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29-30 November 2023
EPIC Meeting on Photonics assisted Cancer Pathology and Surgery at University Hospital Antwerp
Antwerp, Belgium

Photonics technologies has paved new pathways for cancer research and treatment. The special characteristics of laser light have allowed to use it as the illumination source for early detection of cancers, in combination with photonics sensors, or as a surgical tool for clear cutting and drilling in tissues. The advances in photonics technology have also enabled the development of powerful imaging systems for the visualization of detailed structures, also improving the imaging depth into living tissues. Spectroscopy and other photonics analytical techniques are also widely used in cancer detection, and new point-of-care devices and biosensors have been developed, taken advantage of the great properties of the light to obtain faster, more compact and more reliable devices. Photonics enabled technologies such as Raman, surgical laser, OCT, endoscopy, hyperspectral imaging, photoacoustic tomography, fluorescence… have the potential to introduce new solutions and equipment at hospitals and clinics.

In this meeting we will bring together the full value chain of diagnostic and therapeutic related technologies and devices, used in different oncological diseases. Medical doctors will present the status of the technology and their future needs, as a starting point to discuss with system integrators and laser and photonic devices manufacturers the potential solutions to overcome the existing limitations. The meeting will enable new paths for collaborations as unmet needs meet technology capabilities, and it will help to understand the specific regulations and certifications required for devices used in medical applications.

Participants biographies, photos and companies descriptions are available HERE



28 November, Tuesday

19:00 – 22:00 Optional pre-event dinner @MadeinAntwerp Restaurant (address: Koningin Astridplein 7 2018 Antwerp)

29 November, Wednesday

11:00: Bus transfer from recommended hotel to Antwerp University Hospital (address: Drie Eikenstraat 655, 2650 Edegem, Belgium)

11:45 – 13:00 Registration & networking lunch
13:00 – 13:15 Welcoming words by Antonio Castelo, Photonics Technology Manager at EPIC – European Photonics Industry Consortium
13:15 – 13:30 Welcoming words by Guy Hans, Medical Director – Antwerp University Hospital

13:30 – 14:45 SESSION 1: Diagnostics Using Imaging Techniques
13:30 – 13:45 Universitätsklinikum Jena – David Pertzborn, Group Leader (Germany)
13:45 – 14:00 NKT Photonics Time-resolved Laser-induced Fluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging Techniques for Tumor Margin Identification during Cancer Surgery – Patrick Kolsch, Senior Market Development Manager (United States)
14:00 – 14:15 asphericonFrom Gaussian to Flat-Top: Advancing Microscopy with Flat-Field Illumination – Silvio Vater, Senior Project Manager (Germany)
14:15 – 14:30 Lambda-XMulti-Modality Microscopy Engineering for Cell Observation and Management – Didier Beghuin, CTO (Belgium)
14:30 – 14:45 NIREOSUnveiling the Potential of a Novel Hyperspectral Camera for Medical Imaging Fabrizio Preda, CEO (Italy)

14:45 – 15:45 Networking coffee break

15:45 – 17:45 SESSION 2: Other Photonics Technologies for Diagnostics: Raman Imaging & Non-imaging Diagnostic Techniques
15:45 – 16:15 KEYNOTE: Antwerp University Hospital Pathology: Challenges and Opportunities for Photonics – Senada Koljenovic, Professor and Head of Department of Pathology (Belgium)
16:15 – 16:30 Lightcore TechnologiesReal-time Stimulated Raman Histology – Hervé Rigneault, Scientific adviser and Co-founder (France)
16:30 – 16:45 Cambridge Raman ImagingBroadband Stimulated Raman Histology for Objective, AI Assisted Tumour Diagnosis – Matteo Negro, CEO & CTO (Italy)
16:45 – 17:00 Refined LasersClinical-Compatible Stimulated Raman Imaging Device for Intraoperative Histology of Fresh Tissue Samples – Tim Hellwig, CEO & Co-Founder (Germany)
17:00 – 17:15 DxCover / University of Strathclyde – Early Detection of Cancer via Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsies – David Palmer, Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist (United Kingdom)
17:15 – 17:30 SurfixA Photonics Platform for Multiplexed Liquid Biopsy-based Cancer Screening, Detection and Monitoring – Luc Scheres, CTO (The Netherlands)
17:30 – 17:45 ICS Maugeri Società BenefitBioCellPhe: Ultrasensitive BIOsensing Platform for Multiplex CELLular Protein PHEnotyping at Single-cell Level – Carlo Morasso, Senior Research Scientist (Italy)

18:30 Departure to the dinner place
19:00 – 22:30 Networking dinner @Afspanning de Jachthoorn (address: Doornstraat 11, 2550 Kontich, Belgium)
22:00 Bus transfer to Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp

30 November, Thursday

8:00 Bus transfer from recommended hotel to Antwerp University Hospital (address: Drie Eikenstraat 655, 2650 Edegem, Belgium)

8:30 – 9:00 welcome networking coffee

09:00 – 11:00 SESSION 3: Photonics (Guided) Therapy
09:00 – 09:30 KEYNOTE: Radboudumc Universiteit NijmegenChallenges and Needs in Head and Neck Oncological Surgery – Robert Takes, MD, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology / Head and Neck Oncology (The Netherlands)
09:30 – 09:45 RiverD Development of a Fiber Optic Technology Platform for Raman Spectroscopic Tissue Analysis – Gerwin Puppels, Managing Director (The Netherlands)
09:45 – 10:00 SIPC – Swiss International Prostate Center – Stefano Regusci, MD Urologist (Switzerland)
10:00 – 10:15 imec – On-chip Spectral Imaging, a Game-changer for Surgical Vision – Wouter Charle, Program Manager (Belgium)
10:15 – 10:30 Modulight – Petteri Uusimaa, Founder & CTO
10:30 – 10:45 Politecnico di Torino / ALITEDevelopment of All-fiber Smart Applicators for Percutaneous Tumor Laser Ablation – Guido Perrone, Professor / Co-founder and President (Italy)
10:45 – 11:00 Zeiss MicrosurgeryConfocal Laser Endomicroscopy: Real-time in-vivo Digital Pathology Solution – Ronja Poppe, System Engineer, Advanced Surgical Imaging (Germany)

11:00 – 11:45 Networking coffee break

11:45 – 13:00 SESSION 4: Fastlane to the Clinic: Regulatory Aspects and Documentation and Certification Requirements
11:45 – 12:00 imecFastlane to the Clinic: The UMC Utrecht Approach – Fokko Wieringa, Principal Scientist (The Netherlands)
12:00 – 12:15 MD squaredClinical Evaluation: What Does it Take to Bring Your Meaningful Innovation to the Market? Getting from the Right Indication to the Right Clinical Data to Show Safety & Performance – Claus Schaffrath, Managing Director
12:15 – 12:30 i-Med TechnologyJaap Heukelom, Co-Founder (The Netherlands)
12:30 – 13:00 Roundtable moderated by Gerwin Puppels

13:00 – 13:45 Networking Lunch

13:45 – 14:45 Optional department tour

15:00 Optional bus transfer to the Brussels Airport


We recommend to book your room at the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp (address: Koningin Astridplein 7B, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium) directly or using or any other hotel nearby.

The bus transfers will be organized from / to UZA/ dinner place to / from Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel only.


Program Manager at IMEC

Tim Hellwig (Managing Director) holds a PhD in physics from the University of Münster (Germany) and is an expert on ultrashort-pulsed fiber lasers with over 10 years of experience in the field. After successfully attracting funds for a technology transfer project and developing the core Refined Laser System technology at the University of Münster, he co-founded Refined Laser Systems in 2019. Refined Laser Systems has since then been supplying the photonic industry and researchers with robust fiber-based laser systems for applications ranging from tumor detection or pharmaceutical research to single-photon sources for quantum computing.

CEO & Co-Founder at Refined Lasers

Luc Scheres (CTO) is the CTO of Surfix Diagnostics. In 2005 he received his MSc degree in Chemistry and Physics at Utrecht University. Subsequently Luc moved to Wageningen University and obtained his PhD degree (with highest honours) surface chemistry in 2010. After a short post-doc at Eindhoven University, Luc founded Surfix in 2011 and led the company to its current leading position in the field. Luc is (co-)author of over 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 6 patents.

Matteo Negro (CEO &CTO) is Chief Executive and Chief Technology Officer at Cambridge Raman Imaging Ltd, where he leads the company after having built a technical team with expert knowledge in the critical technology areas. As a CTO he is also leading product design and development. Matteo’s previous role was as Laser R&D manager for Bios, an Italian company wholly owned by Lumenis, a global leader in medical lasers. He is expert in laser development whilst meeting the demanding requirements of ISO 13485 for medical devices, having excellent experience of R&D, including managing the development of laser systems which gained Class IIb medical approval. Matteo has a PhD in Physics from Politecnico di Milano on Ultrafast laser sources and spectroscopy and has previously worked as a Staff Researcher at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IFN).

Fabrizio Preda (CEO) studied Physics Engineering in Politecnico di Milano University, where he worked as a research fellow for 5 years after receiving his Master’s degree in 2015. He is author of several peer-reviewed articles and co-inventor of three international patents. Since 2018, he is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at NIREOS, an Italian SME developing novel devices in the spectroscopy and photonics sector, both for the scientific and the industrial market.

Gerwin Puppels (Managing Director) is Associate Professor at Erasmus-university Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is also the Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director of RiverD International B.V. Rotterdam.

Managing Director at RiverD

Stefano Regusci (Urologist) received his early education in Lugano and then conducted his medical studies in Geneva and obtained his medical degree in 1990. He began his career as a resident in the Department of General Surgery at the Hôpital d’Aigle (1991-1993), then at the Hôpital de Bellinzona (1994-1995) and finally at the Urology Clinic of the Geneva University Hospital (1995-2001), with Prof. Graber and Prof. Iselin. In 2000, he obtained his doctorate and the title Specialist in Urology FMH (Swiss Medical Association). From 2000-2001, he worked as Senior Registrar in the Urology Department led by Prof. Iselin. Stefano has a keen interest in sacral neuromodulation for overactive bladder, urodynamics, focal therapy of prostate cancer, urological and radiological diagnosis of prostate tumors, as well prostate hypertrophy with various alternative therapies to conventional surgery. With Martina Martins, radiologist, he founded in 2017 Urorad Concept, a society working in the field of prostate cancer, offering second advice, teleradiology help in the treatment of prostate cancer and in the creation and development of a Prostate Cancer center. He is an active member of many national and international scientific societies. The mission of the Swiss International Prostate Center (SIPC) is to provide care for patients from diagnosis to treatment, in malignant or benign prostatic disease, in accordance with medical ethics, which guarantees the quality of care. For this, the SIPC has a medical team of highly experienced certified urologists and radiologist including some of the pioneers of robot-assisted surgical techniques.

Petteri Uusimaa (Founder & CTO) holds a PhD in semiconductor physics from Tampere University of Technology. Since 1997, Petteri has been managing semiconductor sales to multinational companies and was a Founder and CEO of Modulight until 2019 when he took the position of Chief Technology Officer. He has been a member of Modulight board since incorporating the company in 2000. Petteri has served full 6 years in EPIC BoD and is currently member of the EPIC Medical committee and CLEO-JCA. He was nominated as the CTO of the year 2022 in Finland.

Founder & CTO at Modulight
Managing Director at MD squared

David Palmer (Chief Data Scientist) obtained a Master’s in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield in 2001, and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge in 2008. Prior to beginning an independent academic career in 2014, he completed postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, and held a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde. He is currently co-founder and Chief Data Scientist of Dxcover Ltd, and a Reader in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde.

Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at DxCover / University of Strathclyde

Didier Beghuin (CTO) is leading a team of 20 engineers dedicated to the development of optical instrumentations since 2013. He is involved in optical developments since 2000. He developed metrology instrumentation for ophthalmic industry, sighting systems for defense, and series of custom microscope for biomedical sector. Being involved in space activities, he also led optical imaging or metrology developments for earth observation or microgravity science.

Hervé Rigneault (CNRS Research Director) is a physicist with >30 years’ experience in the development of advanced photonic tools for the applications in life sciences (single molecule detection, nanophtonics, nonlinear microscopy). Since 2000 he is leading the Mosaic group at Fresnel Institute. He current main interest are in (i) label free nonlinear microscopy for molecular imaging and (ii) nonlinear endoscopy. He has published >240 papers and 10 book chapters (h index 48 (WoS), total citations >9300). He presented >90 invited talks to international conferences and holds 16 patents in the field of molecular spectroscopy and imaging.

Hervé Rigneault
Scientific adviser and Co-founder at Lightcore Technologies

Robert Takes leads the multidisciplinary head and neck oncology expertise center of the Radboud University Medical Center since 2009. After being chairman of the research steering group for 10 years, he is president of the Dutch Head and Neck Society (NWHHT). He is co-founder of the head and neck oncology quality registry, the Dutch Head and Neck Audit (DHNA), member of the board of directors of the Head and Neck Cancer Inter Group (HNCIG) and co-founder and secretary of the International Head and Neck Scientific Group (IHNSG). His research interests are quality of care and quality of life, lymph node diagnostics and optical and image-guided surgery in head and neck cancer. He has (co) authored several bookchapters and approximately 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Robert Takes
MD, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology / Head and Neck Oncology at Radboudumc Universiteit Nijmegen

Ronja Poppe (System Engineer) studied Photonics (M.Sc.) at Munich University of Applied Sciences after eight years working in Ophthalmic Optics and Optometry. She joined ZEISS Meditec in 2021 and is a R&D System Engineer for Advanced Surgical Imaging with focus on intraoperative high resolution fluorescence microscopy for cancer pathology.

System Engineer, Advanced Surgical Imaging at Zeiss Microsurgery

Jaap Heukelom (Commercial Director and Co-Founder) holds a Master of Science degree in Electronics from Delft University of Technology. He started his career at Philips Display Components and gained extensive experience in operating display systems. 25 years ago, he was appointed as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Philips Camera systems, where he led the team to become a world leader in imaging technologies. They introduced HDTV with 3 x 9.2 million pixel multi-scaling sensors during his tenure. Later on, he co-founded i-Med Technology with Vincent Graham and the Maastricht UMC. They were the inventors of the first 4K surgical microscope, which changed the playing field of medical head-worn imaging and image enhancement.

Senada Koljenović (Professor and Head of Department of Pathology) is Professor and Head of the Pathology department, and Consultant Pathologist at Antwerp University Hospital / University of Antwerp (Belgium), where she mainly focuses on Head and Neck pathology and Dermatopathology. She works intensively on improving surgical-pathological communication and correlation of information for better diagnosis, surgical results and patient outcome. She is a clinical pathologist-PI within a multidisciplinary research group including the Departments of Pathology, ENT and Head and Neck surgery, Maxillofacial and Head and Neck surgery, Dermatology. She furthermore coordinates close collaboration with other academic Head and Neck centers and affiliated non-academic institutes, to facilitate design and execution of large multi-center studies. Her Ph.D - thesis focused on clinical application of Raman spectroscopy. Her department of Pathology has an open-door policy for developments in photonics and optical spectroscopies and is a bridge between clinical practice and Photonics, to enable improved diagnosis and treatment of different diseases. Research is translational with focus on medical applications of Photonics in general, and in particular applications of Raman spectroscopy-based tools in Head and Neck surgery (Raman-guided surgical resections facilitating safe surgical margins in oral cancer) and in characterisation of pre-neoplasia for its’s early diagnosis.

MD, Professor and Head of Department of Pathology at Antwerp University Hospital/ University of Antwerp

Patrick Kolsch (Senior Market Development Manager) holds a PhD in Physics from the Max-Planck Institute in Potsdam, Germany. Following a brief postdoctoral research tenure in Leipzig, he joined the faculty at the University of Heidelberg and later at the University of Washington in Seattle. Patrick subsequently transitioned into the industrial sector, assuming roles in engineering and commercial positions at Synrad and Spectra-Physics. Since 2021, he has been a key member of NKT Photonics, where he oversees global market development for life science and biomedical applications.

Senior Market Development Manager – Life Science and Biomedical at NKT Photonics

Carlo Morasso (Senior Scientist) focuses on the intersection of nanotechnology, molecular imaging, and biophotonics to develop new diagnostic approaches. He holds a Master Degree and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and medicinal chemistry, obtained from the University of Milan. His experience includes the development of novel diagnostic tools for HIV and other infectious diseases during his postdoctoral research at the London Centre for Nanotechnology. Currently, he leads research projects for the breast cancer unit of ICS Maugeri, a research hospital in Pavia, Italy. Using Raman spectroscopy and nanomaterials, he studies the molecular and cellular features of cancer and its microenvironment. He is also interested in the role of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers and therapeutic agents. Carlo is a founding member of the Italian Society for the Study of Extracellular Vesicles and a member of the International Society for Clinical Spectroscopy. He has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to several book chapters.

Senior Research Scientist at ICS Maugeri Società Benefit

Fokko Pieter Wieringa (Principal Scientist) is Principal Scientist within the Autonomous Therapeutics Department of imec the Netherlands, and a part-time associate professor of medical technology at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht (UMCU). He has 36 years of experience in medical technology and is (co)inventor of 25 granted patents. In addition to general safety aspects of medical technology, he specialized in the interactions of electricity and light with the human body. Within this context he co-authored several international safety standards and the EU-Directive on Optical Radiation Safety. He is heavily interested in human factor engineering as well as interdisciplinary and translational research. He is experienced in setting up consortia to create new medical devices. Mandated by the Dutch Standards Institute (NEN) he represents the Netherlands within worldwide standardization of dialysis equipment (HD & PD), as well as for Photodynamic Therapy and Photodynamic Diagnosis (PDT/PDD) and ECG. He is a member of EPIC, Photonics 21 (WG3 Medical Photonics & WG5 Optical Sensing), the worldwide standardization organization IEC (TC62 Medical Devices) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).

Principal Scientist at imec

Silvio Vater (Key Account Manager) has more than 25 years of sales and export experience, working for renown companies in the field of communication and photonics.
He is from Jena, Germany and has studied business administration at Jena Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Since 2018, he has been working as Account Manager for customized optics and systems at asphericon.

Senior Project Manager at Asphericon

Guido Perrone (Professor, Co-founder and President) holds PhD in Electromagnetics/Photonics, he is a professor at the Politecnico di Torino (Technical University of Turin, Italy) in charge of courses on optical components and on the biomedical and industrial applications of Photonics. He has authored more than 250 scientific papers and the book “Fiber-optic sensors for biomedical applications”, and has been designated as inventor in several patents on fiber sensors and lasers. Besides for the academic duties, he has founded some start-ups active in the field of Photonics, the latest of which is ALITE.

Professor / Co-founder and President at Politecnico di Torino / ALITE

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