The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I) is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute that brings together a powerful palette of high-end, innovative imaging technologies. The mission of the institute is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research programme. M4I aims to be a leading international molecular imaging center relevant for science, education, economy and society. The institute aspires to generate a high-end research environment and a unique knowledge infrastructure, attractive to top researchers from all over the world.
The M4I Division of Nanoscopy investigates cell structures at a macromolecular level. Inside cells, proteins work together in complex structures and are responsible for virtually all processes in the human body, including diseases such as cancer. To understand the working mechanisms of protein complexes, three-dimensional imaging of normal and disease-causing protein complexes is essential. This could ultimately lead to more effective treatments, but also to vaccines against diseases such as tuberculosis.
The M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces. The division targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for biomedical cellular and tissue research. Main research aim for the coming years is to develop and apply mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine.
Strives for greater insight into the 3D form of cell proteins, paving the way for developing more effective treatments for diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis while gaining better understanding of how protein complexes manage healthy and diseased cells, allowing drugs and vaccines to work more effectively
Developing and applying state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for nanomedicine and biomedical research, including mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine.
“Tumour cells are actually degenerate cells that have learned to escape the immune system. Our task is to discover how they do that, and how you can train the immune system to break them down.”
“To try to understand biomolecules is to try to understand the complexity of life. It’s a puzzle that makes putting a radio together pale in comparison.”
“Imaging mass spectrometry produces huge and complex amount of data; giving sense to that data is what drives me.”
The New Dawn of Cancer Surgery |
Ron Heeren | TEDxMaastricht Nov 3, 2016
Pioneer prof. dr. Ron Heeren, University professor at Maastricht University and key player in the Top Research Institute M4I (Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute) is at the forefront of technological breakthroughs in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine. Heeren’s team is developing biomedical applications of Mass Spectroscopy Imaging (MSI), or in other words techniques to photograph molecules.
Martha Ingola, who is in her final year of her Bachelor biology and medical laboratory research and an intern at the M4I division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry, was awarded a poster prize.
On November 28, 2015 Ron Heeren presented glimpses of the ‘operating room of the future’ during a lunch lecture in Amsterdam.
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was recently awarded to (among others) the discoverer and developer of the STED microscope, Stefan Hell from Heidelberg. And Maastricht University has one of the two modern STED microscopes in the Netherlands.