EMIM 2018 Plenary Speakers

The Opening Lecture will be given by ELISABETH de VRIES, Groningen

Elisabeth de Vries

"Current and Future Role of Molecular Imaging in Oncology"

Elisabeth de Vries, MD, PhD is Professor of Medical Oncology at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. She is involved in patient care, teaching, and research. She actively promoted the view that a multidisciplinary approach with close interactions between the laboratory and clinic is crucial for improving prospects for cancer patients. Her focus is on interdisciplinary, translational research, aiming for personalized medicine. Her research lines are aimed at optimal treatment of tumors with anticancer drugs, and she uses imaging techniques to support this.

Apart from laboratory studies, she performs and coordinates clinical trials. She has received numerous grants. She is currently co-chair of the RECIST committee on behalf of the EORTC and she is chair of the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale working group.

In 2002, she was appointed as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). She received the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) award in 2009 and is Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences. She was awarded a Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences professorship in 2011.



David Boas

"Guiding Interpretation of BOLD fMRI by Measuring and Modelling Microvasculature Oxygen Distributions"

David Boas is the Director of the Boston University Neurophotonics Center, and is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering. He received his BS in Physics at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founding President of the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurophotonics published by SPIE. Dr. Boas was awarded the Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics in 2016 for his development of several novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies in the neurosciences, as well as following through with impactful application studies, and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies.



Paola Allavena

"The Tumor Cell-Leukocyte Interface in the Tumor Microenvironment: Opportunity for Targeted Therapy"

Paola Allavena, MD, PhD in Immunology, has a long standing interest in the field of cancer research, tumour immunology, cells of the innate immunity, inflammatory mediators.

Since 2005 she is Group Leader, at the Clinical and Research Institute Humanitas Rozzano in Milano, Italy and leads the Lab. of Cellular Immunology. Her main research interests relate to the interaction between the immune system, in particular tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) and cancer cells.

Paola Allavena’s group has contributed to the characterization of TAM in human and murine tumours, defining their pro-tumoural activities, the genomic profile and the expression of specific markers. These studies led to consider therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing the macrophage content of tumours. She recently identified that the registered anti-tumour agent trabectedin (Yondelis) is selectively cytotoxic to monocytes/macrophages and demonstrated that at least part of the anti-tumour efficacy of this drug is due to its macrophage-depleting effect.

She actively contributed to understand the links between chronic inflammation and tumour progression by studying the expression and modulation of cytokines and chemokines in the circulation and in the tumour micro-environment, particularly in colorectal, pancreatic and lung cancer. She is Author of 247 PubMed-listed publications with a H index of 80.

Paola Allavena is recipient of national and international grants. She serves as reviewer for several scientific Journals; since 2013 she is also Panel member for the evaluation of EU-ERC Starting grants.


Zahi Fayad

"Stress Effect on the Brain, the Immune System and Cardiovascular Disease – from Neuroimaging to Cardiovascular Imaging: a Systems Biology Approach"

Zahi Fayad serves as professor of Radiology and Medicine (Cardiology) at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is the founding Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute; Vice chair for Research, Department of Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  His interdisciplinary and discipline bridging research - from engineering to biology and from pre-clinical to clinical investigations - has been dedicated to the detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease with many seminal contributions in the field of multimodality biomedical imaging and nanomedicine.  His work has recently expanded in understanding the effect of stress on the immune system and cardiovascular disease.  He has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications (h-index of 84), 50 book chapters, and over 500 meeting presentations. 

Besides others Zahi Fayad serves as Principal Investigator of the Imaging Core of the Mount Sinai National Institute of Health.  He is a PI of one of the 3 projects funded by the American Heart Association to promote cardiovascular health among high-risk New York City children, and their parents, living in Harlem and the Bronx. Moreover, he currently leads four pharmaceutically funded multicenter clinical trials for the evaluation of novel cardiovascular drugs.



"Robotic Imaging, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality for Computer Assisted Interventions"

Nassir Navab is a Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Computer Aided Medical Procedures, Technical University of Munich and part time at Johns Hopkins University, where he also has secondary faculty appointments at both affiliated Medical Schools. He completed his PhD at INRIA and University of Paris XI, Paris, France, and enjoyed two years of post-doctoral fellowship at MIT Media Laboratory before joining Siemens Corporate Research (SCR) in 1994. At SCR, he was a distinguished member and received the Siemens Inventor of the Year Award in 2001. He received the SMIT Society Technology award in 2010 and the ‘10 years lasting impact award’ of IEEE ISMAR in 2015. In 2012, he was elected as a Fellow of the MICCAI Society. He has acted a member of the board of directors of the MICCAI Society, 2007-2012 and 2014-2017, and serves on the Steering committee of the IEEE Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) and Information Processing in Computer Assisted Interventions (IPACI). He is the author of hundreds of peer reviewed scientific papers, more than thirty awarded papers, 47 U.S. and more than 50 International Patents. His current research interests include multimodal imaging, medical augmented reality, computer-aided surgery, medical robotics, surgical data science, and machine learning.