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Research at Mass General
NNMI encompasses Clinical Service, Education and Research and the MGH PET Core. The research areas are organized into three Centers of excellence: PET Radiochemistry Discovery (CPRD); Advanced Radiological Sciences (CARS); and Translational Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (CTNMI).
The three pillars of MGH NMMI are Clinical, Education and Research. The clinical operation provides full service nuclear medicine imaging (single photon and PET agents) using SPECT, PET, PET-CT and PET-MR and therapy services. The Educational program includes a nuclear radiology fellowship and comprehensive graduate student and post doctoral education including an NIH T32 and graduate courses at MIT. NMMI research encompasses three broad overlapping areas: 1) radiochemistry discovery; 2) imaging science and instrumentation; and 3) preclinical and clinical research. From 2008 to 2012, NMMI has experienced explosive growth in research personnel 25 to 110, research space (~3,000 sq. ft. to ~13,000 sq. ft.) and external funding (~$1M to ~$12M per year).
NMMI research includes single photon, PET and optical imaging. These areas explore agent discovery, validation and translational studies. As multimodal imaging is critical for molecular imaging, NMMI have research efforts in CT, MR and ultrasound. The research has evolved into three Centers, which constructively overlap. These efforts are located in research laboratories (~13,000 sq ft) in the MGH main campus and at the research campus in Charlestown.
Research includes molecular discovery, novel radiolabeling including total radiosynthesis of 11C and 18 F radiopharmaceuticals, radiometals, biodistribution, metabolism and first in human studies.
Research includes imaging science aspects as they pertain to instrumentation, quantitative imaging and analysis methods for PET, CT, MR, and SPECT simulations, kinetic modeling, image reconstruction etc. with applications in brain, cardiac and oncological imaging as well as radionuclide therapy and proton beam therapy.
Research includes designing, creating, and testing new methods for imaging and therapeutic targeting of important biological pathways in disease. The process spans imaging, creation of appropriate cell-based and animal models of pathology and the clinical translation of the optimized concepts to help detect disease and therapeutic response in people. Our imaging efforts focus on PET, optical-fluorescence, MR, and SPECT imaging in both preclinical systems.
Established in 1973, the MGH PET Core provides radiopharmaceutical syntheses, radioisotope production, quantitative imaging, data analysis and experimental design and data analysis services to investigators at the MGH and in the Boston research community. The PET Core includes the Cyclotron, the Radionuclide Production Facility, Imaging facilities and PET Data Analysis Laboratory.
Nuclear Medicine at MGH has a rich history beginning with Dr Saul Hertz experiments with 128I uptake in rabbits in 1940s. Dr Gordon Brownell developed instrumentation to obtain the first positron emission images in the 1950s that evolved into positron emission tomography. The MGH installed one of the first hospital-based cyclotrons in 1967 and established the MGH PET Core in 1973. In late 2007, the Division was renamed Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (NMMI) to reflect the growth and diversity of clinical and research activities. In 2009, the MGH installed a GMP PET radiochemistry production facility and a new 17MeV cyclotron. It is today at the forefront of molecular imaging research and discovery with state of the art imaging and radiochemistry instrumentation.
Thomas Brady, MD, Director of MGH NMMI Georges El-Fakhri, PhD, Director of MGH PET Core and CARS and Co-Director NMMI Umar Mahmood, MD, PhD, Director of CTNMI and Co-Director NMMI Ted Palmer, MD, Director of the Clinical Services Neil Vasdev, PhD, Director of MGH Radiochemistry and CPRD A Scientific Management Committee assists the Leadership in providing strategic direction for the Program. A PET Core Management Committee provides guidance for the operation of the cyclotron and radiochemistry production facilities.
NMMI has over 40 faculty members and over 60 postdoctoral research fellows and students. In addition, many researchers from various departments in MGH and the Boston Research community are affiliated faculty.
Faculty and Professional Staff
Technical Staff and Research Assistants
NNMI encompasses broad research areas that are organized into three centers of excellence:
Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
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