Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 11:00

Learning about brain scans and other biomedical imaging tools is now free to anyone anywhere who has access to a computer and the internet.

The University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging is offering the online Introduction to Biomedical Imaging BIOIMG101x course through UQxfrom next week (7 April).

BIOIMG101x is a 10-week course delivered via the edX massive open online courses (MOOCs) platform.

Course Coordinator Professor Graham Galloway, Head of Education at the Centre for Advanced Imaging, said the course provided an introduction to biological-based or ‘biomedical’ imaging and modern imaging methods.

“Most people have a need for advanced imaging during their life, from a basic X-Ray and sonography to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans,” Professor Galloway said.

“With the misinformation sometimes portrayed in TV dramas, which can exaggerate the benefits or over-emphasise the risks, it is important to give people an understanding of what to expect if their doctor sends them for a PET scan, for example.”

The course covers the basic scientific principles behind each of the six imaging instruments presented and introduces some of their key applications, from neurological diseases to cancer.

 “We put ourselves in the shoes of patients and decided to cover six commonly used imaging instruments, including X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, PET and SPECT,” Professor Galloway said.

“To make the course more exciting, students will follow the journey of a very unlucky but fictitious patient.

“We’ll meet him in the X-ray department and follow through to his SPECT brain scan.”

The course is designed for the general public, but provides some advanced modules for professional development, particularly across the health, engineering and IT industries.

Professor Galloway said an additional goal was to persuade high-school students to pursue a career in imaging.

“There’s a broad scope for careers in radiography and radiology, sonography and nuclear technology, for example, covering the disciplines of physics, chemistry, medicine and allied health.

“This course might pique their interest for these career paths,” Professor Galloway said.  

The online course is free and open to all, and more than 9000 students have already registered. More information and registration is available here.

This video gives an overview of the Centre for Advanced Imaging.

Media: Centre for Advanced Imaging, Rebecca Osborne 07 3365 4235, rebecca.osborne@cai.uq.edu.au.UQ Communications Carolyn Varley  0413 601 248, c.varley@uq.edu.au.