To subscribe to this podcast, copy and paste the RSS URL into the podcast app of your choice.

Edition #5: Bernd Pichler, Tübingen

In this episode we learn how a new lensless microscope, costing just $100 (!), can be used to evaluate radiotracer retention in cells, and discuss potential applications for this revolutionary new technology with our famous guest Bernd Pichler. We discuss how this, and other technologies, could be used to assess the heterogeneous cell populations of the tumour microenvironment and identify cell senescence using new radiotracers developed in Bernd’s lab.

Selected publication:

Development of a Lensless Radiomicroscope for Cellular-Resolution Radionuclide Imaging
Justin S. Klein, Tae Jin Kim and Guillem Pratx. J Nucl Med 2023 Mar; 64(3):479-484. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.122.264021. Epub 2022 Sep 15

Download full text

About the Guest

Bernd is Chair of the Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy and Director of the Werner Siemens Imaging Center at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Moreover, he is the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tübingen.

Bernd works in the field of PET and PET/MR imaging science since more than 15 years and pioneered the development of preclinical and clinical PET/MRI. He performed research at the TU Munich, the MPI for Physics in Munich, UC Davis USA and the University of Tuebingen.

His lab is focussing on interdisciplinary basic research in biomedicine with the use of state-of-the-art imaging technologies. This includes multi-modality imaging in oncology, immunology, and neurology as well as the development of new imaging technologies and innovative imaging probes. In recent years, he has published widely on the preclinical as well as clinical implementation of PET/MR imaging.

Bernd is not only one of the most prominent figures in this wonderful field of research, but a role model, mentor, visionary, and friend to many. He was President of ESMI in 2015 and is certainly still a driving force for the development of this vivid society.

Read more about his work/lab here.

Edition #4: Zaver M. Bhujwalla, Baltimore

In this episode we discuss how targeting fibroblasts rather than tumour cells may be an effective strategy for both surgical guided resection and as an anti-cancer therapy with Tim’s “academic grandmother”, Zaver Bhujwalla. We discovered Zaver’s roots as a physicist and mathematician, learned about her (unpredictable) interest in cancer metabolism and how she combines tools to develop a powerful in vitro diagnostic test.

Selected publication:

Design and characterization of fibroblast activation protein targeted pan-cancer imaging agent for fluorescence-guided surgery of solid tumors
Mukkamala R, Lindeman SD, Kragness KA, Shahriar I, Srinivasarao M, Low PS. J Mater Chem B. 2022 Mar 23;10(12):2038-2046. doi: 10.1039/d1tb02651h.

About the Guest

Zaver Bhujwalla serves as Director of the Division of Cancer Imaging Research, Vice-Chair of Research, and Director of the Molecular Imaging Center and Cancer Functional Imaging Core at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore

Her work is dedicated to the applications of molecular and functional imaging to understand and target cancer and the tumour microenvironment. With over 200 publications in the field, Zaver is certainly one of the pioneers and visionaries who have significantly shaped the field and inspired and mentored generations of (future) imaging scientists. Read more about her work/lab here.

Edition #3: Clemens W.G.M. Löwik, Rotterdam

In this episode we discuss and learn about Bioluminescence imaging and modern tools for multiplexed imaging of different colors, tackling a major challenge in the field. Our guest is one of the pioneers on multicolor BLI. We talk about innovative approaches for unmixing multiple luciferase-luciferin pairs and quantitative analyses of bioluminescent mixtures, enabling serial tracking of heterogeneous cell populations. During the course of our discussion we learn how such methods will help advance BLI to cover new exciting regimes, but also spill over to the wider optical imaging. If you’re interested in learning all about the exciting developments in the field – listen carefully!!

Selected publication:

Multiplexed bioluminescence imaging with a substrate unmixing platform
Caroline K Brennan, Zi Yao, Anastasia A Ionkina, Colin M Rathbun, Buvaneshwari Sathishkumar, Jennifer A Prescher. Cell Chem Biol. 2022 Nov 17;29(11):1649-1660.e4.
doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2022.10.004. Epub 2022 Oct 24.

Edition #2: Simon Cherry, UC Davis

In this episode we discuss (and learn a lot about!) positronium imaging with the co-inventor of Total Body PET, Simon Cherry. We talk about the physics behind positronium formation, and how it might provide further biological information than standard positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. We learnt about Simon’s journey that led him to change the field of (clinical) PET imaging and what new innovations he has up his sleeve… and if you are looking for an area of research just waiting to be explored – listen carefully!

Selected publication:

Positronium imaging with the novel multiphoton PET scanner
P Moskal, K Dulski, N Chug, C Curceanu, E Czerwiński, M Dadgar, +30, and W. Wislicki. Sci Adv. 2021 Oct 15;7(42):eabh4394. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abh4394. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

About the Guest

Simon R. Cherry is a biomedical engineer, and a Distinguished Professor at University of California, Davis. The Cherry lab investigates new technologies and instrumentation techniques in the field of nuclear and optical imaging. Areas of active research include the development of new and improved imaging technologies, the design of novel contrast agents and imaging probes and their application in molecular diagnostics and therapeutics. Simon is the co-inventor of the “EXPLORER” scanner: a high sensitivity, total-body PET system with a 2 meter axial field-of-view. 

Edition #1: Jolanda de Vries, Nijmegen

Selected publication:

In vivo imaging of nanoparticle-labeled CAR T cells
by L. Kiru, A. Zlitni, A.M. Tousley +9, and H.E. Daldrup-Link.

About the Guest

Jolanda is head of the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences. Her main focus of research is on dendritic cell (DC) biology and on translational immunology. She belongs to the pioneers that translated dendritic cell biology into clinical practice. The first clinical phase I/II studies in which cancer patients were vaccinated with DC loaded with tumor-specific peptides date back to 1997. 

Edition #0 & How the Idea Grow: Bertrand Tavitian, Paris

When we recorded an interview with Bertrand on Zoom and watched it afterwards, it became quite obvious that it was… a podcast format! No one wants to sit in front of the screen where there is nothing to see but so much to hear. Thus, enjoy the 6-minutes birth of the ESMI Podcast:

selected publication:

18F-FDG brain PET hypometabolism in patients with long COVID
by E. Guedj et al.

“I go for the unexpected or expected but not done before and then – little by little – you start getting excited (…)”

Download/listen to short interview

ESMI Podcast #1

Bertrand Tavitian is Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging. He is the Director of the Imaging Research Laboratory at the University of Paris.

Bertrand is one of the founding fathers of the ESMI and its first President. With his dedication for imaging science, his enthusiasm, and admirable curiosity that goes far beyong “his” field of expertise, Bertrand is an inspiration and mentor for so many scientists in the field.

Guests & Editions

  • #6: Elisabeth de Vries, Groningen
  • #5: Bernd Pichler, Tübingen
  • #4: Zaver Bhujwalla, Baltimore
  • #3: Clemens WGM Lowik, Rotterdam
  • #2 Simon Cherry, UC Davis
  • #1 Jolanda de Vries, Nijmegen
  • #0: Bertrand Tavitian, Paris