Surgical Planning Laboratory - Brigham & Women's Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts USA - a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Surgical Planning Laboratory

Supporting the Surgical Planning Laboratory

A message from the SPL's Director, Ron Kikinis MD

Dear visitor,

Since 1990, the Surgical Planning Laboratory has been one of the world's leaders in applying academic research in image analysis and computer science to the challenges of "real-world" medicine. Are you interested in enabling new breakthroughs in medicine using advanced imaging techniques? If so, please consider becoming a part of our team by making a charitable, tax-deductible gift to support our ongoing research and development programs.

fiber bundles

A mathematical analysis of magnetic resonance images reveals structures deep in the brain.
This kind of information will advance the field of surgery of the brain by providing knowledge about the organization of the white matter of the brain. It will also have applications to other disorders such as multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Consider the unique environment you will help to prosper

A interdisciplinary incubator for medical technology

The SPL enables an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, medical researchers, computer scientists, applied mathematicians, and software engineers to bring the power of imaging and information technologies to bear on a wide range of unsolved medical challenges in specialties as diverse as neurosurgery, psychiatry, cardiology, urology, orthopedics, and cancer research.

Rapid development of new ideas

Throughout its history, the SPL has provided the tools, techniques, and personnel to help physicians and researchers rapidly develop and evaluate new applications for imaging. The SPL's computational environment, accomplished core research team, and accumulated experience in research and develop reduce the time and cost of new research, reduce duplication of effort, and help limited grant funds go further. At the same time, the SPL's clinical environment and strong medical collaborations encourage a pragmatic, practical development approach that encourages tested, robust results.

Focus on the future

The SPL's core capabilities enable medical professionals to focus less on the details of image handling and computational requirements and more on the fundamental questions of understanding disease and providing better patient care. The ever-increasing richness of information available from today's medical imaging technologies only increases the value of, and need for, the SPL's approach to interdisciplinary development.

New approaches to dissemination

The SPL is committed to disseminating the fruits of its collaborative research development through not just traditional medical publications and conferences, but also through web-based publication, open-source software distribution, and community-based software development.

The need for private funding

The majority of the SPL's work is funded through grants from the federal government. While this government sponsorship is critically important, particularly for ongoing research and clinical studies, it is poorly suited for initiating new projects and encouraging the evaluation of early ideas, exactly the kind of potential breakthrough research that the SPL enables. The cumbersome nature of the federal grant application and review process further delays some of the newest and most innovative early developments in medicine and medical computation.

What you can do

If you share our vision of the future of medicine, we encourage you to work with us to make it a reality. Our parent institution, the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, provides ways for foundations, groups, and individuals to donate money to directly support the Surgical Planning Lab and its mission.

If I can answer any questions or provide additional information, please contact me directly at 617.732.7389, or via email to spl-giving at

You may also consult the Brigham and Women's donation pages for more information. Please specify that the Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, should be the sole recipient of your donation.

Thank you for your interest and your support.


Ron Kikinis MD, Director of the Surgical Planning Laboratory

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