My research is focused on non-invasive imaging of inflammation models, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or psoriasis arthritis. Positron emission tomography (PET) offers a non invasive method for longitudinal studies in laboratory animals as well as in patients. Small animal high resolution PET has emerged as a valuable tool to perform in vivo studies on a level of therapy monitoring and early diagnosis of inflammation and tumor development. For example, [18F]FDG a glucose analogue tracer is used in clinics for tumor imaging and therapy monitoring. However, imaging of inflammatory diseases is not well established, but could be a new helpfully tool for early diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. In our studies, we use a hypoxia induced angiogenesis model of RA and evaluate PET tracers like [18F]FMISO or [18F]FAZA for early detection of initial phases of RA. We try to find new tracers and methods that help us to use PET as early biomarker for inflammatory diseases in future studies as well as for therapy monitoring and in vivo investigation of therapeutic endpoints.

Further we are interested in the role of granulocytic myeloid suppressor cells and their functions during RA progression using in vivo PET imaging.

Group Leader:

Dr. Kerstin Fuchs

phone: +49 7071 29 83739





Jonathan Cotton

Chris Göhring

PhD student