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The IMMT objective is to research, develop and implement methods for extracting information from bio-images and bio-image sequences in a form that can be used to calibrate mathematical models of biological and metabolic processes. The rationale is thus: for a signalling or metabolic pathway of known structure it is relatively straightforward to write down a mathematical description of the biochemical dynamics. However, it is not easy to determine the parameters which calibrate the model and determine the specifics of its time course behaviour. Thus the aim of IMMT is to develop methods that will enable this calibration process to occur using information obtained from chronological sequences of relevant bio-images.

The IMMT facility is using two focus projects to drive the overal programme:
(a) real-time cell modelling (using online control of microscopy driven by real-time processing of corresponding images),
(b) distributed cell modelling (using a software workbench that operates upon image sequences held in a national data repository and accessible and usable at any NBIPI member site).

The supply of working versions of these two objectives to the NBIPI members are the key deliverables which drive this project.

In the first year of the programme the research theme was 'science and technology demonstration'. In particular, the two focus projects needed to develop the core science and technology associated with the IMMT programme were identified and the underpinning science was developed The first stage of the delivery programme (a technology demonstrators of each project) was acheived on schedule for October 2008 and they were exhibited at the HEA Festival of Science in December 2008 (see section 9 in the last reporting period). With this acheived, the focus of the second year is 'convergence' of the technologies and methematical methods that support the two focus projects. This will involve the stage-wise introduction of the mathematical modelling and image feature extraction methods under development at NUIM into the focus projects at RCSI (real-time cell modelling) and UCC (distributed cell modelling). Working iteratively, and in a manner that includes all partners, this will occupy the IMMT team until October 2009 - but with intention to demonstrate practical implementations of the convergence principles embedded in the focus projects at the HEA midterm review.


IMMT is a collaborative project involving NUIM, RCSI and UCC. This three way collaboration is mechanised by a fixed programme of quarterly meetings initiated in October 2007.
The strategy is built around two focus projects and a series of work targets - one for each year. The focus projects give specific work objectives for the IMMT team during the project course, and the annual targets set the research theme for that year. The specific work plan targets for the first year was technology demonstration for the HEA Feastival of Science in December 2008. The second year work objective is convergence of the science and technology developed in the two focus projects such that our work will be general and useable in both projects. The third year and final objective for the project is completion. That is to say delivery of a completed pair of focus projects to be deployed and used within NBIP.

The general targets are given concrete substance in sets of three monthly work objectives for each team member, to be reported and discussed in the quarterly meetings. These objectives are set at the quarterly meetings as a result of detail team discussion. They are documented in the accompanying progress reports and action lists.

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