"What can imaging contribute to drug development?"

Gudrun Zahlmann, PhD
F. Hoffmann – La Roche, Switzerland


Physiology and pathologies of the human body are of specific interest in drug development. The better we do understand the underlying structure, function and mechanisms of pathologic changes the better we can interact with it to the benefit of patients. It is important to get reliable quantitative information from the living body to test and validate new molecules. The big advantages of imaging technologies are that it is non-invasive, can be repeated, it is quantitative and it provides spatial information. Therefore established and new medical and molecular imaging techniques play an important role in today’s drug development. Based on a short overview on available techniques specific examples will illustrate the value of imaging information in early and late drug development.


Gudrun Zahlmann is a Biomedical Engineer and Biomedical computer scientist by training. She received her PhD from Technical University Ilmenau, Germany on in-vivo glucose sensor research.

Gudrun has worked in different Universities and Research Institutes before she joined industry. Currently she is senior director imaging infrastructure at Hoffmann – La Roche.

Her research work started with in vivo sensors as input to artificial organs with feedback controlled actor systems. Then she contributed to decision making based on insecure and sparse information in different kinds of online systems including telemedicine solutions. This understanding of data – information – decision process and knowledge generation is now further developed for imaging data in a quantitative and qualitative manner. She is engaged in several international working groups dealing with quantitative imaging as biomarker. Gudrun is VO member and student activities of EMBS.