MIC Plenary Talks

Advances in Oncology and Imaging Needs

Steven M. Larson, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I will present an overview of recent advances in oncology and the demands they are placing on molecular imaging in the clinic. I will highlight the fast pace of advances in nuclear medicine that match with the development of new therapies in oncology: targeted drugs, immunotherapy, and external beam radiation innovations. Fusion imaging, SPECT and PET in combination with CT and MRI, have made a huge impact in the last 5 years, and have reshaped our training programs and clinical practice. The rise of theranostics, that is radiotracers that serve both a diagnostic and a therapeutic purpose, will also be an crucial part of patient care in oncology in the near term future.


Steven Larson is a board-certified nuclear medicine physician whose clinical interests focus on the use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for diagnostic and molecular imaging, as well as targeted therapy and theranostics. He is one of the world’s foremost experts in the use of radio-labeled antibodies and PET in oncologic imaging, both for basic research and patient management. At Memorial Sloan Kettering he is the holder of the Donna and Benjamin H. Rosen Chair in Radiology, an attending physician in the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service in the Department of Radiology, and a member and laboratory head in the Molecular Pharmacology Program.

Prior to joining MSKCC in 1988, he served as Chief of Nuclear Medicine at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, where he developed a PET program focused on brain research, including brain tumors and cancer molecular imaging. He also directed and developed nuclear medicine and PET programs at the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Portland and Vancouver, at the University of Oregon in Portland, and at the Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital. He co-authored several highly cited papers on Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS dementia, and collaborated on early studies of PET-FDG in brain tumor imaging, including treatment response.

Dr. Larson has been recognized with numerous awards for excellence in nuclear medicine, including the Hevesy Award from both the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) and the European Society of Nuclear Medicine (EANM); the Shaw prizes and the Wagner Lecture Award from SNMMI; the Pendergrass Award and the Radiologic Researcher of the Year Award from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA); and the Cassen Prize. He also received the Wiley Medal from the FDA for distinguished service. He has authored or coauthored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals, including Science, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.



Tomographic Imaging Biomarker Efforts in Drug Discovery and Development

Jack Hoppin, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, Invicro

Radiology and pathology bookend imaging applications in drug discovery and development. Clinical radiology is an mL-volumetric resolution effort; tissue interrogated in pathology offers fL-volumetric resolutions. This 12-order-of-volumetric-magnitude range offers great opportunity for the application of both ex vivo and in vivo tomographic imaging principles to existing translational biomarker research. Over the past 15 years, advances in imaging solutions have bridged the gap across this resolution range. This talk will include an attempt to characterize sensitivity, spatial and temporal resolution and quantification for tomographic techniques across the electromagnetic spectrum with a focus on their value proposition in biomarker research efforts.


Dr. Hoppin is the Co-Founder and CEO of inviCRO, a 200+ person imaging research and software company headquartered in Boston, MA. Dr. Hoppin holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Arizona and worked as an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellow at the Research Center Jülich, Germany. Prior to co-founding inviCRO in 2008, Dr. Hoppin served as the VP of Imaging Systems at Bioscan, Inc. He has been working in imaging research for more than 15 years. As an active member of the imaging community, Dr. Hoppin is a member of the World Molecular Imaging Society Board of Trustees.



Clinical Needs in Brain Imaging

Phillip H. Kuo, MD/PhD, Departments of Medical Imaging, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona

I will present an overview addressing significant needs in brain imaging of importance to clinical practice, fundamental research, and drug discovery. I will highlight opportunities for advances in SPECT, PET and other modalities that would positively affect our ability to meet these needs, and discuss the features and workflow considerations necessary for new systems and methods to achieve lasting and significant clinical impact.


Phillip Kuo is Professor of Medical Imaging, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. His wide range of clinical and research interests include the use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) for evaluation of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. He is an oft-sought reader of clinical trials data for new radiotracers that target hallmarks of disease, such as amyloid, dopamine transporter, and a variety of receptors. He is triple board-certified in nuclear medicine, radiology, and internal medicine. He serves as Chief of Nuclear Medicine in the Department of Medical Imaging and is also a member of the Arizona Cancer Center.

Before joining the University of Arizona in 2010, he served as Director of Breast Imaging and Associate Section Head of Nuclear Medicine at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Hospital. Prior to that he was an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

He has played key roles in launching multiple PET/CT programs and is a nationally recognized leader and educator in the field of brain imaging and nuclear medicine more broadly. He serves as a Member of Board of Directors for the Brain Imaging Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and is Chair of the Brain Imaging Outreach Working Group.