Boğaziçi Lifesci Kandilli Deep Talks Webinar - 1
Kandilli Derin Sohbetleri
Webinar – 1
6 Nisan 2022, 11:00 - 12:30 (GMT+3)
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Webinar – 1
6 April 2022, 11:00 - 12:30 (GMT+3)
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Abstract of Prof Mangala Srinivas Presentation
Development of a new type of imaging agent: From bench to bedside
Imaging agents, and nanotechnology in general, fall in a gray space in terms of clinical development. They are difficult both in terms of formulation, and also regulation, sometimes being classified as a medicinal product. In this talk, I will go over my group's work in developing and characterising a new type of imaging agent, and the journey to the clinic. I'll discuss the need for imaging in advanced therapies, and how this can benefit scientists. I'll also go over some of the hurdles we encountered on our journey. Specifically, we are working with a nanoparticle, consisting of a polymer entrapped in a polymer matrix that works with several clinical and preclinical imaging modalities (MRI, ultrasound, fluorescence, PET, SPECT). The nanoparticle is designed for labeling therapeutic cells for quantitative, in vivo cell tracking, but can be adapted to several other applications.
About the Speaker
Prof. Mangala Srinivas
Mangala has recently (May 2021) started as Professor and Head of Dept (Chair Group Leader) at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), in Cell Biology and Immunology. Her group is currently in a transition phase, between Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC) and WUR. She is also the C.S.O. and co-founder of Cenya Imaging B.V., a spin-off company based on her work.
Mangala started her career in research at the National University of Singapore, before completing her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). She is a founder and the CSO of Cenya Imaging, a spin-off from her academic group at the RUMC in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her work focuses on agents for in vivo imaging. Mangala's early work helped establish the field of 19F MRI for quantitative in vivo cell tracking, publishing the first paper showing that this was possible. More recently, her group works on customisable nanoparticles for imaging and advanced personalised medicine applications, such as cell therapies and immunomodulation. Some of these nanoparticles are produced at GMP-grade for a clinical cell tracking study using multimodal imaging, in melanoma patients. Her group works with fluorescence, MRI, PET, SPECT, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging in different disease models, particularly cancer and cardiovascular disease. This multidisciplinary work is, and has been, supported by prestigious grants such as an NWO VENI, ERC Starting Grant (the largest European grant available to early-stage researchers), ERA-NET CVD grant, 3 ERC PoCs, and several others. She won the Dutch Venture Challenge in 2015, for her ideas on cell tracking.
Overall, Mangala’s team has taken a new type of imaging agent from development to the clinic and commercialisation.
At WUR, her work deals with immunomodulation through multifunctional nanoparticles, and noninvasive imaging. As Head, she is directly responsible for the group, including the career trajectory and hiring of tenure trackers, finances, education and courses, and people management.
Mangala is active in the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), where she served as Chair for two full terms (maximum allowed); she also served as Category Chair for the European Molecular Imaging Meetings, twice. Mangala was also shortlisted for the World Molecular Imaging Society WIMIN Outstanding Leadership award in 2019. Through the YAE, Mangala has been active in bettering the status of early academics, particularly wr.t. Open Science. She is involved in the EU project, CALIPER, dealing with gender equality in academia, and has published two articles in Nat Careers dealing with gender issues, and the uneven impact of the pandemic on academics. She is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Open Research Europe, a new platform for Open Science.
In addition to her academic career, Mangala worked for GE Healthcare in Strategy, Search and Evaluation, where she helped identify and evaluate emerging technologies in the fields of imaging. She worked to bring together different arms of the company, and build a coherent strategy in imaging and cell therapies.
Mangala has given many invited talks and been on panels, such as at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, CATAPULT UK, Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy, European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), and WMIC. She has also been invited to several meetings, such as by the International Science Council, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), European University Association (EUA), and UNESCO. Mangala has served on several grant review boards, such as for the EC (H2020), NWO and equivalent boards in Israel, Norway and Belgium.
Most important, Mangala is a busy mother of 3 young children, who constantly keep her on her toes.