CoSTREAM ​partners from Switzerland

The Swiss partner leads the MRI and PETbrain imaging aspects of the project in Work Package 3.

​University of Geneva

Universty of Geneva

The university of geneva (UNIGE) is the host institution of the Laboratoire de Neuroimagerie du Vieillissement (LANVIE) led by Prof. Giovanni Frisoni.

The University of Geneva is Switzerland’s second largest university. It has a strong international reputation, both for the quality of its research (it ranks among the top institutions among the league of European Research Universities) and the excellence of its education. The Faculty of Medicine is well-known at international level, and it leads research in partnership with the largest hospital complex in Switzerland, the Geneva University Hospitals. Here, the Clinical Medicine Section’s research is oriented towards new therapies, improvement of diagnostic tools, prevention, quality of care and patient support.

LANVIE has established a scientific cooperation with the Department of Radiology of the Centre Médical Universitaire, thanks to which it has access to know-how of the areas of Nuclear Medicine and Neuroradiology.

UNIGE has more than 20 years of experience in clinical and translational research on Alzheimer's disease. The main scientific interest has always been the use of neuroimaging techniques in persons with or at risk for cognitive impairment. Specific topics of investigation are: the clinical use of imaging biomarkers; the study of novel MRI markers in Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular diseases; in vivo neurobiology of Alzheimer's disease; the clinical use of innovative PET ligands and PET/MR technology; harmonization of imaging markers for clinical use; the study of brain connectivity in neurodegenerative diseases by imaging; the development of innovative image analysis environments based on advanced ICT technology.

Role in CoSTREAM

UNIGE will lead WP3 on Brain Imaging and will contribute to study novel brain imaging-markers that relate to both stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, including novel PET ligands, ultra-high field imaging and brain vasculature imaging.

UNIGE will use novel molecular imaging techniques to image the earliest pathologic changes that cause stroke and Alzheimer's and to explain the co-occurrence of these two pathologies, measuring neurodegenerative changes by the newly developed tau PET ligands. Additionally, the group will also contribute to study how brain connectivity affects the risk of stroke and AD. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) will be used to obtain microstructural and functional information about brain connectivity and brain networks. Brain vasculature and perfusion will be studied in order to evaluate its role in stroke and AD.

UNIGE will integrate genetic and metabolic findings from Work Packages 1 and 2 to study how these affect the brain structure, microstructure, connectivity, and vasculature.

Work Package 3 will provide MRI markers that affect the risk of both stroke and Alzheimer's disease to be studied further in following Work Packages.

Key staff

Prof. Giovanni Frisoni is a clinical neurologist and full professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Head of the Memory Clinic of the Geneva University Hospital. Scientific Director at the National Alzheimer’s Centre in Brescia, Italy and Head of the local Laboratory of Neuroimaging and Translational Care Unit. Author of over 400 scientific papers listed in PubMed, imaging editor for Neurobiology of Aging, and founding editorial board member of The Lancet Neurology. Principal Investigator of European Commission funded projects FP6 ENIR in 2006-7, FP7 neuGRID in 2008-10, FP7 outGRID in 2009-12, and FP7 neuGRID for users in 2011-14, aiming to develop an innovative working environment for imaging neuroscientists based on cloud computing. He has brought ADNI to Europe with Alzheimer’s Association grant Pilot European ADNI in 2005-6 and IMI Pharmacog WP5/EADNI in 2010-ongoing, and ADNI and DIAN to Italy with Italian Ministry of Health-funded Italian ADNI (2010-12) and Italian DIAN (2012-ongoing). Prof. Frisoni is leading the international Alzheimer’s Association grant Harmonized Protocol for Hippocampal Volumetry (2010-ongoing) aiming to standardize the manual segmentation of the hippocampus globally. Prof. Frisoni is the chairman of Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium at ICAD 2010 and 2011. He has brought amyloid imaging to Italy with ISS with florbetapir, flutemetamol, and florbetaben.

Prof. Sven Haller is a radiologist / neuroradiologist with double education in medicine and neurosciences, senior physician in the Division of Neuroradiology at the Geneva University Hospital and lecturer at the Geneva University. Author of 85 peer reviewed articles (H index: 18), in the fields of advanced and clinical neuroimaging, multiple European, Swiss and German awards in the domain of advanced imaging techniques. Section editor of Neuroradiology, section advanced imaging techniques, editorial board member Journal of Alzheimer disease. Main research topic: advanced imaging techniques notably in the domain of neurodegenerative diseases, functional MRI including real-time fMRI neurofeedback, neurovascular diseases.

Valentina Garibotto, MD is a nuclear medicine specialist, senior physician in the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at the Geneva University Hospital and lecturer at the Geneva University. Author of 60 peer reviewed articles (H index: 13), in the fields of clinical neuroimaging and nuclear medicine. Editorial board member for Frontiers in Neurology Education, Current Radiopharmaceuticals and World Journal of Neurology, Main research topic: dementia pathophysiology by functional and neurotransmission imaging studies.