PET is Wonderful 2022 Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Vesna Sossi

Professor Vesna Sossi received a Laurea degree in high energy Physics from the University of Trieste Italy and a PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of British Columbia in 1991. After completing her graduate degree, she went on to a post-doctoral fellowship in the UBC/TRIUMF PET group working on Medical Imaging. She is currently a Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Adjunct Professor in Medicine at UBC and has been leading the UBC Positron Emission Tomography (PET) brain imaging program since 2009.

Professor Sossi’s expertise and research interests lie in using clinical and preclinical imaging to investigate neurodegeneration and other brain diseases through development of instrumentation, data quantification, image analysis, kinetic modelling, image reconstruction and novel imaging protocols. She is particularly interested to further develop and exploit hybrid PET/MR imaging to gain access to as yet poorly investigated aspects of brain function such as brain energetics and neurovascular coupling in the healthy brain and as affected by neurodegeneration and exercise, as well as other possible neuroprotective mechanisms. Some examples of her research are: the development of a complex dopamine turnover measurement using PET in humans and rodents and the demonstration of its relevance to Parkinson’s disease, first applications of texture and pattern analyses to PET imaging of several neurotransmitter systems, particularly well-suited to identify interactions between systems, and a recent development of an MRI compatible PET insert.

She has over 210 peer reviewed journal publications, and actively trains many graduate and undergraduate students. Professor Sossi sits on several national and international review committees and received several CFI, NSERC and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research awards during her career.

Invited Lecturers

Steve Archibald

Research areas in the Archibald group are PET probe development, chemokine receptor imaging and lab-on-a-chip/ microfluidic devices for radiosynthesis and quality control.

Prof Archibald was awarded a first class BSc degree in Chemistry, Life Systems and Pharmaceuticals by the University of York in 1992 and a PhD in Chemistry by the University of Edinburgh in 1995. He carried out postdoctoral research at the Universities of Paris-Sud (France), Kansas (USA) and York (UK), before being appointed as a lecturer at the University of Hull in 2000.

Prof Archibald was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008, Reader in 2011, Director of the Positron Emission Tomography Research Centre in 2013 and Professor in 2014.

Victor Pike

Dr. Victor W. Pike received his B.Sc. (Hons) degree in chemistry from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1972 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the same University in 1975. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Birmingham University, he joined the MRC Cyclotron Unit (Imperial College, London) in 1978 at the foundation of its strong research program in positron emission tomography (PET), eventually becoming Head of its Chemistry and Engineering Section  Dr. Pike has a strong personal interest in all chemical aspects of the discovery, development and evaluation of novel radioactive probes for molecular imaging with PET. Dr. Pike has received a Marie Curie Award, Springer Prize, and Michael J, Welch Award for his work in this area. He has co-authored about 350 peer reviewed scientific articles. He joined the Molecular Imaging Branch of NIMH in 2001 as Chief of the PET Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Section (PRSS).

Dr Pike’s Section is focused on developing novel radioactive probes (radiotracers) for the investigation of neuropsychiatric disorders with PET. This research mainly encompasses medicinal chemistry for probe discovery and radiochemistry for labelling candidate probes with a short–lived positron-emitter. In Dr. Pike’s laboratory, radiotracers for imaging and quantifying various protein targets (e.g., plaques, transporters, enzymes or neurotransmitter receptors) in brain are in development.  The imaging targets have included Aβ-amyloid plaque, TSPO (previously known as PBR) binding sites, the efflux transporter P-gp, the receptors mGluR5, mGluR1, CB1 and 5-HT1A, and the  enzymes O-GlcNACase, PDE4D, PDE4B, COX-1 and COX-2.  Development of methodology for radiolabeling with carbon-11 and fluorine-18 is key to successful radiotracer development and is a major component of the Section’s research.

Rich Carson

Professor Richard E. Carson received his PhD from UCLA in 1983 in Biomathematics. From that time on, he has focused his research on the development and application of mathematical techniques for the study of human beings and non-human primates with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). After 22 years in the PET program at the National Institutes of Health, in 2005, Prof Carson joined the faculty of Yale University as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Diagnostic Radiology. Currently, he is Director of the Yale PET Centre and the Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.

Prof Carson has published over 375 papers in peer-reviewed journals and given over 175 invited lectures. Prof Carson has received numerous awards throughout the years in recognition of his ground-breaking contributions to the field of PET imaging, including: the Kuhl-Lassen award (2007), the Ed Hoffman Memorial Award from the Computer and Instrumentation Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (2009), Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research (2016), and the Edward J. Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award from the IEEE (2017). Prof Carson also gave the prestigious Henry N. Wagner Jr. Lectureship at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in Philadelphia in 2018 and was named Fellow of the IEEE in 2019.

Adriaan Lammertsma

Professor Adriaan A. Lammertsma has been active in PET research since 1979, when he joined the MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital in London. Apart from a sabbatical year at UCLA, Los Angeles, he stayed in London until 1996, and then moved to the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam. Over the years his research focus has been the development and application of tracer kinetic models for quantitative PET studies with applications in neurology, cardiology and oncology. After his formal retirement in 2018, he remained active and still holds an honorary position at the Amsterdam University Medical Centres. Since 2020, he is advisor for the Medical Imaging Centre, University Medical Centre Groningen. In addition, he is visiting professor at the Neurobiology Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital. He is the 2012 recipient of the Kuhl-Lassen Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and the 2015 recipient of the ESMI Award from the European Society of Molecular Imaging. Adriaan Lammertsma is co-author of nearly 600 peer reviewed papers.

Igor Yakushev

Igor Yakushev obtained his MD in 2010 from the University of Mainz, Germany. In 2012, after residency in Psychiatry and Neurology, he moved to Munich for residency in Nuclear Medicine at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Since 2013 he leads the research group “Multimodal imaging of normal and pathological cognition”. Since 2015 he is the Head of Neuroimaging at the Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, TUM.  2019-2020 Assistant Professor Igor Yakushev served in the Board of Directors of the Brain Imaging Council, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. Currently, he is an Associate Faculty at the Munich Center for NeuroSciences “Brain and Mind” and the Head of the international Molecular Connectivity Working Group. Igor Yakushev’s research is focused on mechanisms of brain connectivity and development of imaging-based biomarkers for neurodegenerative and neuro-oncological disorders. Herewith, he applies positron emission tomography, structural, functional MRI, and diffusion weighted imaging.

Irène Buvat

Irène Buvat received her PhD degree in “Particle and Nuclear Physics” from Paris Sud University, France, in 1992 and oriented her career towards applications of Nuclear Physics to Medical Imaging. She performed a post-doctoral fellowship at University College London, UK, and another at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. In 1995, she entered the French “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique”.

She is currently the head of the “Laboratory of Translational Imaging in Oncology” research lab at Institut Curie Research Centre in Orsay, France. Her research interests focus on developing quantification methods to make the most of SPECT and PET data coupled with CT or MRI for understanding biological mechanisms or optimizing patient management. She has been the spokesperson of the worldwide OpenGATE collaboration developing the GATE Monte Carlo opensource simulation tool dedicated to emission and transmission tomography and radiotherapy applications for 10 years. She is currently largely involved in radiomic and artificial intelligence approaches to further enhance the role of PET/CT and PET/MR in precision medicine, and supervises the development of the LIFEx software enabling user-friendly radiomic studies. She has always been very active in training students and in knowledge and software dissemination and promotes open-access to high-standard research material.

ARRIVE 2.0 Speaker

Matt Brooke

After carrying undergraduate studies at Durham University in Biomedical Sciences, Dr Matt Brooke went on to achieve his PhD in Cutaneous Medicine from Queen Mary University of London in 2014. Dr Brooke then secured funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), as a post-doctoral researcher, in order to further understand the biology of the Rhomboid protein iRhom2, the metalloprotease ADAM17 and the pathways they regulate. Later he carried out work, funded by the British Skin Foundation, studying the same pathways in the development of psoriasis.

Dr Brooke became Program Manager for the reporting of animal research at the NC3Rs in 2020, where he works on the implementation of the ARRIVE guidelines and is a member of the Policy and Outreach group.

AQARA Speaker

Wolfgang A. Weber

Professor Weber (b. 1967) is Director of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at “Klinikum rechts der Isar” (the University Hospital of the TUM) since 2018. He specialises in the field of molecular imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy. His research focus is the combination imaging and therapy of cancer (theranostics).

Professor Weber obtained his doctorate at the TUM in 1995. He then worked as an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles from 2003‒2007. In 2007, he became Chair of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Freiburg. From 2013‒2017 he was Chief of the Molecular Imaging and Therapy service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre and Professor of Radiology at Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York.

Professor Weber has published 250+ papers in numerous journals, including the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, amongst many others. He has also served on the editorial boards of several medical journals.

FAIR Speaker

Dario Longo

Prof. Dario Longo received his PhD in Biochemical Sciences from the University of Turin, Italy, in 2007. After working as a post-doctoral researcher in the MRI preclinical field at the Molecular Imaging Center of the University of Turin, he joined the National Research Council of Italy in 2014. Presently, he is the Head of the Research Unit of Torino of the Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging (IBB) of the CNR and adjunct lecturer in Cancer Imaging at the University of Turin.

His research aims to develop novel MRI-based methods for characterising tumour microenvironment properties (acidosis, vascularisation, hypoxia) in murine tumour models and developing and validating non-invasive MRI procedures and probes for improving diagnosis and assessment of treatment effects with a special focus on tumour metabolism and on antiangiogenic drugs. Dr Longo’s studies also focus on assessing pH imaging as a novel biomarker in cancer and in renal diseases. He also is involved in developing tools for improving the “FAIRification” (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) of medical image datasets within the Open Science concept, leading the Data Management working group for the Euro-BioImaging Research Infrastructure.

Dario Longo is co-author of nearly 90 peer-reviewed paper and he is serving as Board Member for the European Society of Molecular Imaging (ESMI).

Gamma Prize PET Contest 2020 Winner

Tommaso Volpi

Tommaso Volpi is currently a final-year PhD student at the University of Padova, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Bertoldo and Prof. Maurizio Corbetta.

His main scientific interests regard the use of PET kinetic modelling to derive physiological information on brain metabolism and connectivity, the development of non-invasive alternatives to gold-standard arterial input function, and the use of PET-derived information to understand the biological underpinnings of resting-state functional MRI measures.

After the completion of his PhD, he will continue his postdoctoral studies at the Yale PET centre, under the supervision of Prof. Richard Carson.

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