Advanced Molecular Imaging and its Clinical Translation

Achieving patient impact through education and collaboration.

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About Course

Course Description

Molecular imaging holds the promise for improved patient management in medicine and surgery. To realize this goal, a thorough understanding of the instrumentation and diagnostic agents that comprise the field is necessary, as is an understanding of why the field has yet to live up to its potential. Advanced Molecular Imaging and its Clinical Translation will provide a comprehensive educational experience in the physics, chemistry, engineering, and physiology that are the foundation of molecular imaging. It will also include key leaders from industry, who will bring their perspective on how intellectual property, regulatory approval, and reimbursement impact patient care. Faculty from around the world specializing in basic science, clinical translation, and clinical applications have been carefully chosen to bring course attendees to the state-of-the-art in the field.

The course is designed to encourage interactive audience participation with frequent question and answer sessions, and breaks, with the faculty and other attendees.

The course will cover most aspects of molecular imaging including optical imaging, SPECT, PET, CT, MRI, ultrasound, combinations thereof, contrast agent chemistry, radiotracer development, preclinical imaging, regulatory, statistical, reimbursement, and logistical issues surrounding clinical translation, and state-of-the-art clinical imaging in cancer, heart disease, neurology, and other human conditions. Distinguished guest faculty from around the world, including members of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, will update physicians, scientists, and trainees on the latest techniques in molecular imaging as well as those under development and slated for clinical implementation in the future. Faculty will also offer a glimpse into emerging methodologies in molecular imaging that could become part of clinical practice within the next decade.

Please note that because of the purposeful interaction of academia and industry, this is NOT a continuing medical education (CME) course. NO CME CREDIT IS AVAILABLE.

Course History

This is the second annual iteration of the course. The first, titled Molecular Imaging: Preclinical and Clinical Advances, drew participants from around the world, suggesting that  partnering with the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) would be beneficial. We have also partnered with the FLARE Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on worldwide medical technology dissemination. Based on feedback from the initial course, lectures have been shortened to permit more time for questions and answers, and industry has been engaged to address the present conundrum that most new technology in molecular imaging never becomes available for patient care.

Course Directors

John V. Frangioni, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor of Medicine and Professor of Radiology; Director, Center for Molecular Imaging, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Dr. Frangioni is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, where his laboratory studies the molecular imaging of cancer. Two areas of interest are the use of invisible near-infrared (NIR) light for image-guided surgery and the development of improved positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers. Dr. Frangioni developed the FLARE™ imaging system, now in clinical trials in 5 countries, and the ZW family of zwitterionic NIR fluorophores, being translated to the clinic with the NCI. He is founder and chairman of the non-profit FLARE Foundation, whose mission is to disseminate image-guided surgery technology worldwide. He recently constructed the BIDMC’s first Translational Cancer Imaging Facility, which is capable of cGMP synthesis and sterile compounding of novel radiotracers and also directs the Longwood Small Animal Imaging Facility. Dr. Frangioni earned his Engineering Sciences degree from Harvard College, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and MIT’s Health Science and Technology (HST) Program, and his Ph.D. in Tumor Biology from Harvard Graduate School. He has been board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

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Ralph Weissleder, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor of Radiology and Systems Biology; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Dr. Weissleder is a Professor at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Attending Clinician (Interventional Radiology) at MGH. Dr. Weissleder is also a member of the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center and a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). Dr. Weissleder’s research interests include the development of novel molecular imaging techniques, tools for detection of early disease detection, development of nanomaterials for sensing and systems analysis. His research has been translational and several of his developments have led to advanced clinical trials with anticipated major impacts when these methods become routinely available. Dr. Weissleder is currently the principal investigator of several RO1 NIH grants, a P50 Center grant, a U24 grant, and a UO1 consortium focusing on nanotechnology. He has published over 600 original publications in peer reviewed journals and has authored several textbooks. He is a founding member of the Society for Molecular Imaging Research and has served as its President in 2002. His work has been honored with numerous awards including the J. Taylor International Prize in Medicine, the Millenium Pharmaceuticals Innovator Award, the AUR Memorial Award, the ARRS President's Award, The Society for Molecular Imaging Lifetime Achievement Award, the Academy of Molecular Imaging 2006 Distinguished Basic Scientist Award and the 2008 RSNA Outstanding Researcher Award. and the 2011 Gold Medal of the European Society of Radiology. In 2009, he was elected as a member of the US National Academies Institute of Medicine.

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The key issue reiterated by the majority of speakers was to foster multidisciplinary research environments, where physicians, pharmacologists, chemists, physicists, engineers as well as industry would create one cumulative entity pushing laboratory developments into the clinic. – a 2013 course attendee. --- Apart from the excellent lectures by the invited speakers, the time schedule of the course provided ample opportunities for one-to-one discussions with both speakers and other attendees. This most certainly will lead to countless new ideas and cooperations. – a 2013 course attendee. ---