PET technology as an innovative health process

KU Leuven Professor Michel Koole researches medical imaging for disease diagnosis and prognosis

09/10/2019 - 16h02

Photo: Bruno Todeschini

Professor Michel Koole from the  Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, participated in activities at PUCRS under the  Project of Institutional Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt) in September. The researcher is a specialist in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging and is collaborating with Development of technologies and innovative processes in health a cooperation project coordinated by Professor Maria Martha Campos.

Michel Koole has kept a consolidated research partnership with PUCRS’ School of Medicine since he was a researcher at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Since 2015, as a professor at KU Leuven, Koole has been developing joint research efforts which led to the signing of a cooperation agreement between PUCRS and the Belgian institution in 2019.

International Cooperation

The partnership between PUCRS and KU Leuven is in the field of medical imaging research, in particular in the quantification and modeling of PET (positron emission tomography) molecular images and the use of artificial intelligence techniques to identify patterns in medical imaging for disease diagnosis and prognosis. From August 2018 to February 2019, Professor Ana Maria Marques, from PUCRS School of Medicine was in postdoctoral internship at KU Leuven’s Medical Imaging Research Center, in the visiting professor’s research group. PhD student Caroline Machado Dartora, from the Graduate Program in Biomedical Gerontology, has also began her sandwich period at KU Leuven through PUCRS-PrInt in September 2019, under the guidance of Professor Koole.


Photo: Bruno Todeschini

During his visit to PUCRS this month, Michel Koole participated in lectures in the field of PET technology, and co-advised students of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Gerontology and Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven this semester. The visiting professor also participated in meetings of the Nucleus for Research on Medical Imaging (NIMed) and participated in two national congresses: the Brazilian Congress of Medical Physics and the Brazilian Congress of Nuclear Medicine. Besides, two jointly authored articles are being completed, with the possibility of further development into other publications.

PET technology in focus

On September 18, Koole delivered the lecture PET Imaging for Differential Diagnosis and Drug Development at the Irmão José Otão Amphitheater, at the São Lucas Hospital. The researcher addressed the main clinical applications of PET imaging in the differential diagnosis of diseases, particularly in neurology, which have been developed at KU Leuven for the last 50 years. The researcher showed that the technology may be associated with more thorough diagnoses, especially when associated with other imaging exams. The visiting professor also presented cases of collaboration between the Belgian institution and the pharmaceutical industry in the research of new drugs, showing how PET technology can contribute not only to monitor the effect, but also to prevent overdose of a particular substance.

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