CIRCL - Cologne Image Reading Center and Laboratory

Das Cologne Image Reading Center and Laboratory (CIRCL) wurde 2008 von Prof. Dr. Sandra Liakopoulos gegründet. Von 2006 bis 2007 absolvierte Prof. Liakopoulos am Doheny Image Reading Center (DIRC) in Los Angeles, unter der Leitung von Dr. SriniVas R. Sadda, einen Forschungsaufenthalt. Sie war verantwortlich für die Auswertung bildgebender Befunde im Rahmen klinischer Studien zur altersbedingten Makuladegeneration und diabetischen Retinopathie.

Das CIRCL bietet qualitative und quantitative Auswertungen von Farbaufnahmen des Augenhintergrundes, Autofluoreszenzaufnahmen, Fluoreszenz-Angiographien, OCT-Angiographien und Spectral Domain OCT Scans im Rahmen klinischer Studien. Alle Bilder werden von zertifizierten Reading Center Gradern nach dem Standard Grading Protokoll des CIRCL befundet.

Zu den Schwerpunkten des Reading Centers gehören die Analysen von bildgebenden Befunden als Endpunkte für pharmazeutische und nicht-pharmazeutische klinische Studien, welche die Sicherheit und Effektivität neuer Therapien untersuchen, die Validierung von nicht-invasiven Untersuchungsmethoden zur Diagnostik retinaler Krankheitsbilder sowie die Phänotypisierung für epidemiologische Studien.


The Cologne Image Reading Center and Laboratory (CIRCL) was established in 2008 under the direction of Sandra Liakopoulos, MD. From 2006 till 2007, Prof. Liakopoulos was trained in image analysis at the Doheny Image Reading Center (DIRC) in Los Angeles under the direction of SriniVas R. Sadda, MD, and served as a senior grader for the DIRC.

The CIRCL provides analysis of multimodal imaging including color fundus photography, autofluorescence, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography in support of clinical research studies, with a focus on age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. All images are graded according to the standard grading protocol of the CIRCL.

The main focus of the CIRCL is the image analysis for clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy of potential new treatments, the validation of non-invasive imaging techniques for ophthalmic diseases, as well as the phenotyping for epidemiological studies.

Prof. Dr. Sandra Liakopoulos

Prof. Dr. Sandra Liakopoulos

Reading Center Medical Director

+49 221 478-7772
+49 221 478-97808

Adresse / Address

CIRCL – Cologne Image Reading Center and Laboratory
Center for Ophthalmology
University Hospital of Cologne
Kerpener Str. 62
50937 Cologne


Medical Director
Sandra Liakopoulos, Prof. Dr. med. MD

Quality Manager
Ina Wegner, Dr. rer. nat
Maren Piel

Project Manager
Christina Aust, M.Sc.
Maren Piel
Ina Wegner, Dr. rer. nat.

Data Manager
Mari Bonse, B. Sc.
Maren Piel
Ina Wegner, Dr. rer. nat
Melanie Winnen

Elvira Bjelopera, Dr. med. MD
Mari Bonse, B. Sc.
Vivienne Dooling, MD
Anna Lentzsch, MD
Ina Wegner, Dr. rer. nat.
Melanie Winnen

IT Support
IT Department of the University of Cologne, ISO 27001 certified

Quality Policy

Quality Service

CIRCL provides analysis of imaging data including Fluorescein Angiography, Color Fundus Photography and Optical Coherence Tomography for clinical trials under the highest quality standards according to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and in compliance with currently valid national and international laws and regulations.

Quality Goal

The goal of quality management at CIRCL is to ensure all quality-relevant processes, regulations and procedures are in place to meet the requirements of our customers, cooperation partners, vendors and employees.

Quality Objectives

Together with the sponsor, CIRCL ensures that the following is in accordance with applicable guidelines and the law:

  • the minimization of risks and burdens for the safety of study participants
  • the greatest possible data integrity
  • the continuous improvement of  processes at CIRCL

We accomplish quality objectives by establishing, implementing and maintaining a documented effective quality management system.

We achieve a constructive work environment by:

  • continuous training of CIRCL staff
  • continuous improvement of processes and systems
  • development and establishment of QM documents
  • adherence to procedures, protocols, regulations, guidelines and laws
  • review and renew of this  quality policy on a regular basis
  • open communication within our team
  • quality control review of data reports prior to release
  • two-grader system according to international standards
  • CIRCL principal investigator review of cases in the grading workflow
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