About this event

  • Date and time Tue 19 Oct 2021 from 6:30pm to 7:45pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Public Engagement Programme

Join this free evening lecture to hear the 2021 Ellison Cliffe lecture, given by Professor Mark Lythgoe, Professor of Imaging and Director, Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging. 

Imaging provides a bridge between the invisible and the visible. Most people have been the subject of thousands of photographs, which contribute to their complex sense of identity. But these tell us very little about what goes on beneath the surface. In the last 100 years, imaging has undergone phenomenal developments, the excitement of X-Rays giving way to the latest brain scanning, which has changed the view of ourselves and the world around us.

In this lecture, Professor Mark Lythgoe will explore the next generation of imaging technologies that make the invisible, visible. He will speak about an interdisciplinary approach that brings together medicine, physics, biology and engineering to develop these new imaging technologies. Mark will show how to guide nanoscalpels in the brain with MRI scanners, reanimate tissue with light, picture new brain pathways for drug delivery, and listen to the sound of cells.

Finally, he will examine whether we can make the body transparent and test the boundaries of what’s possible with these revolutionary technologies, which could be a game-changer when it comes to developing new treatments for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Join in the conversation online #RSMLive
Follow us on Twitter @RoySocMed

Key speakers

Professor Mark Lythgoe

Professor Mark Lythgoe

Professor of Imaging and Director, Centre for Advanced Biomedical imaging

Speaker's biography

Professor Mark Lythgoe is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI).


CABI is one of the most advanced biomedical imaging facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities provide imaging solutions to meet today’s medical challenges. It has a unique combination of twelve state-of-the-art imaging modalities to advance early diagnosis and interventions and is located in the heart of the UCL campus.


Mark has a long-standing track record in the development and application of biomedical imaging techniques and has been awarded £45 million for his collaborative programme of imaging research. He has published over 250 papers including publications in Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Medicine and The Lancet. Mark has translated his research findings into clinical radiological practice and established a training programme with University College Hospital in biomedical imaging. He is Co-director of MSc in Advanced Biomedical Imaging and Co-founder of the UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging. 


Mark is committed to the public engagement of science. During his tenure as Director of the Cheltenham Science Festival, it has become one of the largest science festivals in the world. In 2015 he was awarded the Neuroscience Prize for Public Understanding from the British Neuroscience Association. In 2013 Mark received the Davies Medal from the Royal Photographic Society for a significant contribution to the field of imaging science. Mark has also received the Alumni Achievement Award, which is given to the University of Salford’s most notable and successful graduates. For his contributions to communicating science, Mark has received the Biosciences Federation Science Communication Award and was made a Fellow of the British Science Association. Mark is also Deputy Director of the UCL Department of Imaging and Director of Biomedical Imaging Research at the Francis Crick Institute.


View the programme here


Professor Roger Kirby, President, Royal Society of Medicine


Mr B Sethia, Ellison Cliffe Trustee

The limits of perception: Advances in biomedical imaging

Professor Mark Lythgoe, Professor of Imaging and Director, Centre for Advanced Biomedical imaging

Questions and answers
Vote of thanks and close of meeting

Professor Robin Williamson, Ellison Cliffe Trustee



Special rates for difficult times  

The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this meeting will close 24 hours prior to the start time.

If UK government guidelines and restrictions change, the format of this event will be updated to comply, and all delegates will be notified via email.