Molecular Imaging

Section Head: Prof. Valentina Garibotto (HUG-UNIGE)

The advent of molecular imaging with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) has enabled the in vivo visualisation, characterisation and quantification of biological processes on cellular and even sub-cellular level. At CIBM, we utilize these methods to develop new preclinical models and to make them available for a wide variety of research topics, such as genome imaging or the development of novel cancer theranostics. Our combined PET/SPECT/CT scanner is situated at the UNIGE PIPPA facility, which offers a wide range of cutting-edge technologies including high-resolution Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Optical imaging. Thanks to this synergy between CIBM and PIPPA, we are providing academic and non-academic collaborators with state-of-the-art multimodal preclinical imaging.


Preclinical Models

Description: In cancer research, preclinical models reflecting human biology are crucial for the development and validation of new therapeutics and imaging methods. However, common models used in research poorly reproduce the clinical reality of the micro-environment impacting tumour growth and response to treatment. We aim to develop new reliable and innovative in vitro (spheroids), in ovo (CAM) and in vivo (orthotopic xenograft) preclinical models and implement them into different research topics. Resorting to these powerful biological tools strongly improve the translational power of the preclinical research and help to reduce and replace animal experimentation with alternatives.

Investigator: Martin Walter (UNIGE), Olivia Bejuy (UNIGE), Stéphane Germain (UNIGE)

Collaborator: Didier Colin (UNIGE)

Cancer Theranostic

Description: Cancer cells express many key proteins differentiating them form healthy cells. These proteins are targeted by modern medicine for imaging and therapy as they allow acquisition of diagnostic images and delivery of therapeutic doses of radiation to the patient. However, some tumours mainly harboured by patients with advanced disease, loose the expression of these key proteins making imaging and treatment impossible. Our research aims to reestablish or upregulate the expression of these proteins. To ensure a rapid translation of our preclinical research, we mainly focus on screening drugs that are already clinically validated. We identify potent drugs by in vitro screening and validate our findings in ovo and in vivo by preclinical PET/CT imaging.

Investigators: Martin Walter (UNIGE), Vincent Taelman (UNIGE), Olivia Bejuy (UNIGE), Stéphane Germain (UNIGE)

Collaborator: Didier Colin (UNIGE)