2018 Program

High Country continues to attract and blend experts from academia and industry, with leaders in medical specialties, the regulatory agencies and health care researchers in an informal setting to facilitate dialog and an exchange of ideas.  The meeting consists of six (6) hours of structured sessions per day (9 sessions total).  In between sessions, there are ample opportunities for independent meetings, networking and discussions. The 2018 meeting, with anticipated attendance in excess of 100 participants, promises to open avenues and opportunities of collaboration on a variety of issues important to the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community.

NEW IN 2018:

  • 29 hours of content
  • Daily roundtable discussions (1pm – 3pm)


HCNMC 2018 PDF Program

6:30 am – 7:00 am

Breakfast with the Vendors



7:00 am – 9:30 am

Pre-clinical Advanced SPECT/PET Imaging – Implications on Clinical Image Improvements

Moderators: A. Hans Vija, PhD and Ernest Garcia, PhD

This session will cover the most recent breakthroughs in pre-clinical and clinical imaging with innovative multi-pinhole and other advanced technologies, such as Compton and Nuclear Polarization Imaging. Attendees will see evidence one can now perform sub-quarter mm SPECT, sub-mm PET simultaneous with SPECT and do full automated 3D multi-tracer autoradiography, but also learn about ideas and concepts of non-classical SPECT image formation. The session will conclude with a panel discussion on the translation of novel SPECT technology into clinical practice.

Presenters and Topics:

How Technology Advancements Could Impact Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Speaker: A. Hans Vija, PhD

Next generation SPECT-PET preclinical and clinical applications I: Multi-pinhole Imaging

Speaker: Prof. Frederik J Beekman

Next generation SPECT-PET preclinical and clinical applications II: Compton Imaging

Speaker: Prof. Neil Clinthorne

Next generation SPECT-PET preclinical and clinical applications III: Polarized Nuclear Imaging (PNI) and Improvements

Speaker: Prof. Ge Wang

Panel Discussion: Translation of novel SPECT technology to clinical practice

Moderator: A. Hans Vija, PhD and Ernest Garcia, PhD


1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Instrumentation Topics

Facilitator: Prof. Frederik Beekman



4:00 pm– 7:30 pm

Immune System Imaging, Role of RNA, infection, inflammation

Moderators: Dominique Delbeke, MD and Professor Andreas Kjaer

Presenters and Topics



Sunday, March 4, 2018


6:30 am – 7:00 am

Breakfast with the Vendors


7:00 am – 9:30 am

Therapies, Thyroid, Cancer Approaches

Moderator: Michael Wissmeyer, MD

Presenters and Topics



1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Therapy Topics

Facilitator: TBD



4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

New Frontiers in Non-MPI Nuclear Cardiology

Moderator: Robert  Hendel, MD

Presenters and Topics

Amyloidosis, Sarcoidoisis etc

Cardio-oncology and cardiotoxicity: Raymond Russell, MD
Evaluation of cardiomyopathy
Cardiac inflammation and infection
Atherosclerosis imaging: (TBD)



7:00pm – 10:00pm




Monday, March 5, 2018


6:30 am – 7:00 am

Breakfast with the Vendors


7:00 am – 9:30 am

Regulatory and Legislative Developments – New Payment Systems, Reimbursement initiatives and Expedited Drug Approval and Review

Session Chairs: Ira Goldman, MA, Kevin Donohoe, MD
The healthcare panorama has been roiled since the beginning of 2017 by legislative efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  Despite this, major healthcare legislation already passed by Congress in recent years (PAMA, MACRA) continue to provide a legislative foundation for the implementation of alternative payment models to drive cost-reduction and quality improvement measures. Beneath the hype of the national healthcare debate, the further development of Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) and application of Clinical Decision-Support (CDS) systems moves forward, along with discussions by FDA on “Parallel Review” to expedite drug approval and reimbursement.  This session will provide updates regarding an overview of ongoing legislative and regulatory changes impacting the nuclear medicine sector.

Presenters and Topics

Healthcare Legislative Big Picture – AHCA, BCRA, ACA, etc.

Speaker: Sukhjeet Ahuja, MD., MPH (CONFIRMED)

CMS – Innovation and Coverage: Potential Impact in Value Based Systems (MIPs and APMs)
Speaker: Reena Duseja, Director, Division of Quality Measurement, CMS (TO BE INVITED)

AUC Status Report – Completed, in Progress, and Future Work
Speaker: Kevin Donohoe, MD (CONFIRMED)

FDA – Parallel rather than sequential review of new imaging drug applications for FDA approval and CMS coverage
Speaker: Lou Marzella, MD, PhD, FDA (CONFIRMED)

PANELISTS: Kevin Donohoe, Denise Merlino, Sukhjeet Ahuja, Reena Duseja, Lou Marzella, Alex Hofling


1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Regulatory – Bring Your Issues for Discussion

Facilitator: Denise Merlino



4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Moly Production in the US; Canada, Europe

Moderator: Roy Brown, MBA



Tuesday, March 6, 2018



6:30 am – 7:00 am

Breakfast with the Vendors



7:00 am – 10:30 am

What’s Wrong with this Picture? — Progress and Pitfalls in NeuroPET Imaging

Moderator: Daniel Silverman, MD

The human brain is the organ for which the greatest experience in three-dimensional reconstruction of Nuclear Medicine images has been amassed, as we are now in our fifth decade of experience with SPECT and PET images of regional cerebral structure and function.  It is also the organ for which the largest number of FDA-approved commercially distributed PET tracers currently exists, with several more in the pipeline… as well as for which arguably the greatest clinical under-utilization of those tracers persists.  This session aims to provoke frank discussion on the present status and limitations of the clinical evidence and underlying basic science driving all of the above issues.

Presenters and Topics:

NeuroInflammation — The Next Big Thing?

Speaker: TBD

Tau Imaging — If Not Now, When?

Speaker: Michael Devous, PhD

Amyloid Imaging, State of the Science

Speaker: Val Lowe, MD

Clinical Amyloid PET Update — the latest ideas on IDEAS

Speaker: TBD

FDG — What’s the Newest on the Oldest?

Speaker: TBD

General Discussion: Panel and Audience

20 minutes presentation, followed by 15 minutes allotted for specific discussion for Topics #1 through #5, and with the 35 remaining minutes open for general discussion that may span across individual tracer classes to broader issues.



1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Cardiology – Case-based LV dyssynchrony analysis – recent success in guiding CRT

Facilitator: Ernest Garcia, PhD



4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Latest Advances in Cardiac SPECT & PET Software Methods

Moderators: Ernest Garcia, PhD and Daniel Berman, MD

This session will cover the latest clinical cardiac software methods available and their impact on clinical practice. Software advances include machine learning, decision support systems, automated quality control, phase analysis, and image fusion. Emerging clinical applications made possible by the latest advances in cardiac software in myocardial blood flow, relative perfusion quantification, LV synchrony, myocardial innervation, automated image interpretation and automated reporting will be discussed.

Presenters and Topics:

Modern Reconstruction Algorithms: Reducing Dose, Improving Image Quality and Extracting More Information

James Case, PhD – To be confirmed

“Machine Learning”, “PET Flow quantification”

Piotr Slomka, PhD – (accepted)

Edward Ficaro, PhD – To be confirmed

Image Guided Resynchronization, Smart Reporting: The Impact of Latest Advances on Clinical Practice

Ernest Garcia, PhD.

Daniel Berman, MD

Panel: What does the clinician still need? 



Wednesday, March 7, 2018


6:30 am – 7:00 am

Breakfast with the Vendors



7:00 am – 9:30 am

Prostate Session

Moderator: Val Lowe, MD

Recent advances in prostate cancer imaging and radioisotope treatment are receiving intense interest from industry and medical professionals alike. This has led to growth in the science of prostate cancer imaging tracer discovery and is leading to generational-type change in practice patterns. This session aims to provide the participant with an understanding of the different advanced prostate cancer imaging methods that are available. There will also be discussion of the clinical indications for which imaging can best be applied.  The session will also aim to help the participant better plan for, select and implement prostate cancer treatment with targeted radioisotopes.

Presenters and Topics:

PSMA Prostate Cancer Imaging—which PSMA did you say?

Speaker: Timothy R. DeGrado, PhD (accepted) DeGrado.Timothy@mayo.edu

Non-PSMA Prostate Cancer Imaging.

Speaker: Val J. Lowe, MD

Image Guided Prostate Cancer Treatment – Pros and Cons of Different Therapeutic Radioisotopes.

Speaker: TBA   (I am checking with Andreas)

Considerations for Design of an Image Guided Prostate Cancer Therapy Practice.

Speaker: TBA    (not asked)

20 minutes per presentation, followed by 10 minutes allotted questions for each speaker, and with the 30 remaining minutes open for general discussion that may span across individual tracer classes to broader issues.



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