The effects of coronary artery diseases on the macrovasculature of the heart have been extensively studied, in contrast to the limited knowledge of effects seen in the microvasculature. As symtoms in the small vessels are an early warning sign of coronary artery disease, slowing or halting progression of these symptoms through improved diagnosis is the aim of the presented research. Dr. Robert deKemp is adapting PET imaging's stress over rest flow reserve, an established method in evaluating macrovasculature, to study the microvasculature. He presents his lab's translational micro-PET evalutaion of mice to determine effects of various stressors to eventually improve diagnostic procedures in humans and pre-clinically evaluate new therepeutic drugs.
John Valliant, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University
Scientific Director and CEO, Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization
Developing new radiolabeling methods and compound discovery strategies to create clinically relevant molecular imaging probes and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals.
John Mercer, PhD
Professor and Division Director, Oncologic Imaging, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta
Research Director, Edmonton PET Centre
My research interests are centered on the development and preclinical assessment of PET radiopharmaceuticals.
My present active research areas include the use of PET prosthetic groups for labeling peptides and oligonucleotides and the use of these constructs in molecular imaging and in particular in the development of apoptosis imaging agents.
Robert deKemp, PhD, PEng, PPhys
Head Imaging Physicist, Cardiac Imaging, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Associate Professor and Medical Scientist, Faculty of Medicine, Engineering, Physics, University of Ottawa
Adjunct Professor, Physics, Carleton University
My interest is in medical imaging physics and engineering, including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), X-ray computed tomography (CT), X-ray angiography, and multimodality image fusion.
My team and I are developing innovative tracer kinetic and statistical parametric methods for serial imaging of PET blood flow and metabolism, and 3-D fusion imaging of coronary angiography and myocardial perfusion. Past research in singles transmission for 3-D PET has greatly improved PET attenuation correction and is now a commercial standard for 3D PET in the world.
Exploring the characteristics of vulnerable plaque is pivitol to the understanding of atherosclerosis disease progression. Traditionally, this has been done through histology, allowing for risk categories to be created. Dr. Moody et al., are using MR imaging (and PET imaging through CAIN2) to investigate tissue character, which, when related to histology, may be used to predict future events. It is anticipated that this knowledge could then be used for screening, for future long term trials, and to predict disease progression in the brain.
In keeping with the goals of the MITNEC program, Dr. Mercer discusses the roles of radiopharmaceuticals in PET and SPECT imaging. Flourine-based FDG is by far the most common of the imaging probes and is suitable for most cases, but it is not appropriate for all types of cancer. Other imaging probes have been developed for specific purposes and new probes are being investigated for enhanced pathology differentiation. The process of novel radiopharmaceutical development is discussed, together with case studies of Edmonton-based developments and current trends in research.
Working within the goal of CAIN2, Dr. Spence outlines the importance and methods towards outlining atherosclerosis patients would would benefit from intervention. It has been determined that those with microemboli and with greater than 3 ulcers benefit and that characteristics of individual plaque predicts outcome. CAIN2 strives to validate imaging methods for detection of vulnerable plaque.
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, leader of the CAIN and MITNEC imaging networks, sets the stage with an overview of each network and how they are related. The networks, while varied in focus, strive to overcome key challenges of medical imaging research, learning to harness potential developments to improve clinical practice. As a good primer, this presentation is recommended to all ImagingKT members.
As the Director of the Evaluation of Radiopharmaceuticals and Biotherapeutic Products at Health Canada, Dr. Klein gives a brief background on the introduction of the Food and Drug Act in Canada, followed by a full explanation of the regulatory process for biomarkers in Canada. The regulatory body focuses on the quality, safety and efficacy of diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic agents, being constantly evaluated from first discovery through market use to further evolution and all steps between.
The Ottawa Heart Institute is active in the development of novel radiopharmaceutical agents for PET imaging of cardiac diseases. Dr. DaSilva describes several tracer development programs at the OHI, together with their targets and development status, particularly those to Angiotensin II. Enhanced visualization of disease targets can then be used to guide therapy in cardiac and renal events.