As of March 1, 2022, Euro-BioImaging has a new Section Director at the Med-Hub, picking up where Professor Silvio Aime left off after 2 years as the Interim Director of the Med-Hub. We spoke with Linda Chaabane to learn more about her passion for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), her involvement in user projects, and her vision for Euro-BioImaging in the coming years.
My name is Linda Chaabane, and I am really pleased to join Euro-BioImaging as Section Director of the Med-Hub. I discovered imaging – particularly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – at the NMR unit at the University of Lyon (France) shortly after completing my Master’s in Physics. I was immediately enthusiastic to move from fundamental physics to biomedical applications. At that time (1995), MRI was considered new with numerous challenging issues and it really wasn’t as user-friendly as it is today. (As a side note, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003 was awarded jointly to Paul C. Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield "for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging.")
I started to develop high resolution MRI and home built radiofrequency coils for assessing atherosclerosis plaques as part of my PhD training in collaboration with radiologists from the Hospices Civils de Lyon. What I liked most about imaging was the multidisciplinary aspect – including not only technology, but also chemistry and computer science to address biomedical needs. As my career evolved, I had the opportunity to develop new contrast agents together with different pharmaceutical industries and to further apply my expertise to support the development of new therapeutic drugs.
Since 2009, I moved to a scientific research institute, one of the largest in Italy, where both clinicians, scientists, and students are closely working all together. My role was to develop a new MRI approach both as a researcher but also to implement advanced imaging services for a large spectrum of disease-related models to support user’s scientific projects.
The past 25 years have been very rich professionally, as I have worked within research centres and pharmaceutical companies and had the chance to interact with scientists from a broad spectrum of disciplines. And, I had the pleasure to meet enthusiastic young scientists and help them grow in the field of imaging.
In fact, I feel very familiar with Euro-BioImaging because I have followed the Med-Hub organization from the beginning, thanks to Professor Silvio Aime, of the University of Torino. And, the Center for Preclinical Imaging of San Raffaele Hospital, where I worked previously, was also part of the MMMI Italian Node, so I know what it is like to be on the Node side, and work in a core facility.
For me, it is a great honor to follow in the footsteps of Professor Silvio Aime, and carry the Med-Hub one step further.
To be young – and have the opportunity to develop. We live in a very challenging and dynamic time with so many important developments in our field. In parallel, scientists are coming together across disciplines and they are enquiring about what imaging can offer. We can harness this energy and work towards new visions for imaging platforms to better support Life Science discoveries and translation to new treatments against human disease.
Many times scientists have a limited view about in vivo imaging potentialities, as the techniques are continuously evolving. In the coming years, spreading the knowledge about what we can do for scientists is very important. But we must also learn from scientists - what are the questions they want to answer in order to foresee the suitable imaging technology. In fact, these continuous interactions serve as incubators for innovative ideas. And Euro-BioImaging has an important role to play in fostering these dialogues.
Another area that Euro-BioImaging can support is image data analysis. This is essential in order to fully exploit the image data but also to provide reliable and quantitative value to users in agreement with FAIR principles. Here’s where Euro-BioImaging can come in – by developing comprehensive services that include image analysis and expertise to support user projects.
I am looking forward to getting to know the full Euro-BioImaging community better and exchanging with you to know your vision and how we can implement it together.
Thank you, Linda! Welcome on board!