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Highland research symposium to hear from NASA scientists

09 February 2015

Delegates at a research symposium in Inverness tomorrow (Tuesday 10 February) will have the chance to hear from top scientists on the subject of ultrasound technology, including two from the NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

The Ultrasound Research Symposium is being held at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness. It is the first of its kind to be held in the Highlands, helped by sponsorship from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Dr Simon Evetts of the Johnson Space Centre will speak about ultrasound technology in the context of astronaut health, and his colleague Dr Ashot Sargsyan, will cover its use in very remote situations.

They will be joined by speakers from NHS Highland, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee.
Ultrasound technology is used increasingly in life sciences, a major growth sector in the Highlands and Islands.

Indeed three of the seven categories in the 2015 Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences awards, held last week, were won by Highlands and Islands companies.

The region has particular strengths in digital health, blood diagnostics, and marine and natural products, as well as a culture of collaboration. A recent example is the joint venture between the University of Aberdeen and Tactical Wireless, which resulted in the Satellite Ultrasound for Rural Stroke (SURS) project to diagnose strokes within the critical period of 4.5 hours, regardless of location.

HIE is supporting the Ultrasound Research Symposium as part of wider efforts to encourage more young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, so they can benefit from the huge potential of the life science sector in the region.

James Cameron, HIE’s head of life sciences, said: “We are delighted to see this major event taking place in the Highlands. The region is already at the forefront of the life sciences sector, with numerous research and commercial projects underway or in development, not least those that triumphed last week in the Life Science Awards. We are ideally placed to build on this success to keep the Highlands and Islands on the international map as a leading region in life sciences and technology. Part of this will be training and recruitment of future life scientists, which is why we are encouraging our young people to look seriously at science, technology, engineering and maths as inroads to careers in life science.”

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