I am the director of the Central Radiopharmaceutical Services. Our Cyclotron is closed but the University is in process of installing a new Cyclotron at the CTRC. Along with UB, the following are partners in the new facility. Roswell Park, Khaleida Health, Catholic Health System, Erie County Medical Center, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and Windsong Radiology Group. This center is named Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI). Abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) were submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and 13N-Ammonia. Future centers producing PET radiopharmaceuticals must have ANDA for clinical use drugs or Investigational new drug application (IND) approved by the FDA for human research use Radiopharmaceuticals. Our facility was audited and the 13N-Ammonia ANDA was approved. 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and 13N-Ammonia were produced for clinical use in our department for the community at large. These labeled drugs were used by different hospital in this area for clinical imaging. A radiochemistry laboratory has been set up at the CTRC to produce 18F-labeled compounds. This lab has state of the art hot cell and GE Trcaerlab auto synthesizer to produce the labeled compounds. We are producing 18F-LMI 1195 to support a NIH grant of the Division of Cardiovascular medicine. We recently got the IND approval for 18F-LMI 1195. F-18 is purchased from Cardinal Health and the human use product is manufactured in this CTRC radiochemistry laboratory. We used to also produce the following radiopharmaceuticals for human use. 11C-meta-hydroxyephedrine was produced to study for the non-invasive delineation of functional sympathetic nerves. 11C-Raclopride is for brain imaging for D2 receptor, 11C-PIB for amyloid imaging and 11C-Choline for prostate cancer. These radiopharmaceuticals were used for research studies. We have an Investigational New drug (IND) approval for 11C-meta-hydroxyephedrine, 11C-PIB and 11C-Raclopride from the Food and Drug administration. Iodine-124 was produced in our old cyclotron facility. Now we buy I-124 and Zr-89 from the IBA for research projects. There is a laboratory set up for labeling compounds with Iodine-124 at the BRB building. It is used to label drugs with longer biological half-life. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) compounds, antibodies and Paclitaxel were all labeled with Iodine-124. I also perform mice studies i.e. biodistribution and microPET studies. We have Focus120 microPET. The research on PDT compounds is moving forward with collaboration with the PDT group of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. A number of 124I -labeled PDT compounds have been tested in different animal models. The goal is to develop one compound for imaging (Fluorescence and nuclear imaging) and for PDT therapy. As of the same molecule represents the contrast medium and the therapeutic medium , the lesion(s) can be continuously imaged during needle/fiber placement for PDT therapy, without any ambiguity in terms of localization or “misregistration” of separate diagnostic/therapeutic images.
My research interests are developing methods for the analysis of medical images. My research focuses on creating parametric maps from post-reconstructed PET, SPECT, MRI, CT, and source localization EEG images. My current work focuses on improving parameter estimation using dynamic image noise reduction, segmentation algorithms, and the development of large image databases and specialized image search algorithms.
My research focus is on advancing the technology of nuclear medicine imaging, a non-invasive, in vivo, functional molecular imaging modality. The goal is to provide accurate and cost effective imaging solutions to support biomedical applications such as early disease diagnosis, early treatment assessment, and short development cycle of new drugs. My research projects are in three areas. One is about improving the quality of nuclear medicine imaging systems, namely positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), through accurate modeling, and therefore compensating, of the physical factors involved in the radiation signal detection process. One example is that we developed a probability density function based PET system matrix derivation method, and implemented the method through Monte Carlo simulation on UB’s high performance computing clusters. The method provides a systematic and comprehensive scheme for modeling any nuclear medicine imaging systems. The second area of my research is about developing multiple imaging functionalities on top of existing nuclear medicine imaging systems or on a platform with shared system components. The advantage of this strategy includes the synergetic benefits of a multiple modality system, and the cost saving from sharing resources. An example project is that we developed an add-on SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) on an existing PET (positron emission tomography) scanner. This allows the PET detector system be used for performing both PET and SPECT imaging studies with the combined libraries of PET and SPECT radiopharmaceuticals. My third research area is about developing effective imaging protocols for applications using animal PET and other imaging systems. This usually involves collaboration with researchers in other specialties.