Invited speakers

Abhijit Chaudhari (UC Davis, USA)

Abhijit J. Chaudhari, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of California Davis. He also serves at the Director of the UC Davis Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging (CMGI) and is a Core Scientist with the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) and Co-Leader of the Multimodal Imaging Core there. Dr. Chaudhari’s research spans preclinical and clinical imaging, quantitative imaging science, and medical image processing, with specific focus on musculoskeletal and neurologic diseases. He was the recipient of the IEEE Bruce H. Hasegawa Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award in 2011 and a US National Institutes of Health Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Scholar between 2013-2018. Dr. Chaudhari received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Pune, India, and his Master’s degree (in Applied Mathematics) and PhD degree (in Electrical Engineering), both from the University of Southern California, USA.

Adriana Tavares (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Dr Adriana Tavares graduated from the School of Health Technology of Porto (ESTSP-IPP), Portugal, with a Nuclear Medicine BSc (Hons.) degree in 2007. She has worked for over 12 years in clinical and preclinical radionuclide imaging and obtained a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Portugal, in 2009, as well as, a PhD degree in radiotracer development from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Glasgow, UK, in 2011. Post-completion of her PhD, Dr Tavares took on a position as Image Processing Analyst and later Imaging Consultant at Molecular NeuroImaging (MNI), New Haven, USA. Currently she is the Head of the Preclinical Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Laboratory at Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging (EPI) and a Research Fellow in PET Imaging at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include the development and application of novel selective PET radiotracers for non-invasive imaging of inflammation, angiogenesis, fibrosis and myelination; as well as, the development of new methods of analysis and quantification of total-body PET imaging datasets. To support her research interests, over the past five-years, she has secured close to £4M grant funding as principal investigator or co-investigator. She has authored two book chapters and fifty-one refereed publications. Her work featured in various press releases, including the most recent one on a new PET biomarker for imaging cardiovascular inflammation. She serves as reviewer for various journals, funding bodies and international congresses, including, for example, the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (JCBFM). She is the co-chair of the STANDARD group of the European Society of Molecular Imaging (ESMI), founder of the “PET is Wonderful” group, member of the Molecular Imaging Committee of the Scottish Imaging Network: A Platform for Scientific Excellence  (SINAPSE), and organiser of various scientific meetings, including, “PET is Wonderful” Annual Scientific Meeting 2018 and 2019, and Total-Body PET 2020.

Andor Glaudemans (University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands)

Professor Andor Glaudemans is nuclear medicine specialist and deputy head at the department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging of the University Medical Center in Groningen. He is President of the Dutch Society of Nuclear Medicine and vice-Chair of the Infection and Inflammation Committee of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine. His expert areas, both in patient care and in research, are (1) infections, (2) inflammatory diseases, and (3) (tumor)immunology. He is (co-)author of > 250 peer-reviewed articles, supervisor of many PhD students, editor of several Springer textbooks, and member of several Editoral Boards. He is involved in the writing of many European guidelines and PET procedural recommendations for infections and inflammatory diseases. In September 2021, the Quadra Vision PET/CT was installed at the UMC Groningen.

David Newby (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Professor David Newby is British Heart Foundation Duke of Edinburgh Chair of Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh, Director of Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility, Director of Edinburgh Imaging, and a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He has major interests in experimental medicine, advanced imaging and clinical trials of cardiovascular disease including coronary heart disease, aortic stenosis and heart failure. He currently holds a British Heart Foundation Programme Grant and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award to explore advanced imaging in coronary heart disease.

Helene Langevin (NCCIH, USA)

Helene Langevin, M.D., was sworn in as director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) on November 26, 2018. Before joining the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Langevin was the director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in Boston, jointly based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a professor in residence of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2012. She was a professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine in Burlington until 2012.

As the principal investigator of several NIH-funded studies, Dr. Langevin has centered her research around the role of connective tissue in chronic musculoskeletal pain and the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual, and movement-based therapies. Her more recent work has focused on the effects of stretching on inflammation resolution mechanisms within connective tissue. Dr. Langevin received her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in neurochemistry in the Medical Research Council Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit at the University of Cambridge, England, and a residency in internal medicine and postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Hongcheng Shi (Shanghai Institute of Medical Imaging, China)

Hongcheng Shi served as a director & professor in the department of nuclear medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University. He has also served as a director in the institute of nuclear medicine, Fudan University and served as a vice director in the medical imaging institute in Shanghai. He is a vice President of Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine.

Dr.Shi got ACNM Honorary Fellow in 2017, and he got SNMMI Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 2020. He also got many awards in China, such as “Top 10 Best Doctors”, in Shanghai and many more.

Zhongshan Hospital was the first user of the total body PET/CT in the world and has served more than 20 thousand patients. Dr. Shi and his team have published 15 papers in JNM ,EJNM, AJR and more to introduce the role of total body PET in clinic.

Irène Buvat (Institute Curie Research Center, France)

Irène Buvat, physicist, is an expert in the development of quantification methods in molecular imaging using Emission Tomography. She is the head of the Inserm Laboratory of Translational Imaging in Oncology (LITO) at Institut Curie, Orsay, France. Her research focuses on developing, validating and making accessible new biomarkers in Positron Emission Tomography, including using Artificial Intelligence methods, for precision medicine. Her team has recently introduced a dissemination biomarker that can be easily calculated from FDG PET images, whose prognostic value in lymphoma patients has now been validated independently by several teams. She is a strong advocate of reproducible research and her lab, thanks to Christophe Nioche, leads the development of the LIFEx freeware for radiomics (ie the high-throughput extraction of features from medical images), a software that currently has more than 5,500 users worldwide (lifexsoft.org).

Kuangyu Shi (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Prof. Kuangyu Shi is head of the Lab for Artificial Intelligence and Translational Theranostics at Dept. Nuclear Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland and senior scientist at the Chair for Computer-aided Medical Procedure, Dept. Informatics, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany.  He did his Master’s (2005) and PhD (2008) at Max-Planck Institute for Informatics, Germany. Before moving to the Technical University of Munich for postdoctoral research where he worked as subgroup leader at Dept. Nuclear Medicine from 2012 to 2018. On May 2018 he completed habilitation at Dept. Informatics of TUM. His research focuses on developing artificial intelligence and computational modelling methods for medical imaging for interpreting data to understand the underlying pathophysiology by designing corresponding in vivo and ex vivo experiments.

He is currently member of physics committee of European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and serves as associate editor or member of editorial board of Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging, EJNMMI Physics, EJNMMI Research, Nuklearmedizin. He has secured more than 2 million CHF funding and received the young investigator award from SNMMI and VIP PET Prize.

Derk Jan A. de Groot (University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands)

Derk completed his MSc in Medical Biology at the University of Groningen before undertaking MD-PhD whilst still at the University of Groningen. He has been in his current role as Senior staff member at the Department of Medical Oncology at the University Medical Center Groningen since 2012. He has published over 45 papers and has been on the editorial board of the Dutch Society of Medical Oncology Journal for over 15 years. His primary research focus is on international collaboration to improve cancer treatment and on interdisciplinary, translational research aiming for personalized medicine, including:

  • Clinical and translational research in colorectal cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Translational oncology and early drug development using molecular imaging to visualize tumor-specific targets and the effects of immunotherapy.

Francois Villinger (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA)

Dr. Villinger’s research focuses on the characterisation of the immune response against infectious diseases (HIV, EBV, Zika, dengue and more) with a major focus on SIV/SHIV infection of non-human primates as models of human HIV infection. The study emphasise mechanisms of pathogenesis tied to disruption of the gut homeostasis, the exploration of strategies to restore immune and effective antiviral immune responses following SIV infection using combination of antiviral treatment, immunisation, immune therapies and adoptive transfer of T cell effectors, and disruption of cell traffic. His research also focuses on HIV vaccines and microbicide based prevention methods to block mucosal HIV acquisition. As part of this work, together with Dr. Santangelo (GATECH), he has developed novel immunoPET/CT based approaches to map viral replication in real time, interrogate immune events and track the traffic of vaccine in vivo, as a set of tools to better interrogate virus persistence and immune mechanisms in nonhuman primate models of human disease and therapies.

Frank Bengel (Hanover Medical School, Germany)

Dr. Bengel is the Director of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Hannover Medical School in Germany. He received his medical degree from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen / Germany and pursued training in Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Cardiology at the Technical University of Munich / Germany, under the mentorship of Dr. Markus Schwaiger. He joined the faculty of the Technical University in Munich in 2002, before moving to Johns Hopkins University in Dec 2005. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bengel served on the faculty as an Associate Professor of Radiology and Medicine and as the Director of Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine for 5 years. On Jan 1st, 2011, he started his term as the Director of Nuclear Medicine at Hannover Medical School.

Dr. Bengel has contributed pioneering scientific work to the field of positron emission tomography and molecular imaging. His research focus has been on the development and implementation of molecular-targeted imaging approaches for specific characterization of biologic mechanisms and for monitoring of novel gene- and cell-based therapies in the cardiovascular system. He holds several honorary positions on boards of national and international societies active in molecular imaging.

Joel Karp (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Dr. Karp is Professor of Radiologic Physics in the Department of Radiology, and in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Chief of the Physics and Instrumentation Research Group in Radiology and directs Nuclear Medicine/PET Physics and QC in the clinic, as well as the Small Animal Imaging Facility Nuclear Medicine (PET/SPECT/CT) core. He received his PhD in nuclear physics from MIT in 1980 and joined the faculty at Penn in 1983, and since then his research has focused on investigations to improve and characterize the performance of PET technology, including front-end electronics, detector design, data correction techniques, and 3D image reconstruction algorithms. This work has resulted in development of fully 3D PET scanners and innovative imaging systems based on various scintillation detectors, and some of these concepts have been implemented commercially for human and animal imaging. Dr. Karp has developed systems for time-of-flight (TOF) imaging, and his work with industry led to adoption of TOF in modern PET/CT scanners. Dr. Karp collaborates with UC Davis as part of the Explorer Consortium and is leading the team at U Penn in the development of the large axial FOV PennPET Explorer whole-body imager and its application to new clinical and research investigations. 

Patricia Price (Imperial College London, UK)

Pat Price is an academic clinical oncologist specialising in PET based molecular imaging, advanced radiotherapy techniques and translational research in oncology.

She pioneered the use of PET molecular imaging for micro-dosing pharmacokinetic and pharmacokinetic studies of new cancer agents and has one of the best insights into the potential of the application of this technology for oncology drug development.

In collaboration with the University of California, Davis, USA, Pat Price has advised on the projected oncology research applications of the World’s first Total Body PET Scanner-EXPLORER Total-body imaging.Pat Price established the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Functional Imaging group, developing strategic links between oncologists and imagers and guidelines for PET in clinical trials. She has networked research collaborations with leading academic cancer researchers and service deliverers in the UK and has advised in Europe, the USA and pharma. She has raised more than £20M in research funding, co-founded the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre with Prof Terry Jones at the University of Manchester and has also trained 22 clinical research fellows in experimental medicine to research degree level (including 8 international awards).

Pawel Moskal (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Prof. Pawel Moskal is an inventor of positron emission tomography based on plastic scintillators and a method of positronium imaging. He is a Professor of physics, the head of the Cluster of Nuclear Physics Departments, and the head of the Department of Particle Physics and Applications at the Jagiellonian University.  He won the Prime Minister’s award for his doctoral dissertation in 1999 and a Gold Medal for the invention of the matrix device for Positron Emission Tomography at The World Exhibition on Innovation, Research and New Technologies at Brussels Innova 2009. Prof. Moskal has co-authored 42 patents in Europe, USA, and Japan, and more than 400 scientific articles in the field of nuclear and particle physics and positron emission tomography.  He supervised 27 successfully completed Ph.D. theses. In the years 2015-2017, he was a member of the SPSC Scientific Committee at CERN, and since 2020 he is a Member of the Committee on Medical Physics, Radiobiology, and X-Ray Imaging, Polish Academy of Sciences. For his scientific achievements and inventions, Prof. Pawel Moskal was awarded many prizes including the Prime Minister Medal for Merit for Invention and the Minister of Education and Science Award for significant achievements in the implementation of inventions. He received also the Minister of Science and Higher Education Award for outstanding achievements in educational and scientific supervision. At present Prof. Moskal has founded and is heading a J-PET collaboration conducting research and development aiming at the construction of the cost-effective multi-photon total-body PET based on plastic scintillators.

Ramsey Badawi (UC Davis, USA)

Badawi is interested in developing new methods and instruments for PET imaging in humans, and innovation in radiological imaging applications for improving human health. The Badawi Lab is currently developing a high-performance pre-clinical PET/MRI scanner, and Badawi is part of the UC Davis team collaborating with Yale University and United Imaging Healthcare on the development of a next-generation scanner for imaging the human brain. His flagship project, in collaboration with Distinguished Professor Simon Cherry, is the development of the world’s first total-body PET scanner, EXPLORER. Badawi aims to use the EXPLORER scanner to improve current clinical practice and shed light on biological problems that could not previously be answered, such as the mind-body connection and chronic diseases in children.

Robin Strand (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Robin Strand is a Professor of computerized image analysis at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is Head of Division and Deputy Head of the Department of Information Technology, and he is also at the Division of Radiology at the Department of Surgical Sciences, both at Uppsala University. His research addresses methods and theory in image processing and their applications in medicine. The research aims at enabling the analysis of huge sets of whole body MRI and PET/MR image data, treatment response quantification in neuroradiology by interactive processing and real-time applications in MR-guided radiation therapy. High computational efficiency is a crucial aspect in the method development. Strand has published around 150 papers in international journals and conference proceedings

Roel van Holen (Ghent University, Belgium)

With over 15 years of experience as a medical imaging scientist, Roel Van Holen is passionate about creating value in the medical imaging market. He started the businesses MOLECUBES and XEOS Medical, developing and commercializing medical imaging scanners for the preclinical and clinical market. With a solid background in basic research he knows how to translate fundamental research into valuable products. Starting as CTO at MOLECUBES, he knows very well his way in product development and product-market fit. Today he is leading both companies with a focus is on building teams, strategy and operations. He holds a part-time position as Associate Professor at Ghent University where he teaches Master classes on Radiologic Techniques and Medical Imaging and provides guidance for PhD research in medical imaging.

Simon Cherry (UC Davis, USA)

Professor Cherry develops novel technologies and methods for quantitative biomedical imaging. The Cherry Lab focuses on molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning; in particular developing faster and more sensitive detection technologies. The laboratory has developed technologies with widespread applications for improving diagnosis, stratifying patients for treatment and assessing response to that treatment. The team is currently studying pathologic processes that involve multiple organs systems or the entire body. Dr. Cherry co-leads the EXPLORER project, a collaboration with several colleagues to develop the world’s first total-body PET scanner.

Stefaan Vandenberghe (Ghent University, Belgium)

Stefaan Vandenberghe obtained his MSc in Physics in 1996 and an additional degree in Biomedical Engineering in 1997 from KU Leuven. After working in the nuclear medicine department of the University Hospital Ghent (1997-1999) he started a Ph.D. in the MEDISIP group of the University of Ghent. His research was on the optimal configuration of gamma cameras for PET imaging and on list-mode reconstruction techniques for PET systems. He received a Ph.D. (Engineering) from this university in 2002. During his FWO postdoctoral research he worked on rotating slat systems (with solid state detectors) Monte Carlo simulations and natural pixel reconstruction. In 2004 he joined Philips Research USA (Briarcliff) to work as a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Site Program. The position was at the University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Joel Karp) in Philadelphia. During this period he worked on simulations, reconstructions and measurements for Time-Of-Flight PET systems (LaBr3 and LYSO). At the end of 2005 he returned to Belgium (return grant) in the MEDISIP group. In collaboration with different researchers in the group a variety of topics is covered: Monte Carlo simulations, rotating slat SPECT, Time-of-Flight PET, PET-MRI and quantification for radionuclide dosimetry. He has been appointed as full time research professor (BOF-ZAP) at UGent since October 2007 and leads the MEDISIP research group since 2008.  He co-authored about 100 scientific A1 journal papers and is co-inventor of four patents. He was Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (till 2017) and involved in the organization of conferences and workshop on PET-MR and SPECT-MR. During the last years his research has focused on the development of attenuation correction and PET system design simulations for PET-MR in two EU-FP7 projects Hyperimage and Sublima.  Together with Christian Vanhove he leads the small animal molecular imaging facility (Infinity) of Ugent. The detector technology and micro SPECT and PET prototypes of the MEDISIP research group have led to the creation of the spinoff company Molecubes. Since 2017 he is also the editor-in-chief of EJNMMI Physics and coordinates together with the Nuclear medicine unit the Innovative Imaging and Therapy Consortium of Ghent university and its hospital (Imitghent.be)

Steven Meikle (University of Sydney, Australia)

Steven Meikle is Professor of Medical Imaging Physics and Head of the Imaging Physics Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Research Institute. He is also Research Academic Director (Research Infrastructure) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. He received his Bachelor of Applied Physics degree (Hons 1, University Medal) from the University of Technology, Sydney in 1988 and his Ph.D. degree from the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales in 1995. He was a medical physicist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney (1987-2004), a visiting research associate at the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Biophysics, UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles (1991-2) and a post doctoral research scientist at the MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital in London (1995-6) before joining the University of Sydney in 2004. His research aims to develop advanced imaging technologies for clinical and preclinical radiotracer studies that help elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating brain function in health and disease. Steven is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, a Senior Member of the IEEE and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics at the University of Wollongong. He is currently President of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. He is a founding board member of the Australian Society for Molecular Imaging.

Terry Jones (UC Davis, USA)

Professor Terry Jones is a medical physicist who has been involved in the development and applications of positron emitting radioisotopes in medicine since 1968. When at the former Medical Research Council’s, Cyclotron Unit, at Hammersmith Hospital, London, he initiated the UK’s first PET program in the late 1970’s. He undertook developments in PET methodology which included collaborations with industrial manufacturers of PET scanners. Together with medical colleagues at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, he fostered the research applications of PET methodology in Neurology, Psychiatry, Oncology, Cardiology and Pulmonary Medicine. He was awarded an MRC travelling fellowship in 1972 to work at the University of Washington St Louis and the MGH in Boston, where he recorded the first image of human brain metabolism by using oxygen-15.

To support pre-clinical studies, he established one of the first dedicated small–animal PET scanner. At the MRC Cyclotron Unit, he rose to the position of acting director and professor of medical physics at Imperial College London. He then went on to co-establish the state-of-the-art PET based Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre at Manchester University where he was professor of Molecular Imaging. He has co-authored over 300 scientific publications. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and in 1999 was elected as a fellow of the UK’s Academy of Medical Science. He is currently visiting professor at the University of California, Davis and co-director of the PET Research Advisory Company. Currently he is engaged in identifying and fostering the clinical research applications of Total Body PET Scanning. In 2019, he delivered the bi-annual Anger Lecture at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s annual meeting, and was the recipient of the IEEE NMISC Edward J Hoffman Medical imaging Scientist Award for ‘Contributions to the development of PET methodology and its applications in clinical research’.

Tom Freeman (Janssen Immunology, USA)

Prior to joining Janssen Immunology in June 2020, Tom Freeman had a long academic career working in different areas of innate functional genomics, immunity and computational biology. He held the chair of Systems Immunology at the University of Edinburgh and before this led Gene Expression Group at the Sanger Institute (1994-2000) before joining the MRC HGMP-Resource Centre (2000-2005), also on the Hinxton Campus, where he headed up the UK National Microarray Programme. His interest in data analysis has led to him to develop a number of well-known network analysis tools and approaches, and he has founded two companies in the data analytics space and authored over 160 peer-reviewed articles. Tom is now a Senior Director at Janssen Immunology where he heads the Translational Pathway Immunology Group who are focused on delivering portfolio-facing computation analyses in support of patient stratification, biomarker identification, analysis of clinical trials data and delivering precision medicine.