Interview with Prof. Bert Windhorst of Immune-Image project 

26 March 2024

ttopstart supports Prof. Bert Windhorst, working as Professor radiopharmaceutical chemistry at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, in multiple phases of research and innovation projects. From writing proposals to supporting with the Grant Agreement Preparation phase to becoming a partner in engagement and sustainability. We spoke to Prof. Bert Windhorst, project coordinator of the IMI – Immune-Image project, about his experience with ttopstart.

About Prof. Bert Windhorst

Bert Windhorst was appointed as Professor of radiopharmaceutical chemistry in 2014 and is currently leading the lab of the Tracer Center Amsterdam at the Amsterdam UMC Imaging center. His main research lies in the development of new PET tracers to be used in clinical research and drug development. As one of the leading researchers in the field he is involved in several publicly funded research projects from funding programs such as Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), ERC Synergy and MSCA Doctoral Networks. Windhorst is motivated by the opportunity to implement the results directly in clinical research or in the hospital. As the coordinator of the IMI Immune-Image project his role is to bring partners together, ensure they do what is agreed upon and reach consensus.

Bert Windhorst - Immune-Image


“To get the right words and narrative in the impact section can be difficult. ttopstart was there even in the busiest periods and could respond quickly, they make sure they do what they promise.


The collaboration between Windhorst and ttopstart dates back to 2009. Bert’s client story is a great example of how the different teams within ttopstart can support researchers throughout the phases of the funding life cycle.

Grant writing phase

The Academic Leadership team supported with the proposal writing for the following grants Windhorst was involved in:
• IMI Immune-Image project; using PET tracers to unveil immune cell dynamics – 23 partners, 30M (granted)
• ERC Synergy; Host4Hypnozoites (granted)
• MSCA Doctoral Network; Fast Tracing

When writing a project proposal, describing the technical aspects of a project is usually the main focus, but communicating its potential impact on society and healthcare is just as important. The biggest challenge Windhorst faced prior to working with ttopstart was writing the impact section. “To get the right words and narrative in the impact section can be difficult”, he says. Tight deadlines and peak moments are common when writing proposals. Windhorst appreciates ttopstart’s expertise on a content level and their reliability.

ttopstart was there even in the busiest periods and could respond quickly, they make sure they do what they promise.

Project implementation phase

In Immune-Image, ttopstart is a project partner in sustainability and engagement in the five-year implementation phase of the project. Immune-Image is an Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) research project that brings together academic institutions, SMEs and pharmaceutical companies with the aim to make immunotherapies more successful. The project aims to pioneer the use of non-invasive imaging technologies to track the activity of immune cells in the body. Ultimately, the project will make it easier to predict how patients will respond to treatment and monitor their progress during treatment. This could lead to improved immunotherapies and personalized treatments for patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases.

ttopstart is responsible for drafting a sustainability and business strategy for after the funding period which is key to creating lasting impact. In parallel, ttopstart’s role is to engage the patient and public community by organizing round table discussions and setting up a patient panel. Windhorst is happy ttopstart supports with these tasks. 

Within Immune-Image you see that ttopstart’s approach works, people are enthusiastic and cooperate, it would be great for Immune-Image if something sustainable comes out of it.

Immune-Image - ttopstart

As part of the sustainability strategy, Manou and Nadia organized a brainstorm sessions during the consortium meeting in Barcelona to assess the partner’s interest and potential business cases.

What’s next?

At ttopstart we are constantly on the lookout for interesting funding opportunities within the field of radiology and nuclear medicine. We hope our collaboration with leading researchers such as Windhorst will continue for many years to come, creating more impactful projects together.

Would you like to know more about our support in grant writing, grant agreement preparation phase or project management and sustainability? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by filling out the form below.

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