Position: Postdoctoral Researcher - Multimodal Healthcare Data (Medical imaging & Human Health)
Title: Multimodal validation of Color K-edge lung imaging using Spectral Photon-Counting Computed Tomography in combination with dedicated contrast agents
Laboratory: Research lab CREATIS - https://www.creatis.insa-lyon.fr/
Supervisor: Salim Si-Mohamed (MD, PhD, Associate Professor, cardiovascular and thoracic radiologist, will be appointed Full Professor in 2024, University of Lyon, Hôpital Louis Pradel)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
KOLOR SPCCT Imaging team, led by Salim Si-Mohamed: 3 PhD, 1 post-doc, 2 Engineers, 1 zootechnician and many national and international collaborations
MYRIAD Team - https://creatis-myriad.github.io/, led by Olivier Bernard
Length: 3/4 years starting in 2024
Gratification: from 2500 to 4378 €/month (depending from experience)
Campus de la Doua, 21 Avenue Jean Capelle, 69621 Villeurbanne
Hôpital Louis Pradel: 59 Bd Pinel, 69500 Bron
CERMEP Platform: 59 Bd Pinel, 69500 Bron
Position: Funded by the ERC Starting Grant "KOLOR SPCCT Imaging" (kick off scheduled in april 2024, funding for 5 years).
Keywords: Lung diseases; Spectral photon-counting CT; Morphologic imaging; Functional imaging; Contrast agent; Ventilation & Perfusion imaging; Molecular imaging; animal studies; clinical translation.
X-ray computed tomography (CT) is the mainstay of lung imaging due to its higher spatial resolution, convenience, availability and faster acquisition time compared to other imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging. However, it only provides morphological characterization, which is not fully suitable for lung diseases that are a complex combination of respiratory, vascular and inflammatory dysfunctions. Their diagnosis requires both morphological and functional analysis of ventilation, perfusion and molecular biomarkers. As so, standard of care relies on a multimodal diagnostic workup involving scintigraphy, positron emission tomography and tissue biopsy. This has three main drawbacks: it's either not precise enough or is invasive, and in any case it's time-consuming while worsening the patient's prognosis.
The spectral photon-counting CT (SPCCT) is an emerging technology that not only capitalizes on all the advantages of morphological CT imaging, but also offers a cutting-edge imaging method known as K-edge color imaging. This method allows the specific and quantitative identification of one or more atoms concomitantly within a tissue, enabling the simultaneous functional imaging of independent or interactive processes. However, Color K-edge imaging is still limited by its low sensitivity and the scarcity of tracers for potential use in humans, and has therefore not yet been put into practice.
By combining medical imaging, respirology, chemistry and physics, KOLOR SPCCT Imaging will bridge morphological and functional imaging in one single breath-hold. To reach this goal, it will provide:
1- Color lung K-Edge imaging: develop a high-sensitive dedicated imaging tool
2- Diagnosis of lung diseases: provide a “one-breath hold” ventilation and perfusion imaging in healthy animals and animal models
3-Prediction of lung diseases: provide a “one-breath-hold” monitoring of the molecular inflammatory burden in animal models
KOLOR SPCCT Imaging will provide unprecedented knowledge on ventilation, perfusion, molecular inflammatory response and their interaction. It will develop K-edge Color imaging to provide specific and quantitative high-resolution imaging with the use of non-specific and specific tracers on key pulmonary applications in animal models: pulmonary embolism, cancer and fibrosis. It will bring a paradigm shift for diagnosis and prognosis of lung diseases, allowing an earlier and more precise diagnosis of lung disease for a higher chance of survival of the patients.
Essential duties and responsabilites:
1-Development and implementation of image analysis tools for Color K-edge ventilation & perfusion imaging
The candidate will take in hand the current image analysis tools (in-house & Philips Healthcare) and further optimize their use towards clinical translation (in collaboration with Philips Healthcare & the lab, spin-off)
2-Coordination of the multimodal pre-clinical imaging experiments (ex vivo & in vivo animal experiments).
The candidate will collaborate within the research environment of the ERC project with CREATIS lab, CERMEP platform, STROBE lab.
3-Validation of the Color K-edge imaging with quantitative methods of reference (non specific ventilation & perfusion imaging and specific molecular inflammation imaging)
The candidate will lead nuclear imaging experiments for diagnostic and quantification of inflammation burden experiments, i.e., perfusion lung scintigraphy using 99mTc-DTPA with single photon emission CT/CT, K-edge subtraction computed tomography imaging by synchrotron radiation, single photon emission CT/CT by chelating 111indium chloride (111In), translocator protein-specific positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer that is specific to the translocator protein (TSPO), multi-scale spectral phase contrast imaging at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
KOLOR SPCCT IMAGING will be performed on the unique clinical SPCCT prototype of Philips Healthcare already acquired by the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), in the framework of the France Life Imaging (FLI) and H2020.
The SPCCT system (Philips Healthcare) is a large field-of-view (50 cm in-plane) clinical prototype CT equipped with energy-sensitive photon-counting detectors. Pixel pitches are of 275 x 275 µm2 at isocenter, bonded to Philips' proprietary ChromAIX2 application-specific integrated circuit, relying on the direct conversion high band gap semiconductor of cadmium zinc telluride. Each channel offers pulse-height discrimination with five controllable energy thresholds. It is noteworthy to mention that an upgrade SPCCT system will be appointed in my hospital (centre hospitalier universitaire Louis Pradel, Lyon, FRANCE) in 2026 that will enable to pursue both pre-clinical and clinical research.
Research will be performed at CERMEP, a local multimodal in vivo imaging platform that will enable the use of following validation methods: Spectral lung CT ventilation with Xenon, PET-CT with [11C](R)-PK11195 radioligand for inflammation imaging, lung V/Q scintigraphy and several imaging facilities for small animals: micro-PET-CT, 7T MRI and micro-CT.
The CERMEP hosts research teams with complementary expertise (e.g., radiochemistry, instrumentation, biology, preclinical and clinical imaging, PET kinetic modelling) in collaboration with Hospices Civils de Lyon, and CREATIS imaging Lab. The proximity with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble) provides the optimal conditions for technical development and benchmarking of Color K-edge imaging.
More details in the proposal attached.