WMIC 2019 Highlights

The theme for the 2019 meeting is The Dynamics of Life: Integrating Molecular Imaging. Each year, the WMIC bridges a range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. A major goal of much of what we do as a society is to develop clinical translation and the program this year emphasizes the integration of molecular imaging into science and healthcare to develop innovative complementary approaches to understand biology and improve patient care. This integration is key to develop our understanding of dynamic molecular processes in living tissue and organisms – ultimately leading to diagnostic and therapeutic advances. Finally, integrating individuals from diverse scientific backgrounds at the WMIC 2019 is of vital importance to advance our mission to image the molecular dynamics of life in health and disease.

Gold Medal Award
Gold-medal-19The WMIC 2019 Gold Medal Award was presented to Dr. Katherine W. Ferrara, PhD, Stanford University. Her Gold Medal Lecture highlighted her work incorporating ultrasound in molecular imaging and therapy. Dr. Ferrara’s work has had a clinical impact in techniques that are very widely used worldwide in the diagnosis of cancer.
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Pictured (L to R): Joseph Ackerman, PhD; Katherine W. Ferrara, PhD; Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD
Young Investigator Award Winner
The Young Investigator of the Year Award recognizes a young, next-generation scientist making giant breakthroughs in the field of molecular imaging. This year’s awardee is Aisling M. Chaney, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in the James Lab at Stanford University, for her work titled “Tracking the Invaders in Multiple Sclerosis: a new highly specific PET imaging approach for visualizing peripheral innate immune activation with higher sensitivity than TSPO-PET”.
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Pictured (L to R): Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD; Aisling M. Chaney, PhD; Christin Sander, PhD; Ferdia Gallagher, PhD
Roger Tsien Award for Excellence in Chemical Biology
The Roger Tsien Award for Excellence in Chemical Biology is given to an early-stage investigator at the level of assistant or associate professor, or equivalent, who has made significant contributions to the field of molecular imaging in the area of chemical biology. This year’s winner is Michael Z. Lin, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurobiology and Bioengineering at Stanford University.
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Pictured (L to R): Mikhail Shapiro, PhD; Michael Z. Lin, MD, PhD
WIMIN Leadership Award
WIMINDr. Nimmi Ramanujam, PhD, Duke University, was the winner of the Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) Interest Group Leadership Award. Honoring distinction in her contributions to MI research, achievements in advancing women in STEM and supporting mentee education, Nimmi was presented the Outstanding Leadership Award at the 3rd annual WIMIN art Auction.

Pictured above: Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam receives the WIMIN Outstanding Leadership Award from Savita Dhanvantari, PhD.

WIMIN Scholar Award Winners
PostersThe Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) Interest Group continues its emphasis on recognizing work of high merit through the WIMIN Scholar Awards. At WMIC 2019, the WIMIN Interest Group awarded 15 WIMIN Scholar Awards. Those receiving the awards were: Candice Ashmore-HarrisCorinne BeinatAisling ChaneyBao Ying ChenAndrea GuzmanKelly HenryElizabeth HerbstDoreen LauNan LiMadeline OlsenKowsalya Devi PavuluriCarly PellowRebecca SullivanJia Wang, and Chun-Yi Wu

Pictured above: 2019 WIMIN Co-Chair, Monica Shokeen, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, presenting the WIMIN Scholar Awards at the WMIC 2019 Closing Ceremony.

Molecular Imaging and Biology Award
MIB AwardMolecular Imaging and Biology recognized the work of high merit in both the area of preclinical and clinical papers and image of the year and presented awards to:

Best Preclinical Paper: 
Increased Expression of Translocator Protein (TSPO) Marks Pro-inflammatory Microglia but Does Not Predict Neurodegeneration
Lien Beckers, Dieter OryIvana Geric, Lieven Declercq, Michel Koole, Michael Kassiou, Guy Bormans, Myriam Baes.
Best Clinical Paper:
Changes in Tumor Biology During Chemoradiation of Cervix Cancer Assessed by Multiparametric MRI and Hypoxia PET
Petra Georg, Piotr Andrzejewski, Pascal Baltzer, Michaela Daniel, Wolfgang Wadsak, Markus Mitterhauser, Alina Sturdza, Katarina Majercakova, Georgios Karanikas, Richard Pötter, Marcus Hacker, Thomas Helbich, Dietmar Georg, Katja Pinker
Image of the Year: 
PET Imaging of Human Brown Adipose Tissue with the TSPO Tracer [11C]PBR28
Chongzhao Ran, Daniel S. Albrecht, Miriam A. Bredella, Jing Yang, Jian Yang, Steven H. Liang, Aaron M. Cypess, Marco L. Loggia, Nazem Atassi, Anna Moore
Pictured above: Chongzhao Ran, PhD next to his image that won Image of the Year.

2nd Annual Imaging Shark Tank Competition
Double Helix Optics was the victor at the 2nd Annual Imaging Shark Tank competition where they were selected by a panel of five “sharks” and walked away with the $5000 grand prize! Double Helix was chosen as the winner because they showed a strong business model, addressed an unmet need and demonstrated an understanding of the current market dynamics.
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This is Our Lab Competition

The 5th annual “This is Our Lab” campaign featured 36 labs who all submitted abstracts to WMIC 2019. This year’s winner was the Robarts Cellular and Molecular Imaging Group (CMIG) at the University of Western Ontario! Stay tuned for an in-depth video on their lab!

Commercial Innovation of the Year Award
WMIC-2017-Commercial-Innovation-of-the-Year-Award-LogoWMIS presented the Commercial Innovation of the Year Award to Emilie Beaulieu Ouellet of Photon etc. for their work, “Real Time in vivo Imaging of ICG in the NIR II with the IR VIVOTM Imaging System” The award winner was chosen by votes from WMIC attendees.
Poster Award Winners
PostersThe WMIS continues its emphasis on recognizing work of high merit through poster awards. Chosen from among the abstract submissions that are accepted as posters and based upon the abstract grade and ranking, the winners are: Gedaliah Farber, Emile Gaudin, Travis Shaffer, Babs Sibinga Mulder, Marina Simon, Alejandro Arroyo, Caitlin Tressler and Do-Wan Lee.
Industry Selected Posters
PostersExhibitors offered awards to recognize innovative science research by young investigators. The winners were Yang Du, Young Hwa Kim, Do-Wan Lee, Dong-Hoon Lee, Nivin Nystrom, Wei Tang, Huaijun Wang, and Xiaochun Xu
2019 Science Elevator: Slam Your Science Award
PostersThe first annual WMIC Science Elevator – modeled after the very successful and popular postdoc slam/grad slam competitions held at many universities. Participants give a compelling presentation of their research in 1 to 2 min, equipped with only a single slide. The 1st place winner was Candice Asmore-Harris, King’s College London; the 2nd place winner was TianDo Wang, Western University and the 3rd place winner was Maryam Hatfathaliam, University of Pennsylvania.
2019 ACS Bioconjugate Chemistry Poster Award
PostersThe American Chemical Society (ACS) recognized the work of high merit in the area of biconjucate chemistry and presented awards to the winners Zhiyang Jin, California Institute of Technology and Yasuhito Maruoka, NIH/Kyushu University.