Vasilis Ntziachristos Ph.D. is a Professor and Chair for Biological Imaging at Technische Universität München and director of the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum München. Prior to this appointment he was faculty at Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from the Bioengineering Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Professor Ntziachristos serves as chair in international meetings and councils and in the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Leibniz prize 2013 and the Erwin Schrödinger prize 2011. His main research interests involve the development of optical and opto-acoustic methodologies for probing physiological and molecular events in tissues using non-invasive methods.
Optical imaging is unequivocally the most versatile and widely used visualization modality in the life sciences. Yet it is significantly limited by photon scattering, which complicates imaging beyond a few hundred microns. For the past few years however there has been an emergence of powerful new optical imaging methods that can offer high resolution imaging beyond the penetration limits of microscopic methods. These methods can prove essential in cancer research. Of particular importance is the development of multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography (MSOT) that brings unprecedented optical imaging performance in visualizing anatomical, physiological and molecular imaging biomarkers. Some of the attractive features of the method are the ability to offer 10-100 microns resolution through several millimetres to centimetres of tissue and real-time imaging. In parallel we have now achieved the clinical translation of targeted fluorescent probes, which opens new ways in the interventional detection of cancer in surgical and endoscopy optical molecular imaging. This talk describes current progress with methods and applications for in-vivo optical and opto-acoustic imaging in cancer and outline how new opto-acoustic and fluorescence imaging concepts are necessary for accurate and quantitative molecular investigations in tissues.