Research Projects by Funding Source

  • Medical Faculty at the University of Münster

    Bacterial vascular graft infections – impact of sterile inflammation and tissue injury on biofilm formation and bacterially elicited processes

    Vascular graft infection with S. aureus
    © EIMI

    Vascular graft infection is a rare but very severe complication with a high death rate, and there are currently no reliable diagnostic tools. Newly developed tracers are intended to enable detecting bacterial distribution in the body at early time points after the infection using PET imaging.

    Principal investigators:
    Andreas Faust (EIMI), Silke Niemann
    Project time:
    01/2017 - 06/2020
    Project number:
    Fau2/014/17 | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Preclinical Imaging eXperts (PIX)

    The Core Unit "Preclinical Imaging eXperts" (PIX) of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research (IZKF) provides access to multimodal imaging technologies for cooperative research in a highly integrated structure. In the frame of PIX, our lab offers nuclear imaging SPECT and PET in combination with CT or MRI (1T), optical imaging, and photoacoustic imaging.

    Coordinators: Sven Hermann (EIMI), Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time:
    seit 01/2012
    Project funding:
    IZKF Core Unit PIX | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)

    Clinical Research Unit "Organ Dysfunction During Systemic Inflammation " (CRU 342) Project P8 “The role of glutamine in acute kidney injury”

    Kfo342-niere 1-1Kfo342-niere 2-1
    Imaging of kidney function through 99mTc-MAG3 in a mouse
    © AG Schäfers M

    Through molecular and microscopic imaging we investigate molecular, immunological and cellular signalling pathways that are relevant for systemic inflammatory reactions such as sepsis and subsequent kidney injury. The focus of this project is on understanding the effect of glutamine treatment for prevention of acute kidney injury.

    Principal investigators:
    Alexander Zarbock, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 02/2020 - 01/2023
    Project number: CRU 342 | DFG

    Development of novel, subtype-specific HCN channel ligands


    Principal investigators: Anna Junker (EIMI)
    Project time:
    10/2019 - 03/2024
    Project number: GRK2515/1 | DFG

    P2X7 and P2X4 Receptors in Cancer and Inflammation: Drug Development, Bioimaging, and Targeted Drug Delivery

    The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is emerging as a promising target for the treatment of breast cancer, pancreas cancer, and inflammatory diseases, whereas the P2X4 receptor (P2X4R) displays promising potential for the therapy of neuropathic pain. The proposed project aims to develop potent and selective P2X7R and P2X4R ligands as innovative drugs for bioimaging, and targeted drug delivery.

    Principal investigators: Anna Junker (EIMI)
    Project time:
    05/2018 - 04/2023
    Project number: JU 2966/2-1 | DFG Emmy Noether-Programm

    Molecular mechanisms and in vivo tracking of leukocyte penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in autoimmune CNS inflammation

    MMP activity in the brain of a MS patient
    © Reprinted with permission from Gerwien & Hermann et al., Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 364ra152 (2016) 9 November 2016

    We investigate the function of MMP-2 and MMP-9 at the blood-brain barrier. Our goal is to exploit MMP activity as an imaging biomarker for leukocytes penetrating this barrier in correlation to imaging of T cell dynamics in vivo and thus, to better understand lesion formation and resolution in multiple sclerosis.

    Principal investigators: Lydia Sorokin, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2012 - 06/2020
    Project number: CRC/TRR 128 B03 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre / Transregio 128 "Multiple Sclerosis"

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

  • European Commission (EC)

    TraCAR: non-invasive imaging of the pharmacokinetics and optimization of CAR T-cell therapies of solid tumors

    Efre Foerderhinweis Deutsch Farbig 1-1Efre Foerderhinweis Deutsch Farbig 2-1
    © EIMI

    CAR T-cell immunotherapy of tumors is a promising new approach to treat cancers, which already showed great success in hematological tumors. Aim of this project is the establishment of nuclear imaging strategies for the visualization of CAR T-cells in a preclinical setting. This enables the imaging-assisted optimization of novel and improved CAR T-cell therapies - potentially also in patients.

    Coordinator: Wa’el al Rawashdeh, Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch Gladbach
    EIMI members involved as partners: Michael Schäfers, Sonja Schelhaas
    Project time: 12/2019 - 11/2022
    Project number: Leitmarktagentur.NRW, LS-2-2-050

    Immune-Image

    Immuneimage C-gran-honold-et-al-theranostics-2018-8 1-1Immuneimage C-gran-honold-et-al-theranostics-2018-8 2-1
    Distribution of immune cells in the body of a mouse, imaged with optical imaging
    © S. Gran & L. Honold et al./Theranostics 2018(8)

    In this project, we develop methods for monitoring immune cells before, during and after immune treatment. Initially, we will look at these processes in animal models for different diseases – with the aim of translating the results and methods to patients mid-term enabling us to establish image-guided immunotherapies with improved efficacy in diseases such as cancer or inflammation.

    Coordinator: Albert D. Windhorst (Amsterdam University Medical Centre, the Netherlands)
    EIMI members involved as partners: Michael Schäfers, Andreas Jacobs, Andreas Faust, Sven Hermann, Friedemann Kiefer, Sabine Stötzer
    Project time: 10/2019 - 09/2024
    Project number: Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking, grant agreement No 831514

    PET 3D: PET imaging in drug design & development

    This project supports the training of early stage researchers to be the next generation of specialised translational PET imaging scientists. The focus is on cutting-edge research projects in the main areas of oncology, cardiovascular and central nervous system.

    EIMI members involved as partners: Andreas Jacobs (EIMI)
    Work package 5: CNS PET Imaging
    - Multimodal and multi-tracer imaging of inflammation in stroke
    - Multimodal two-photon microscopy and PET/MR imaging of glioma growth & angiogenesis
    Project time: 06/2016 - 05/2020
    Project number: H2020 – MSCA-ITN-2015 / 675417 | European Commission, Horizon 2020

  • Finished Projects

    Photoacoustic imaging to non-invasively characterize atherosclerotic plaques in vivo

    Atherosclerotic coronary artery of a mouse
    © EIMI/A. Starsichova

    Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) could translate molecular imaging of potential life threatening atherosclerotic lesions into clinical scenarios given its non-invasiveness, good penetration depth and low costs. This project aims at systematically establishing molecular targeted PA imaging of the carotid artery in mice with a clear vision towards translation into patients.

    Principal investigators: Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Sven Hermann (EIMI)
    Project time:
    01/2017 - 12/2019
    Project number:
    IZKF Z04 | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Dynamic medical imaging: Modelling and analysis of medical data for improved diagnosis, monitoring and pharmaceuticals development (MED4D)

    This joint project being undertaken nationwide in Germany aims to develop and analyse mathematic models for four-dimensional imaging. In this process, three-dimensional images are generated and, in addition – as a fourth dimension – changes that occur over time can be reconstructed and made visible. We develop mathematical models and methods, that enable the separation and thus the individual analysis of motion – e. g. movements resulting from the heartbeat or from breathing – and kinetic change.

    Coordinator:
    Martin Burger
    EIMI members involved as partners: Klaus Schäfers
    Project time:
    12/2016 - 11/2019
    Project number: BMBF 05M16PMB

    Preclinical assessment of the interactions of blood-brain barrier integrity and kinetic properties of PSMA-targeted PET ligands using dynamic PET and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI

    Gd-DTPA extravasation in a mouse brain, 9.4 T MRT
    © EIMI/P. Backhaus

    We investigate the connection between cerebral PET-tracer accumulation and MRI-contrast medium dynamics. The project is implemented within a research rotation programme which releases physicians from clinical duties so that they can work on a research project. In this way, basic research and clinical work come closer together.

    Clinician scientist: Philipp Backhaus (EIMI/TRIC)
    Supervisors: Cornelius Faber (TRIC), Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 09/2017 - 04/2019
    Project funding: Research rotation | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 1009 "Breaking Barriers"

    Characterization of the particle drift behavior of a novel PET detector concept using heavy dielectric organometallic liquids

    Geant4 (Gate)-Simulation of a TMBi PET scanner
    © EIMI/K. Schäfers

    We are testing to see how well PET detectors can function on the basis of a liquid known as trimethyl bismuth (TMBi) operated as ionisation and Cherenkov detectors. The challenge is to produce TMBi of such extreme purity that measuring is actually possible. As soon as it works, we want to develop a liquid-filled detector prototype to be used in PET.

    Principal investigators: Klaus Schäfers (EIMI), Christian Weinheimer
    Project time:
    11/2017 - 12/2018
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2017-19 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Combining myeloid precursor immortalization, genome editing and genetic reporter systems for imaging of monocyte trafficking in inflammation and ischemia

    Imaging of labeled monocytes after a heart attack
    © EIMI/M. Schäfers

    In this project, our aim is to visualize, for the first time, inflammatory processes in a living organism over a longer period of time. To this end, we are using genetically modified monocytes which we can track at any time using gene reporter substrates.

    Principal investigators:
    Johannes Roth, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 11/2017 - 12/2018
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2017-17 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM)

    In this cross-faculty network, more than 90 research groups at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine investigate how cells move and behave in the body. They use a broad range of imaging technologies and work on developing innovative strategies to make processes in the body visible that are normally hidden from the human eye.

    Coordinating team: Lydia Sorokin, Volker Gerke, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 11/2012 - 12/2018
    Project number: EXC 1003 | DFG

    Preclinical assessment of the interactions of blood-brain barrier integrity and kinetic properties of PSMA-targeted PET ligands

    F-18-PSMA-1007 accumulation in glioma in a mouse brain
    © EIMI/P. Backhaus

    Penetration of specific barriers is a prerequisite for target binding of radioactive tracers. PSMA-targeting PET tracers are used for cancer staging in the clinical routine. We want to characterize the interactions of this tracer with the blood-brain barrier in the mouse to facilitate interpretation of intracerebral tracer accumulations.

    Principal investigator: Philipp Backhaus (EIMI/TRIC)
    Project time: 09/2017 - 08/2018
    Project funding: Innovative Medical Research (IMF) | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    The diagnostic and prognostic value of FDG-PET-MRI and its correlation with cellular and biologic features in primary CNS lymphoma patients

    We investigate the extent to which PET-MRI can contribute to a more precise diagnosis and individual prognosis assessment in patients with malignant tumors affecting the central nervous system. The innovative hybrid system combines the strengths of two high-resolution imaging methods.

    Principal investigators: Georg Lenz, Oliver Grauer, Werner Paulus, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2016 - 06/2018
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2016-10 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Imaging of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases (INMiND)

    INMiND aims to identify novel biological targets of neuroinflammation for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and to translate this knowledge into clinical application. This will be achieved by conducting collaborative research on molecular mechanisms that link neuroinflammation with neurodegeneration.

    Coordinator: Andreas Jacobs (EIMI)
    Project time: 03/2012 - 02/2018
    Project number: GA278850 | European Commission, FP7 Framework Programme

    Quantitative Imaging in Cancer: Connecting Cellular Processes with Therapy (QuIC-ConCePT)

    Objective of this consortium is to qualify imaging biomarkers of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and necrosis for tumor therapy follow-up. In this context, we perform positron emission tomography with the proliferation tracer [18F]fluorothymidine and diffusion weighted-magnetic resonance imaging in preclinical tumor models treated with paclitaxel, gemcitabine, or FOLFOX.

    Coordinator: John Waterton, Astra Zeneka
    EIMI members involved as partners: Andreas Jacobs (EIMI)
    - Work package 2: Pre-clinical Imaging (Leader: Eric Aboagye, London)
    - Work package 3: Clinical Imaging (Leader: Sigrid Stroobants, Antwerpen)
    Project time: 09/2011 - 12/2017
    Project funding: European Commission

    Photoacoustic molecular imaging in rheumatoid arthritis

    PAI of S100A9 in a mouse model of arthritis
    © EIMI/A. Hasenbach

    We use the protein S100A9 to visualize inflammatory activity in rheumatoid arthritis, which is the most common chronic joint disease. By means of photoacoustic imaging (PAI), we want to enable an investigation of the relapsing inflammatory activity in lower tissue layers.

    Principal investigators: Sven Hermann (EIMI), Thomas Vogl
    Project time: 07/2015 - 10/2017
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2015-12 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Intravital direct visualization of hypoxia using a genetically encoded optical sensor

    Hypoxia in a tumor
    © EIMI/R. Erapaneedi, F. Kiefer

    We develop genetically encoded, protein-based systems that indicate hypoxia – which describes insufficient supply of tissues with oxygen – through fluorescence. For the first time this allows the analysis of hypoxia under physiological and pathological conditions by using light microscopy, even more to visualize hypoxia in living cells.

    Principal investigators: Friedemann Kiefer (EIMI), Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2015 - 10/2017
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2015-04 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"
    Spokesman: Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 | DFG

    Sphingolipid Receptor Imaging in Cardiovascular Diseases
    Principal investigators: Bodo Levkau, Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Günter Haufe
    Project time: 07/2009 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 A06 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Imaging of S100A9 Specific Tracers to Monitor Phagocyte Activity in Inflammatory Cardiovascular Pathologies
    Principal investigators: Andreas Faust (EIMI), Sven Hermann (EIMI), Thomas Vogl
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 A09 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Maltodextrin Transporter Based Imaging of Cardiovascular Bacterial Infections
    Principal investigators: Andreas Faust (EIMI), Sven Hermann (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 A10 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging

    PET reconstructions of thin structures and their validation
    Principal investigators: Frank Wübbeling, Florian Büther (EIMI), Martin Burger
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 B02 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Quantification in high-resolution dynamic PET-MR imaging for analysis of small structures
    Principal investigators: Klaus Schäfers (EIMI), Cornelius Faber, Xiaoyi Jiang
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 B03 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Multiparametric Imaging of Vascular Pathologies
    Principal investigators: Sven Hermann (EIMI), Bodo Levkau, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2009 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 C06 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Multiscale Optical Imaging in Murine Models of Atherosclerosis Using Ultramicroscopy and 2 Photon Microscopy
    Principal investigators: Friedemann Kiefer, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 C10 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Animal models
    Principal investigator: Michael Kuhlmann (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2017
    Project number: CRC 656 Z02 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Development and evaluation of targeted absorbers for optimized photoacoustic signals
    Principal investigators: Andreas Faust (EIMI), Cristian A. Strassert
    Project time: 04/2014 - 08/2016
    Project number: CRC 656 PM18 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Phamacokinetic modulation of PET probes by structurally mimicking fluorescent dyes
    Principal investigators: Carsten Höltke, Bernhard Wünsch, Andreas Faust (EIMI)
    Project time: 08/2014 - 08/2016
    Project number: CRC 656 PM19 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Targeted photoinduced killing of bacterial pathogens utilizing maltohexaose-conjugated photoprobes
    Principal investigators: Andreas Faust (EIMI), Bettina Löffler
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2016
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2013-10 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    PET imaging of freely moving mice
    Principal investigators: Xiaoyi Jiang, Frank Wübbeling, Klaus Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2016
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2013-16 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Clear sub-millimeter spatial resolution in small animal positron emission tomography
    Principal investigators: Florian Büther (EIMI), Klaus Schäfers (EIMI), Johannes Wessels
    Project time: 07/2014 - 06/2016
    Project number: CRC 656 PM17 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    From single cells to organs: A novel multimodal imaging approach to investigate the impact of the lymphatic vasculature on murine heart function and development
    Principal investigators: René Hägerling, Michael Kuhlmann (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2015 - 06/2016
    Project number: CRC 656 PM22 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Positron emission tomography of non-anesthetized freely-moving mice
    Principal investigators: Klaus Schäfers (EIMI), Mohammad Dawood (EIMI), Xiaoyi Jiang
    Project time: 09/2012 - 08/2015
    Project number: DA 1064/3-1 | DFG Individual Grants Programm

    Monitoring molecular mechanisms of monocyte migration during inflammatory processes in vivo
    Principal investigators: Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Johannes Roth
    Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2015
    Project number: EXC 1003 FF-2013-24 | DFG Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence

    Regulation adulter Neurogenese durch inflammatorische Prozesse
    Principal investigators: Jens Schwamborn, Andreas Jacobs (EIMI)
    Project time: 01/2011 - 12/2013
    Project number: IZKF SchwJ3/001/1 | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Euro-BioImaging - Research infrastructure for imaging technologies in biological and biomedical sciences
    Coordinators: Jan Ellenberg, Heidelberg; Stefan Schönberg, Wien
    EIMI member involved as partner: Andreas Jacobs
    - Work package 3 (Process Plan)
    - Work package 9 (Molecular Imaging)
    Project time: 12/2010 - 11/2013
    Project funding: European Comission

    Specific imaging of activated caspases in apoptosis
    Principal investigators: Klaus Kopka, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2013
    Project number: CRC 656 A03 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Development of a multimodal high-resolution small animal PET based on multi-wire proportional counters
    Principal investigators: Klaus Schäfers (EIMI), Johannes Wessels
    Project time: 07/2009 - 06/2013
    Project number: CRC 656 B06 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Imaging of cardiovascular remodelling lacking the vascular basement membrane protein laminin α5
    Principal investigators: Lydia Sorokin, Sven Hermann (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2011 - 06/2013
    Project number: CRC 656 PM14 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Novel approaches for life optical imaging of vascular development and pathologies
    Principal investigators: Friedemann Kiefer, Andreas Faust (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2011 - 06/2013
    Project number: CRC 656 PM15 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Development and evaluation of nonpeptidic ligands for the molecular imaging of inflammatory processes using S100A9 (MRP14) as novel target
    Principal investigators: Andreas Faust (EIMI), Thomas Vogl, Sven Hermann (EIMI)
    Project time: 09/2010 - 09/2012
    Project funding: Innovative Medical Research Programme | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Angionese-Targeting für Diagnose und Therapie
    Principal investigator: Andreas Jacobs (EIMI)
    Project time: 04/2011 - 08/2012
    Project number: 01EZ0811 | BMBF Molekulare Bildgebung in der Medizin (MoBiMed)

    Molecular imaging of matrix metalloproteinase activity in encephalomyelitis
    Principal investigator: Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Lydia Sorokin, Klaus Kopka
    Project time: 01/2009 - 12/2011
    Project number: IZKF Schä2/020/09 | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Small Animal PET
    Principal investigators: Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Sven Hermann (EIMI)
    Project time: 01/2009 - 12/2011
    Project number: IZKF Core Unit SmAP | Medical Faculty, University of Münster

    Modeling of blood flow for a arteriosclerosis model
    Principal investigators: Mario Ohlberger, Timo Ropinski, Michael Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 10/2010 - 09/2011
    Project number: CRC 656 PM09 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Molecular-functional imaging of endothelial disfunction in vivo
    Principal investigators: Michael Schäfers (EIMI), Bodo Levkau
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2009
    Project number: CRC 656 A01 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Cardiac autonomic innervation
    Principal investigators: Marylin Law (EIMI), Paulus Kirchhof, Burkhard Riemann
    Project time: 07/2005 - 06/2009
    Project number: CRC 656 A05 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Non-linear variational methods for improved quantitative analysis of cardiac H215O data
    Principal investigators: Martin Burger, Klaus Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 01/2008 - 12/2008
    Project number: CRC 656 PM06 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"

    Simultaneous molecular functional phenotyping of selected disease models: Adaptation, evaluation, and validation of computer based methods for quantitation of functio-anatomical parameters of the cardiac function using PET in comparison to MRI
    Principal investigators: Lars Stegger, Klaus Schäfers (EIMI)
    Project time: 07/2006 - 06/2007
    Project number: CRC 656 PM03 | DFG Collaborative Research Centre 656 "Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging"