About the Insight Software Consortium

The Insight Software Consortium (ISC) is a non-profit, educational consortium dedicated to promoting and maintaining open-source, freely available software for medical image analysis.


The Insight Software Consortium (ISC) promotes open source, scientific image analysis software in teaching, research, and commercial applications, and maintains webpages and user and developer communities. The flagship project the ISC supports is the Insight Toolkit (ITK).

NumFOCUS holds the copyright of this software for the ISC. NumFOCUS is a non-profit entity that promotes the use of open source scientific software for educational and research purposes. NumFOCUS delegates project governance to the Insight Software Consortium Council. By holding the copyright of these open-source software tools, NumFOCUS and the ISC cultivate an intellectual commons where knowledge and technology are efficiently shared across academia, industry and government, therefore promoting the progress of science and technology.

History of the ISC

In 1999, the United States National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health awarded a three-year contract to develop an open-source registration and segmentation toolkit, which came to be known as the Insight Toolkit (ITK). ITK's NLM Project Manager was Dr. Terry Yoo, who coordinated the six prime contractors who developed the toolkit. In 2004, the individual ITK developers incorporated the Insight Software Consortium (ISC), and the ITK toolkit copyrights were transferred to the ISC.

The original ITK developer contractors included three commercial partners: GE Corporate R&D, Kitware Inc., and MathSoft (now known as Insightful); and three academic partners: University of North Carolina (UNC), University of Tennessee (UT), and University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

The Principal Investigators for these partners were, respectively, Bill Lorensen at GE CRD, Will Schroeder at Kitware, Vikram Chalana at Insightful, Stephen Aylward with Luis Ibáñez at UNC (Stephen is now at Kitware, Luis at Google), Ross Whitaker with Josh Cates at UT (both now at Utah), and Dimitri Metaxas at UPenn. Additionally, several subcontractors rounded out the consortium including Peter Raitu at Brigham & Women's Hospital; Celina Imielinska and Pat Molholt at Columbia University; Jim Gee at UPenn's Grasp Lab; and George Stetten at University of Pittsburgh.