University of Saskatchewan hosts medical imaging biomarker development workshop

North American experts in medical imaging are meeting with University of Saskatchewan health researchers and students today to discuss how advanced imaging and biomarkers can speed up detection and treatment of diseases in people and animals.

The University of Saskatchewan workshop today will focus on the challenges in developing nuclear biomarkers and nanoprobes (tiny particles used to detect, diagnose and treat disease) to better understand specific disease mechanisms and pathways. Biomarkers help medical imaging specialists measure the severity or presence of disease in the body.

“This workshop will foster the advancement and exchange of health research knowledge and identify pressing needs for research in the area of biomarker development for imaging conditions such as cancer,” said Dr. Baljit Singh, associate dean of research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). “We will also focus on the development and use of animal models that can help us to learn more about animal and human health.”

Organized by the WCVM and the U of S College of Medicine, the workshop brings high-profile speakers to Saskatoon including Dr. John Gore from Vanderbilt University’s Institute of Imaging Science in Tennesse., and Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.  Dayan Goodenowe, president and CEO of Saskatoon-based Phenomenome Discoveries, will also speak about his company’s work in developing diagnostic serum biomarkers that target cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Before the next generation of biomarkers can be developed, researchers must understand the unique molecular “signature” of a disease. That information is used to develop biomarkers that can be used for precise imaging or targeted drug delivery.

“To accomplish this goal, we need to bring together researchers from areas such as medical imaging, anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, clinical sciences and mechanical engineering,” said Dr. Paul Babyn, head of the U of S College of Medicine’s Department of Medical Imaging.

More than 60 participants will participate in the workshop’s breakout discussions and their feedback will be used to develop a recommendations report on biomarker development.

The workshop is the ideal fit for the U of S where medical imaging, nuclear medicine and synchrotron sciences are key components of the university’s future plans for research and advanced education.

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For more information, contact:

Myrna MacDonald, Communications
Western College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Saskatchewan

306-291-9950

myrna.macdonald@usask.ca

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