Dr Hervé Boutin PhD


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Leading preclinical brain PET imaging, with a strong interest in cross modalities brain (MR, US), and supporting brain imaging projects from collaborators.


Over the years, I have developed a strong interest for neuropathological conditions and their mechanisms, and how we could manipulate these molecular mechanisms to develop therapies. I rapidly realised that to understand acute neuropathological conditions such as stroke or chronic brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, we must have the ability to study in vivo the mechanisms of such conditions, hence my interest in animal models and in vivo imaging. These neuropathologies are complex and multifactorial, but my interest has focused on inflammation/neuroinflammation due to infection and other comorbidities, as over the last 2 decades they have emerged as major players in brain damage/neuronal loss.

To answer the numerous scientific questions involved in these processes, I have acquired a strong experience in several domains such as pharmacology of various neurotransmission systems (e.g. opioidergic, cholinergic, benzodiazepine), neuroscience, and neuroinflammation and neuropathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke. Over the years, I have become an expert in animal models of stroke and AD (transgenic mice and rats) and most importantly their respective strength and weaknesses (i.e. high reproducibility that translate poorly to clinical application, lack of comorbidities).

I had the opportunity to approach PET imaging during my PhD and I keenly grabbed the opportunity to return to PET imaging during my post-doc in Orsay (CEA, France) before bringing that expertise back to Manchester. This technique obviously requires theoretical and practical expertise in the biological field it is applied to, but also knowledge in pharmacology, physiology and neuroanatomy, and basic knowledge in radiochemistry to liaise with the radiochemists efficiently. Computing and programming are almost compulsory in this field to enable efficient image analysis, data management and processing which fit quite well with my taste for programming.

Over the years, I have validated several neuroinflammation tracers ([11C]DPA-713, [11C]CLINME, [18F]DPA-714 and [18F]GE-180) that are used in approximately 20 labs worldwide and have generated 170 publications, ~60 of them being clinical investigations. My expertise in the field is recognised internationally through my publications, presentations at international conferences with over 50 abstracts accepted as posters or oral presentations and my election as president of the European Society for Molecular Imaging.

Social responsibility

Contributing to various public engagement events across the University and associated institutions such as museums, schools and other public spaces.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Past-President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (http://www.e-smi.eu/) (March 2022-2023).
  • President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (March 2021-2022).
  • Vice-President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (March 2020-2021).
  • Member of the Educational Committee of the European Society for Molecular Imaging.
  • Reviewer for various funding bodies (EPSRC, MRC, NHS, ERC, Royal Society, Alzheimer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, France Alzheimer, la Fédération pour la recherche sur le cerveau (France), le Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Belgium), la Fondation pour la Recherche sur les AVC (i.e. stroke) (France), IBiSA (Infrastructure en Santé, Biologie et Agronomie (France), EuroBioImaging).
  • Associate editor for Frontiers in Neurology (stroke), Frontiers in Pharmacology and Biomolecules.
  • Former chair of the NeuroImaging study group of the ESMI (http://www.e-smi.eu/index.php?id=molecular-neuro-imaging)

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology - Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Neuroinflammation, Stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Positron emission tomography (PET), Imaging, preclinical animal models

Research Networks and Beacons

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Preclinical molecular imaging, PET, MRI, Neuroscience, Neuroinflammation, Stroke, Alzheimer disease, Animal Models, Neurodegeneration, biomarkers, quantification, Modelling

Education / academic qualifications

  • 1998 - Doctor of Science, PhD in Neuroscience, University of Caen
  • 1995 - Habilitation, D.E.A. (Diploma of Advanced Studies, compulsory pre-thesis diploma), Neurosciences, University of Caen
  • 1994 - Master of Biological Science, Master in Biochemistry and Biology, University of Caen
  • 1993 - Bachelor of Biomedical science, BSc in Biochemistry and Biology, University of Caen

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