Pre-clinical Multi-modality Imaging: The Lost Ring in the Chain of Radiation Physics Research to Clinical Translation
Elahe Alizadeh
Imaging specialist and Adjunct professor
Queen’s University
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Virtual talk via Zoom

The ideal alternatives and effective therapies for cancer require less-invasive treatments with a strong cytotoxic effect on malignant cells and inferior side effects on healthy cells. To this end, Dr. Alizadeh’s multi-disciplinary expertise focuses on the interaction of ionizing radiation with biological systems, developing cancer diagnosis and therapeutic agents, and plasma medicine as a new emerging treatment strategy. In this talk, she briefly reviews the interaction of ionizing radiations - particularly low-energy electrons (LEE) - with molecular targets of increasing complexity, that is, from small biomolecules toward more complex systems. Her investigations on the synergistic effects of LEEs and chemo-therapeutic agents or radiosensitizers on DNA significantly progressed our understanding of mechanisms involved in the concomitant chemoradiation therapyDeveloping novelmolecular agents for imaging and targeted therapyex vivo and in vivo multi-modality imaging techniques and animal models of cancer is the next phase in her mission to translate her radiation physics research from bench to bedside and clinical trials. She also outlines some possible directions to establish a dynamic research environment for bridging the gap between basic physics science and clinical facilities to design low temperature plasma devices which meet the technical requirements of medical instrumentation in efficacy and safety.  


Bio - Elahe Alizadeh graduated with a BSc. in Applied Physics and an MSc. in Medical-Radiation Physics from Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. She worked there as a physics lecturer and Health Physicist for five years. In 2010, she obtained her PhD in Nano-Bio-Physics from the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and then came to Canada to join the Sanche lab at Université de Sherbrooke, where she designed an X-ray apparatus to investigate radiation damage on DNA and chemo-therapeutic agents. Her achievements were recognized with the Jack Fowler Award in 2013 as an outstanding researcher in medical physics / radiobiology. In December 2015 after a two-year fellowship at the University of Guelph, Elahe joined the Department of Medical Imaging at the Saskatchewan Cyclotron Centre to establish a pre-clinical research program for developing novel radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and therapy. She commenced her current position in 2018 as an imaging specialist and adjunct professor at Queen’s Department of Medicine to launch the imaging lab equipped with a micro-PET/CT/SPECT scanner. She has developed many innovative approaches for ex vivo and in vivo imaging techniques including: multi-modality imaging of animal models of cancer, gated-imaging and contrast-enhanced microCT for pulmonary hypertension and COVID-19 studies. Her collaborations with many national and international research institutions and investigators have closely involved her in a broad spectrum of medical physics research projects and translation facilities.