I am the director of the Cyclotron facility at Parker Hall. Abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) are 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 FDA for research use Radiopharmaceuticals. Our facility was audited and I am working with FDA on their concerns. 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and 13N-Ammonia are produced for clinical use in our department and the community at large. These labeled drugs are used by different hospital in this area for clinical imaging. We also produce the following radiopharmaceuticals for human use. 11C-meta-hydroxyephedrine is 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 are 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 is produced in our facility. We have developed the targetry system to produce this positron emitter of Iodine. 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 are 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.