2017 Spotlight Sessions

WIMIN Panel on Immunotherapy: Current Challenges and Opportunities (WIMIN)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | 13:30 – 15:00

Over the last few decades, immunotherapy has become an important part of treating some types of cancer. Many novel types of immunotherapies are under development and several have recently received FDA approval. Some of the challenges in advancing immunotherapies include patient stratification and monitoring therapeutic response. Traditional methods of monitoring treatment response are limited in their ability to provide tumor-specific information being qualitative tests that detect mainly morphologic tissue changes and thus have limited success. Noninvasive detection of immune imaging biomarkers for guidance and monitoring of immunotherapy are therefore critical. We believe that molecular imaging will play a critical role in aiding to address some of the current challenges and expedite the development of such treatments. This spotlight session sponsored by the WIMIN interest group is dedicated to describing some of the advances in immunotherapy and identifying the potential opportunities for molecular imaging. The presentations led by speakers from the basic sciences, clinical practice and the patient community will be followed by an interactive panel discussion.


  • Alexandra Snyder –

    Talk title: Immune checkpoint inhibitors: current status and the role of radiology in assessment of benefit

  • David Huss –

    Talk title: PET-Imaging of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells

  • Yulia Lakhman –

    Talk title: Immunotherapy: Clinical Response Criteria & Insights into Potential Imaging Biomarkers

  • Lora Kelly –

    Talk title: A Patient’s Perspective


Spotlight Session 1:  Molecular Imaging in Synthetic Biology, Cell Therapy and Metabolic Engineering (SyBRG)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

Synthetic biology and cell therapy are major emerging areas of biomedicine presenting challenges and opportunities for molecular imaging. This session will put the spotlight on exciting new areas of cellular programming, protein engineering, T-cell immunotherapy and molecular reporters.


  • Marc Ostermeier –

    Talk title: Synthetic protein switches

  • Yvonne Chen –

    Talk title: Engineering Robust T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Brian Chow –

    Talk title: Engineering genetically encoded reporters using mammalian cell-expressible de novo proteins

  • Il Minn –

    Talk title: Reporter-based imaging of therapeutic immune cells

Spotlight Session 2: Imaging the Host, Pathogen and the Microbiome (IOI)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

Infectious diseases are a major threat to human health. The alarming rise of highly virulent and multi-drug resistant pathogens, their rapid spread leading to frequent global pandemics, and continued life-threatening nosocomial infections in hospitals, are major challenges to health care in the U.S. and worldwide. Molecular imaging enables several advantages over traditional tools used for the study of infectious diseases. This session, organized by the Imaging of Infection (IOI) interest group, will provide information on the use of molecular imaging to provide novel insights into disease pathogenesis, as well as the translation of molecular imaging tools to the clinic.


  • Sanjay Jain –

    Overview and highlights

  • Francois Villinger –

    Talk title: ImmunoPET/CT reveals the secret life of viruses and their targets in vivo

  • Dorian McGavern –

    Talk title: Imaging Immune Cell Dynamics in the Living Brain


Spotlight Session 3: Imaging Immune Modulation (ICIT)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 17:30 – 19:00

A recently established Imaging in Cell and Immune Therapies (ICIT) interest group serves as an international forum for discussion and collaboration on new means of efficient development of immunotherapies and related imaging approaches. ICIT mission is to globally advance the implementation of imaging technologies as well as development of new biomarkers for immune response and monitoring the efficacy of various cellular and immunotherapies. The Spotlight Session organized by ICIT brings together a group of experts in the field of immunotherapy who will discuss immune cell responses, antigen presentations, the use of checkpoint blockades as well as CAR-T cell therapies. As immunotherapies continue to be developed and undergo testing in clinical trials, consideration needs to be given to the differences observed in response following immunotherapy that can be addressed using existing and emerging imaging paradigms.


  • Ronald Germain –

    Talk title: Imaging Immunity – Developing a Spatiotemporal Understanding of Innate and Adaptive Responses to Pathogens, Tissue Damage, and Tumors

  • Anna Wu –

    Talk title: ImmunoPET for profiling immune cells and immune responses

  • Sridhar Nimmagadda –

    Talk title: Molecular Imaging Agents for Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Renier Brentjens –

    Talk title: Moving Car T Cell Therapy Forward: Cars and Armoured Cars


Spotlight 4: Theranostics (MINT)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 17:30 – 19:00

This Spotlight session marks the first scientific event organized by the “Molecular Imaging in Nanotechnology and Theranostics” (MINT) interest group. The session will focus on the topic of Theranostics – combining diagnostic imaging and therapeutic abilities – an area of research that has seen a dramatic growth in recent years. The four talks by international leaders in the field will shine light on some of the most exciting new theranostic approaches ranging from small molecule to nanoparticle platforms.


  • Heike Daldrup-Link –

    Talk title: Ferumoxytol Theranostics

  • Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen –

    Talk title: Peptide-Based Theranostics

  • Martin Pomper –

    Talk title: Translational Theranostics for Prostate Cancer

  • Twan Lammers –

    Talk title: Image-guided Precision Nanomedicine


Spotlight Session 5: Best of FASMI Radiomics/Radiogenomics

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

Radiomics is based on the assumption that images are data. It describes the process of converting images into mineable data. By comparing individual patient data to pre-exiting databases, radiomics information can be used to develop patient-specific decision support tools. Furthermore, complementary innovations in next generation sequencing and radiomics that allow spatial quantification of tumor phenotypic heterogeneity/clonal composition and its change during drug treatment will provide the basis for improved treatment outcome and will be the fundamental drivers for the future of personalized oncology.


  • Ho Yun Lee –

    Talk title: Deciphering tumor microenvironment through radiomics and imaging genomics

  • Zaiyi Liu –

    Talk title: Beyond Image: Radiomics in Oncology

  • Koji Sakai –

    Talk title: Radiomics on MRI field


Spotlight 6: Advanced Large Animal Models of Disease

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

This Advanced Large Animal Models of Disease section serves as an international forum for discussion on using large animal model to monitor disease pathology, prognosis, and/or intervention. Due to the recent advances in transgenic models, imaging studies have predominately been performed on rodent models. However, there are a number of scientific reasons for using large animal models to study various disease areas, such as cardiology, pulmonary and neurology. The speakers from this section will share their experience on imaging with large animal and its advantages.


  • Erik Wisner –

    Talk title: Spontaneous Disease Models in Companion Animals to Inform Human Studies

  • Robert Mach –

    Talk title: The Role of Nonhuman Primates in Neuroimaging Studies with PET

  • Walter Witschey –

    Talk title: From molecules [to animal models] to medicine: Guiding translational research using advanced imaging in large animals.


Spotlight 7: Advancing Drug Discovery with Molecular Imaging  (ADDMI)

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

ADDMI – advancing drug discovery using molecular imaging is designed to allow the attendee to hear directly from industrial imaging leaders about pharmaceutical imaging research in early clinical development and translational sciences. In the 2017 session, we will hear from speakers focusing on oncology imaging and how conventional and novel imaging biomarkers have been used in clinical trials. Presenters will describe their own experiences and how science and operationalization objectives are a challenge to balance, but can be achieved.


  • Alex De Crespigny –

    Talk title: The role of quantitative imaging in early clinical drug development for oncology

  • Kelly Orcutt –

    Talk title: ImmunoPET: Bio-mathematical modeling and quantitative analysis

  • Michael Schultz –

    Talk title: Image-guided receptor targeted radionuclide therapy for cancer. Alpha-particle theranostics from academic discovery to clinical use as a small biotech startup.


Spotlight 8: Automated Intelligence and Molecular Imaging (MOMIL)

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 17:45 – 19:15

The growing sophistication of molecular imaging instrumentation and analysis methods brings greater complexity to acquisition protocols and the analysis of imaging results.  Yet biomedical studies in molecular imaging laboratories and core facilities demand robust methods that can produce reliable, significant results.  Artificial intelligence and related methods have great potential to impact molecular imaging acquisition protocols and image analyses.  This Spotlight Session will provide insights for the role of artificial intelligence and related methods on molecular imaging, which is hosted by the Managers of Molecular Imaging Laboratories (MOMIL) interest group.


  • Ilya Nasrallah –

    Talk title: Diagnosis support for brain MRI and integration with image processing methods

  • Rivka Colen –

    Talk title: Radiogenomics and Radiomics in Solid Cancers

  • James Stefansic –

    Talk title: Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Why the Time Is Right


Spotlight 9: WMIS/SNMMI Alzheimer’s Joint Session

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 17:45 – 19:15

This session will progress from a review of existing tracers with a focus on amyloid and tau PET radiopharmaceuticals and will bring to light the recent data from human studies in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.  Discussion of future directions and new tracers under development will also be covered. Lectures will be presented by industry and academic leaders who are at the forefront of bench to bedside development of such imaging probes.


  • Roger Gunn –

    Talk title: Molecular Imaging Agents and their Application in Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Shil Patel –

    Talk title: “Now you see it, Now you Don’t”: De-risking preclinical discovery of radiotracers for targets in neurodegenerative diseases

  • Gilles Tamagnan –

    Talk title: Development and Clinical translation of new radiopharmaceuticals for imaging dementias


Spotlight Session 10: Best of ESMI

Saturday, September 16, 2017 | 08:00 – 09:30

In the “Best of ESMI session”, organized by the European Society for Molecular Imaging, selected contributions from the recent European Molecular Imaging Meeting, which took place in Cologne in April 2017, will be highlighted. Prof. Willem Mulder will summarize the achievements of Dr. Mark Lobatto (Academic Medical Center Amsterdam), who won the ESMI PhD thesis award for his doctoral thesis entitled “Exploration and application of nanomedicine in atherosclerotic disease”. Prof. Fabian Kiessling will present the work performed in his institute in Aachen by graduate student Tatjana Opacic, who made it to the final of the ESMI Young Investigator Award, with her contribution on “Bubble Tracking for the textural and functional vascular characterization of tumors”. Subsequently, Prof. Daniel Razansky will report on exciting new efforts going on in his lab in Munich, in a lecture focusing on “Advanced optoacoustic methods for imaging of multi-scale in vivo dynamics”. Finally, the winner of the ESMI Young Investigator Award, Beatrice Berthon, will present her work performed at the Institut Langevin in Paris, on the “Direct mapping of cardiac electrical activation in an isolated live rat heart using Ultrafast Acoustoelectric Imaging”. Together, these lectures will showcase the crème de la crème of the work presented at this year’s EMIM meeting, and they will surely be inspirational for defining the directions which WMIS and ESMI will together take to move molecular imaging research forward in the clinic and on the market.


  • Willem Mulder –

    Talk title: Exploration and application of nanomedicine in atherosclerotic disease

  • Fabian Kiessling –

    Talk title: Bubble Tracking for the textural and functional vascular characterization of tumors at super resolution

  • Daniel Razansky –

    Talk title: Advanced optoacoustic methods for imaging of multi-scale in vivo dynamics

  • Beatrice Walker –

    Talk title: Direct mapping of cardiac electrical activation in an isolated live rat heart using Ultrafast Acoustoelectric Imaging