Keynote Speakers

Prestigious international keynote speakers will give plenary lectures during the opening session of the conference.

Speaker: Rita Bernabei

University and INFN-Roma Tor Vergata

Bio: Rita Bernabei, presently Honorary rank of Docens Turris Virgatae, already full professor of Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics at Roma Tor Vergata University. She has performed her main experimental activities in Nuclear, Subnuclear and Astroparticle Physics as well as in detectors developments, mainly: 1) at National Laboratories of Frascati: 1975-1977 M.E.A. and 1982-1988 LADON experiments; 2) at CERN: 1978‐1982 UA1 experiment; 3) at Gran Sasso National Laboratory: 1985-1997 GALLEX and 1997-2005 GNO experiments, and since 1990 she heads the DAMA project. She is co-author of about 500 publications and is in the editorial board of some international scientific reviews. Her total H-index from google scholar is 80.

Developments of new and of low background crystal scintillators

Abstract: New and low background scintillators have offered and can offer improved tools for the investigation of several rare processes in underground laboratories. Some relevant cases and perspectives will be outlined together with comments on possibilities to further increase the reachable sensitivities.

Speaker: Taiga YAMAYA

Group Leader of Imaging Physics Group at National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST) in Japan

Bio: Prof. Dr. Taiga Yamaya, is a Group Leader of Imaging Physics Group at National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST) in Japan. His research interest is the development of next generation positron emission tomography (PET) systems. He obtained his Ph. D degree in 2000. He has been awarded more than 20 prizes, one of which was the 1st prize of German Innovation Award (2012). He has accomplished more than 180 peer reviewed publications and more than 35 registered patents. He has also visiting professor positions in Chiba University, Tohoku University and Yokohama City University.

Technological Innovation in PET Imaging

Abstract: In current PET, only a few percent of gamma rays emitted from a patient are used for imaging. Therefore, improvement of the sensitivity is a hot topic worldwide. Axial extension, which is referred as total-body PET, is essential in terms of the sensitivity improvement. In organ dedicated imaging, on the other hand, it is possible to improve the sensitivity without increasing the number of detectors. Improvement of spatial resolution is also expected by eliminating the photon non-collinearity effect.

In the former part of this presentation, development of brain-dedicated PET systems will be reviewed. Among them, we have recently developed Vrain, a PET system with a hemispherical detector arrangement (Takahashi et al. EJNMMI Physics 9:69 (2022)). The hemispherical geometry fits the head best, and minimizes the photon non-collinearity effect by reducing the detector-to-detector distance.

In the latter part of the presentation, alternative approaches to improve the sensitivity rather than increasing the solid angle of the measurement system will be reviewed. Among them, whole gamma imaging (WGI) is a novel concept of combined PET with Compton imaging (Yoshida et al. Phys. Med. Biol. 65, 125013 (2020)). An additional detector ring, which is used as the scatterer, is inserted in a conventional PET ring so that single gamma rays can be detected by the Compton imaging method. In addition to conventional PET and Compton imaging, further large impact can be expected for triple gamma emitters such as Sc-44 (~4 h half-life), that emits a positron and a 1157 keV gamma ray almost at the same time. In principle, only a few decays would be enough to localize the source position by calculating intersection points of a 511 keV line-of-response with a 1157 keV Compton cone. WGI can be also used to measure positronium lifetime (Moskal et al. Nat Rev Phys 1, 527–529 (2019)), which may open a new research field of “quantum PET (Q-PET)”. One possible application of Q-PET is hypoxia imaging of tumor patients (Shibuya et al. Commun Phys 3, 173 (2020).

Speaker: Massimo APARO

Head of the Department of Safeguards IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency in Wien

Bio: Massimo Aparo is Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards. Prior to this, Mr Aparo was Acting Director, Office for Verification in Iran, since 1 March 2016.

Mr Aparo has been working at the IAEA’s Department of Safeguards since 1997. He served as Section Head in the Division of Technical and Scientific Services, as Head of the Tokyo Regional Office in the Division of Operations A, and as Head of the Iran Task Force.

Before joining the IAEA Mr Aparo worked as Director General of an Italian company in the area of radiation detection and monitoring, in the European Space Agency and at Italy’s former National Committee for Nuclear Energy.

Mr Aparo is a nuclear engineer.

Speaker: Alain LEBRUN

Alain Lebrun obtained a Diplome d’Etudes Supérieures Techniques in Metallurgy from the university of Aix en Provence (FRANCE) in 1988 and is currently appointed as head of the Section for Verification Technologies in the Division of Technical and Scientific Services of the Department of Safeguards of the IAEA.

He served in the CEA Cadarache for 19 years until 2002 in various positions including quality control of nuclear fuel in a MOX fabrication plant, development of monitoring systems for fast neutron reactors and development of NDA instrumentation with emphasis on spent fuel characterisation for both criticality safety and safeguards purposes.

Within the Department of Safeguards of the IAEA, his section is responsible for the development and provision of all attended mode NDA instrumentation used by IAEA inspectors for the verification of nuclear material declared by Member States.

His section is also responsible for managing the project of implementation of safeguards instrumentation at new nuclear facilities, as well as Instrumentation Technology Foresight activities aiming at introducing emerging and advanced technologies for safeguards implementation including verification of the completeness of State declarations.