Interested in Learning More about Catapult?

Contact Naomi Matsuura for more information

Photograph of Naomi Matsuura

Medical Imaging is inherently interdisciplinary, connecting medicine with the natural sciences, technology, and engineering. We believe that developing strong and sustainable partnerships with like-minded non-medical departments and groups can substantially increase the impact of biomedical research on improving patient health. When radiologists partner with engineers and scientists, leading-edge, medical imaging technologies with clear clinical relevance and impact can more efficiently be invented and implemented into clinical practice.

In 2014, we launched a Medical Imaging-focused interdisciplinary program, Catapult Innovation, to help develop and support collaborations between radiologists and the wider scientific community. Since that time, Catapult Innovation has been working to build and promote mutually beneficial and synergistic research and educational partnerships with basic science and engineering programs and researchers.

Catapult Research and Educational Activities

The Catapult Innovation research program is based on an iterative, convergent approach where radiologists and basic scientists/engineers partner to identify and present technological-based solutions to problems in medicine.

Catapult Innovation is creating an environment for collaborations and more natural opportunities for meetings/discussions with non-clinical groups by participating in: (1) workshops/lectures/seminar series to introduce and discuss disease/site-specific imaging problems to non-radiologists; (2) regular, smaller and focused meetings to share common resources, disseminate information, and create new knowledge in the area of medical imaging innovation; and (3) co-supervision of engineering undergraduate, summer and graduate students towards providing biomedical solutions to clinical questions, accomplished by matching engineering trainees with design projects or research theses provided by radiologists in Medical Imaging.

Catapult Milestones and Achievements

The Catapult Innovation program has sponsored research projects between Medical Imaging radiologists and the wider scientific community, which has resulted in multiple grants obtained jointly between University of Toronto radiologists and the Engineering Faculty (e.g., through the EMHSeed Program), cross-faculty and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed publications and conference papers, and co-supervised engineering trainees. 

The Catapult Innovation program has provided Medical Imaging faculty access and exposure to the wider academic community. As a result, motivated Medical Imaging faculty have been invited to attend and lead specialized local and international interdisciplinary training programs, have participated in Engineering research and educational initiatives, and have obtained academic cross-appointments in Engineering departments.

Catapult Innovation is also founding member of the Biomaterials Manufacturing Cluster (BioMC), an interdisciplinary collaborative network created in 2019 to support large-scale, transformative, clinically focused, engineering projects to address health challenges facing the world today. The BioMC is leveraging the specialized individual expertise, resources, and contacts to form a combined, wide-ranging network of faculty and trainees. Together, we can share the workload and resources required for rapid initiation, deployment and maintenance of ambitious, international, biomedical projects that are challenging to instigate in smaller research groups.

Professor Naomi Matsuura PhD, Peng (she/her)
Associate Professor - Catapult