02.06.20 – Molecular Imaging approaches and imaging Biomarkers in Translational Animal Models

FPS Seminars


Molecular imaging (MI) aims to characterize and quantify biological/biochemical patterns in living subjects, and is based on the use of specific molecular probes as well or exploits the intrinsic properties of a target biological tissue. By the integration of different MI techniques key information about the tissue remodeling and selected biochemical pathways can be provided in vivo, non-invasively, thus leading to the characterization of the lesions and the evaluation of a specific treatment. MI is based on the acquisition of images spanning from different spatial and temporal resolutions, with the capacity of performing longitudinal studies in the same animal model. Nowadays, MI is applied in drug development process with the aims to perform an early selection of new lead candidates, shortening the overall drug development process to move to clinical trials, by providing a better selection of candidate therapies, assessment of dose response, and the evaluation of biodistribution, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Ongoing studies and applications at the CNR IFC and FTGM ecosystem will be presented.

Topic of the seminar:
• Molecular imaging for quantify biological processes
• Design preclinical experiments for MI
• Development of imaging biomarkers
• Methodological aspect and application @ CNR IFC and FGTM


Short biography
Luca Menichetti

Starting from a background in radiochemistry of Transition Metals at JRC-Institute for Transuranium Elements (Karlsruhe,), Luca Menichetti (LM) moved his interests in the field of tracer chemistry for medical applications for the development of radiopharmaceuticals at the National Research Council Institute of Clinical Physiology (CNR IFC) in Pisa. In 2006 LM achieves the PhD in “Design, Development and bio-experimentation of pharmaceuticals, at University of Pisa, while in 2014 LM achieves the medical Specialization in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Pisa. At CNR IFC, LM initiated a research program on innovative molecular imaging approaches and established a network between CNR and G.Monasterio Foundation Hospital in Pisa to enable translation of new idea to pre- clinical models. In this framework, LM participated to the creation of the pan European consortium Eurobimaging for the Italian node in Pisa to contribute to the area of molecular imaging. In the last eight years, the know-how in tracer-chemistry has been extended to other imaging modalities, such as Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy exploiting the hyperpolarization of 13C-molecules, Photoacoustics and the development of novel multimodality imaging applications based on nanostructured multifunctional materials. LM is contract Professor at the University of Pisa and University of Siena.