagues in healthcare economics and business, based in the Management School, on the business aspects of the new technology.

Dr Tanaka's £2 million endowment will provide logistic and other support for the professor who will work in collaboration with the existing research group within the Bagrit Centre.
Notes to editors:

1) Dr Gary Tanaka, 56, has been principal and director of Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. since its inception in 1979. Among its many funds, the firm manages the Amerindo Internet Fund, an Investment Trust listed on the London Stock Exchange and member of the FTSE 350. Dr Tanaka served as a Portfolio Manager for Crocker Bank in San Francisco from 1971-77, and as a Partnership Manager for Crocker Investment Management Corp. in San Francisco from 1978-80. From 1975-80 he also served as a Consultant to Andron Cechettini & Associates in San Francisco. In 1980, he joined the predecessors of Amerindo Advisors (UK) Ltd and Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. (Panama) as a Principal Portfolio Manager and has served in this position since that time. Dr Tanaka gained a BSc in Mathematics from MIT in 1965 and both an MSc and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Imperial College in 1970.

Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. is the pre-eminent investment advisory firm specialising in the management of concentrated emerging technology portfolios for institutions, pension funds and family trusts. In the early 1980s, Amerindo pioneered the management of dedicated emerging technology portfolios of high technology and healthcare stocks designed to service the financial needs of the institutional investor.

2) The Department of Biological and Medical Systems has four major research areas: Advanced Diagnostic Systems, Physiological Measurement, Medical Imaging, and Three-Dimensional Visualisation. It was rated 'five star' in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise. The Department offers an MSc in Engineering and Physical Science in Medicine. The Bagrit Centre was established in 1991 through the vision and generosity of Lady Stella Bagrit and the Trustees of the Sir Leon Bagrit Memorial Trust, who provided the essential core laboratories, lecture rooms and administrative base on the South Kensington campus. For further information see:

3) Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is an independent constituent part of the University of London. Founded in 1907, the College teaches a full range of science, engineering, medical and management disciplines at the highest level. The College is the largest applied science and technology university institution in the UK, with one of the largest annual turnovers (£330 million in 1998-99) and research incomes (£122 million in 1998-99). It is consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions for research quality, with an aggregate score of 6.09 out of 7 in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise. For further information see:

Imperial College London

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