Breakfast & Science Seminar 34


We are pleased to invite you to the CIBM Breakfast & Science Seminar #34 – which will be hybrid – both virtual and on-site:

Date and time: Tuesday May 30th, 2023 – 9:30 to 11:00 CEST

Location: Virtual on Zoom and on-site CIBM Seminar Room, EPFL campus, 1015 Lausanne.


09:30 – 10:00 Targeting Brain Tumors in Milliseconds: The Potential of FLASH Radiotherapy to Minimize Side Effects


Paola Ballesteros Zebadua,

National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico City, Mexico.
Invited professor at the Laboratory of Radioncology CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland.


When it comes to treating central nervous system tumors, radiation therapy can be life-saving. However, the side effects of conventional radiation therapy can be severe, impacting the quality of life long after treatment ends. That’s why the development of FLASH radiotherapy, a new ultra-high dose rate irradiation modality where treatment can last only milliseconds, is so exciting. Animal studies have shown that FLASH-RT induces a remarkable FLASH effect, preserving healthy tissue while maintaining anti-tumor efficacy.
Recent pre-clinical results exploring the Flash Effect on the brains of juvenile mice have shown that FLASH-RT not only protects against neurocognitive decrements induced by traditional radiotherapy but also preserves synaptic integrity and long-term potentiation, which are essential for memory and cognition. Additionally, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis using 14T showed differences after FLASH-RT compared to conventional RT. Furthermore, our tests on orthotopic cerebellar injections of malignant brain tumor cells, both FLASH-RT and conventional radiotherapy were equally effective in controlling tumor growth and increasing survival.
These findings suggest that FLASH-RT could be a game-changer in treating brain tumors, potentially preserving efficacy while improving quality of life.

About the speaker:

In Mexico, Paola Ballesteros-Zebadúa obtained her Master’s degree in Medical Physics at the Institute of Physics of the National University of Mexico (UNAM), receiving the Alfonso Caso Medal for Merit. Later she obtained her Ph. D. in Neurosciences with honors at the Faculty of Medicine of the UNAM. Thanks to a grant from the Mexican National Council of Science, she started radiobiology research at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery to investigate the undesired late effects of radiotherapy in the CNS. Her laboratory was the first in Mexico dedicated to applied neurosciences focused on brain response after conventional radiotherapy. In parallel, she has worked on diverse neuroscience topics and dosimetry for small-animal irradiation. In Mexico, she organized and participated in several workshops for medical specialists and medical physics students about topics in radiobiology. She was a regular radiobiology lecturer at UNAM Mexico. She established close collaborations with other institutions and, more recently, with Prof. Vozenin at CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Prof. Limoli at UCI, Irvine, USA. In collaboration with them, she obtained an SFNS grant. She is now focused on exploring the feasibility of FLASH-RT as medulloblastoma treatment using orthotopic cerebellar injections of MB human cells in juvenile mice.


10:00 – 10:30  Novel perspectives on glycolysis: hyperpolarized 13 C MRS, deuterium imaging and PET in joint forces

Mor Mishkovsky,
Researcher at the Laboratory for Functional and Metabolic Imaging ( LIFMET), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland


Glucose is the principal fuel for the brain, and while it represents about 2% of the body weight 2 0% of whole-body glucose utilization will be directed for cerebral metabolism. Dysregulation of glucose metabolism is a key factor in many disorders. Therefore, directly monitoring glycolytic metabolism has the potential to improve the understanding of brain function and dysfunctions.
In this seminar, we will examine magnetic resonance detection of stable isotopes namely hyperpolarized 13 C MRS and deuterium MR, and how they can be implemented for interrogating glycolysis. Technical challenges will be discussed along with the experimental solutions adopted to enable detecting their real time brain metabolism in mice. We will demonstrate the complementarity between the seMR methodological approaches and how they relate to glucose uptake detected with FDG PET.

About the speaker: Dr. Mor Mishkovsky, is a Research Scientist at the Laboratory for Functional and Metabolic Imaging (LIFMET) at the EPFL. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (cum Lauda) from the University of Tel Aviv (Israel), and a PhD in Chemical Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot (Israel), in the prestigious “ direct PhD track. Her thesis “Methodological Developments in Ultrafast Multidimensional has granted her the “Auto Swartz excellence award for Ph.D. studies”. She then joined the EPFL under Prof. G Ruetter and Dr. Comment for post-doctoral training to specialize in hyperpolarization and its applications in preclinical settings. Her research is at the interface between chemistry, physics, and biomedicine. She exploits physical chemistry concepts to enable the detection of metabolic processes. Developing state-of-the-art MRI-based approaches to provide access to metabolites and pathways that were hitherto inaccessible thus developing new routes for MRI molecular imaging that will be fast and robust. Focusing mainly on neurochemistry in rodent models. Over the years, Dr. Mishkovsky has established numerous scientific collaborations across the Lémanic arc (EPFL, CHUV, UNIL, HES SO//Ge, CIBM), and internationally (Denmark, Israel, Japan, and more). Primarily targeting the development of hyperpolarized and thermally polarized magnetic resonance (MR) of stable isotopes to gain insight into metabolic processes occurring at the cellular level.)

10:30 – 11:00  CIBM Networking

Please register by Monday, May 29, 2022, 12:00

To join us on Zoom, please register at the following link:

To attend on-site, please register on Eventbrite:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you soon.



30 May 2023


9:30 am - 11:00 am


CIBM EPFL Seminar room

Location 2

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