Ten years of molecular imaging at EIMI
This year the European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) at the University of Münster celebrates not only its tenth anniversary, but also the appointment of Prof. Friedemann Kiefer as Professor of Intravital Molecular Imaging. Around 50 researchers from a spectrum of disciplines use and jointly develop imaging methods which visualize molecular processes in organisms, tissues and cells. Using these imaging technologies they investigate the development of blood vessels, inflammatory diseases in vessels, infections, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The expertise at EIMI, as well as the strong interaction between different subject disciplines, were also instrumental in laying the foundation for the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence.
Over the past few years, the EIMI team has built up a broad range of imaging technologies “from macro to micro”, kicking off with nuclear medicine methods of whole-body imaging, PET and SPECT, along with computer tomography. This was followed by optical imaging, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging. Later, EIMI researchers carried out their first investigations using two-photon microscopy. The range of imaging expertise within the institute was further extended with the appointment of Prof. Friedemann Kiefer as a specialist for light microscopy. Friedemann Kiefer studies molecular processes primarily by using microscopic methods at the level of individual cells and tissues, enabling him to gain a better understanding of the consequences for entire organs or for the organism.
Four university departments were already involved when EIMI was established: Medicine, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Physics. In the Cells-in-Motion (CiM) Cluster of Excellence, approved in 2012, this interdisciplinary way of working is now practised in a much wider range at Münster University. There is also a close connection between the institute and the cluster as far as personnel is concerned: EIMI Director Prof. Michael Schäfers is also one of the three coordinators of CiM. This close connection is also manifested in the physical proximity: EIMI is located in the same building as the institute of CiM’s spokesperson Prof. Lydia Sorokin.
What were the special moments in the last ten years? In an interview, the three EIMI directors Prof. Michael Schäfers, Prof. Andreas Jacobs and Prof. Friedemann Kiefer look back over these ten years and extend an invitation to the symposium being held on December 5.