Dissemination:Kickoff Summary

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Attendees:Ron Kikinis; Sanjay Manandhar; Raul San Jose Estepar; Michael W. Halle; Nicole Aucoin; Kathryn Hayes; Alex Yarmarkovich; Bill Lorensen; Will Schroeder; Andy Cedilnik; Miller; Steve Pieper; Tina Kapur

Highlights from discussion:


  1. Driving vision for the center: someone comes across a references to a NA-MIC algorithm, goes to NA-MIC website, checks to make sure that their data is obtained using NA-MIC protocol, downloads application, runs NA-MIC application on their own data, and is able to compare their own results with the publication.
  2. There are three other similar centers at UCLA, Stanford, BWH. UCLA has center for computational biology, Stanford group for simulation, Center at BWH for medical informatics (bench to bedside) that will use the partners IT system and do data mining. NIH expects to fund another 3-4 centers to complement the current centers. NIH will require interaction between centers. NA-MIC is unique in it's geographic distribution across the country.
  3. Ron will be attending a meeting on Dec 8th to present NCBCs to NIH where he will address the potential collaborations between centers.
    1. Steve Piper is exploring potential collaboration with Stanford ([[1]]). Charlie Taylor (former of GE) might be involved with this group.
    2. Ron has identified two potential projects with I2B2 (Partners center for Genomics): bronchial tree analysis/wall thickness and DiGeorge syndrom, a chromosome deletion which leads to schizophrenia in 80% of patients.
  4. NIH will provide oversight.
  5. We will need to submit a competitive renewal in about 4 years. We will need to ensure that we deliver more than what we have committed to shine in that process.
  6. We need to make sure that we give NA-MIC an identity that is different from that it of its components. Given that collaborators are spending small percent of time on NA-MIC, this will be a challenge that we need to overcome, and has been pointed out by NIH. The NA-MIC Kit will help establish branding for our center and to convey that it is more than just ITK, VTK, Slicer, LONI pipeline etc.
  7. We need to remember that all NA-MIC activities need to be flexible enough to capture/support innovation.


  1. We need to define a NA-MIC kit (software, processes, documentation, training, examples) and make this kit attractive enough so that all partners use it for their development. Initial "customer" of the NA-MIC kit is Core 1, followed by Core 3.
  2. Version0 of this kit was proposed to include: VTK x.x, ITK x.x, Slicer x.x. This kit needs to be ready for the first dissemination events that will be held in early December. The items to be included in later versions will be decided based on further discussions.
  3. We need to maintain backward compatibility in software environment. This could be integrated into the testing process. This will be a challenge because NA-MIC is a kit of kits.
  4. Q: What are the mechanisms we will provide to include other tools into the kit (and these will be different between the NA-MIC kit and NA-MIC-compatible kits)? A: Some processes will be established for this, as listed in SoftwareRepository.
  5. Q: What will be the process of adding software to the NA-MIC toolkit? Answer: First a review of idea with review board (Eric, Ron, Bill) who will then consult with additional team members if appropriate. After that, processes mentioned in previous bullet will be followed.

Dissemination/Outreach Activities

  1. Timeline for dissemination to the team members or "inreach events": Tina to visit all core 1,2 sites before all-hands meeting on Feb 21-22, and core 3 sites after that. (Coordination of specific dates will take place with individual sites over the next few days.) The version0 of the NA-MIC kit mentioned above will be used in the first set of dissemination events. The kit will be available prior to the events, so that developers at the sites will have a chance to install the software and try out the example prior to Tina's visit. Several "NA-MIC buddies" will be available to help developers by email/phone in this process.
  2. Goal of the dissemination events: to establish contact with the person at each site who is dedicated to NA-MIC, to establish contact with the developers at each site and to make sure that they are up and running with the environment, to ensure that all developers are aware of the NA-MIC software/support resources available to them, and to gather feedback on their initial experience (which will be used by Core 2 to make improvements to the kit components).
  3. Regular "all developer" retreats will be held for everyone writing software using the kit.
  4. A "buddy system" will be established where at least one developer from each site will be assigned a NA-MIC buddy who will be available to answer their questions about developing in the environment.

Lessons Learned from Previous Projects

  1. Projects work well when leadership is actively involved. <You can easily pull a rope, but pushing a rope is awkward: Leadership has to be at the front, not in the back.>
  2. Frequent communication is needed right from the start, not a year into the project. Weekly meetings may not be needed, but monthly or quarterly are a good idea.
  3. Disseminating by doing: this is what makes ITK development work. We need to build upon this model for NA-MIC dissemination.
  4. Q:How can we obtain feedback from users on the different components of NA-MIC (once the kit is in place)? A:Kitware has users rank different components of ITK and it works well.
  5. There is a potential for a book to go with the software. Will Schreoder to look into this, with the goal of having the first version of such a book available in Year 3.
  6. We need to add stability to the extreme programming sw development approach.


  1. Kitware has some funding for next 2.5 years for grid based apps
  2. Importance of branding: good "$2 Bill Story".
  3. Papers need to ack grant.
  4. The na-mic kit versions will need to specify version numbers for the various components
  5. ITK developer community can support several progammers, if needed
  6. fmri and dti support for ITK/VTK is needed for NA-MIC. Slicer currently has this support. UNC has dti processing app that uses ITK.
  7. We will need to track licenses on a per-module basis. Gpl vs. lgpl. (Slicer is for restricted use, for example, not for clinical use.) Need to determine what the NA-MIC license will be. Contributors need to answer questions about IP of submission.
  8. It might be a good idea to establish an "exchange program" where a member of one site spends a week at another site from the center.

Action Items

Members: Please mark the tasks as done when completed.

  1. Update na-mic.org to include logos and bullet items for each site/contributors (Steve, Andy)
  2. Replace all NAMIC references on website with na-mic (Katie)
  3. Look into what it would take to transition Guido's DTI modules to ITK (Bill)
  4. Logo needs to be changed: remove line? (Steve, Bill)
  5. Work out tutorial example to be used for initial dissemination event (Bill, Tina, Steve, Raul)
  6. Put Version0 of toolkit software on NA-MIC website (Nicole)

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