Dr. Maria Picchio

Department of Nuclear Medicine

San Raffaele Hospital IRCCS 

Brief CV

Medical degree (1995), Nuclear Medicine Speciality (1999). Member of the medical staff (2000-2003) and Medical Researcher at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (since 2003). Visiting Scientist at the Nuclear Medicine Department, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany collaborating in preclinical studies and in the development of innovative PET tracers (2003-2004). National Delegate of the
European Association of NM (EANM) (since 2013). Visiting Scholar at Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging in the School of Medicine at the U. of California, San Francisco (2015). Academic Research visitor in Nuclear Medicine and PET/MR in the Department of Radiology, Stanford, School of Medicine (2016).
Member of the Editorial Board of Clinical and Translational Imaging Reviews in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (since 2015), of the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (since 2014) and of the Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (since 2013), of the European Journal of Hybrid Imaging (since 2016).
Teaching activities include Courses in School of Medicine and Nuclear Medicine Specialty School on diagnostic Imaging (2004 - present); co-course Director at the ESTRO/EANM educational seminar on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in Radiation Oncology (2011 – 2014); faculty member at the ESTRO/EASNM course on Molecular Imaging and radiation Oncology (since 2015). Referee of several scientific journals. Author or Co-author of 118 full papers on peer reviewed Journals (h-index: 37), 10 chapters of books. 7 Scientific Awards.
Active in the area of PET for over fifteen years. Main fields of research include the use of functional and molecular imaging for in vivo studies and the set-up of new non-invasive diagnostic imaging methods to be transferred in clinical practice for the optimization of diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. Main scientific interests include the development of innovative PET tracer for molecular imaging and the clinical and predictive/prognostic role of PET.

Role in the project

Brain imaging: activation of immune system, blood flow/angiogenesis function in the brain.

Team qualification in the field of proposal

The San Raffaele Imaging group has preclinical and clinical expertise in diagnostic imaging, processing and analysis. The Laboratory of Preclinical PET Imaging, localized within the Nuclear Medicine Department operates and has access through formal collaborations with personnel and instrumentation installed inside the laboratory belonging to the Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology (IBFM) of the National Research Council and University of Milan Bicocca. Imaging studies are performed taken advantage of positron emitters labelled  radiopharmaceuticals developed by the laboratory Radiochemistry for preclinical or clinical (GMP compliant) use. In addition, the group is part of the Experimental Imaging Center of San Raffaele Hospital which is equipped with one 7 TESLA MRI and instrumentation for in vivo Optical Imaging.
The Team is composed by a Nuclear Medicine Physician, an Imaging Pharmacologist, a
Neuroradiologist, a Physicist, an Engineer and by a radiochemist; with previous experience in EU projects under the FP7: (INMIND, INSERT) and to ESFRI Roadmap (EATRIS and Eurobioimaging).

List of relevant publications

1) Valtorta S, Belloli S, Sanvito F, Masiello V, Di Grigoli G, Monterisi C, Fazio F, Picchio M, Moresco RM. Comparison of 18F-fluoroazomycin-arabinofuranoside and 64Cu-diacetyl-bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone) in preclinical models of cancer. J Nucl Med. 2013 Jul;54(7):1106-12. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.112.111120


2) Picchio M, Mapelli P, Panebianco V, Castellucci P, Incerti E, Briganti A, Kirienko M, Barchetti F, Nanni C, Montorsi F, Gianolli L, Fanti S. Imaging biomarkers in prostate cancer: role of PET/CT and MRI. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2015 Apr;42(4):644-55. doi: 10.1007/s00259-014-2982-5.


3) Giovacchini G, Incerti E, Mapelli P, Kirienko M, Briganti A, Gandaglia G, Montorsi F, Gianolli L, Picchio M. [11C]Choline PET/CT predicts survival in hormone-naive prostate cancer patients with biochemical failure after radical prostatectomy. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2015 42, (6): 877-884.


4) Incerti E, Fodor A, Mapelli P, Fiorino C, Alongi P, Kirienko M, Giovacchini G, Busnardo E, Gianolli L, Di Muzio N, Picchio M. Radiation treatment of lymph node recurrence from prostate cancer: is 11C-choline PET/CT predictive of survival outcomes? J Nucl Med. 2015 Dec;56(12):1836-42.


5) Savi A, Incerti E, Fallanca F, Bettinardi V, Rossetti F, Monterisi C, Compierchio A, Negri G, Zannini P, Gianolli L, Picchio M. First evaluation of PET based human biodistribution and dosimetry of 18F-FAZA, a tracer for imaging tumor hypoxia. J Nucl Med. 2017 pii: jnumed.113.122671. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.113.122671

Team members

Dr. Rosa Maria Moresco

Associate Professor
Head of Preclinical PET facility

Dr. Valentino Bettinardi

Researcher & Physicist

Dr. Paola Scifo

MR Researcher & Engineer

Valeria Masiello

PhD Student