News & Events

PET research featured at SNMMI 2014.  At the recent annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in St. Louis, members of the Yale PET Center gave 11 oral and 4 poster presentations on topics including tracers for kappa opioid, histamine-3, PDE10A, and SV2A receptors, data analysis of VMAT2, LPA1, GlyT1, and myocardial perfusion agents, dopamine release from smoking, PET rodent studies of EGFR, and new PET/CT reconstruction and processing methods.

Ming-Kai Chen, MD, PhD was awarded the 2013-2014 Molecular Imaging Research Grant for Junior Medical Faculty by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. The objective of this program is to provide salary support for one junior faculty member in an academic/research setting to enable them to engage in Molecular Imaging research related to diagnostic or therapeutic applications. Dr. Chen, Assistant Professor, Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine will study "Molecular Imaging for Quantification of Demyelination, Glial Activation, and Amyloid in Multiple Sclerosis Patients with Cognitive Deficits."

NIH to fund collaborations with industry to identify new uses for existing compounds (NIH News & Events, June 18, 2013). The National Institutes of Health has awarded $12.7 million to match nine academic research groups with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to explore new treatments for patients in eight disease areas, including Alzheimer’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and schizophrenia. Yale University award recipients include Stephen M. Strittmatter, MD, PhD; Haakon Berge Nygaard, MD, PhD; and Christopher H. Van Dyck, MD who will partner with AstraZeneca to study Fyn inhibition by AZD0530 for Alzheimer’s disease." John H. Krystal, MD, will partner with Pfizer to study “Translational neuroscience optimization of GlyT1 inhibitor for cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia.” This collaborative pilot initiative, called, Discovering New Therapeutic for existing Molecules, is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and funded by the NIH Common Fund.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlighted research by Dr. Kelly Cosgrove and colleagues at the Yale University School of Medicine in a featured article entitled, “Receptor May Underlie Gender Differences in Response to Smoking Cessation Therapy” (May 24, 2013).  Cosgrove et al found that newly abstinent male smokers had more available units of a key nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) than male nonsmokers. Among women, this was not the case: smokers had similar numbers of receptors compared to nonsmokers. The researchers hypothesize that in men, the brain adapts to the chronic presence of nicotine by adding receptors, but then needs nicotine to continue to function normally. Among women, a different adaptation takes place, which may increase susceptibility to sensory cues to smoke, and may be modulated by progesterone. Dr. Cosgrove’s research is expanding from SPECT imaging to include PET imaging of nAChR with radiotracers in development at the Yale University PET Center.

Evan Morris PhD, received the 2013 Graduate Mentor Award (Sciences) at the Yale University Graduate School Convocation Ceremony on May 19, 2013. This award recognizes teachers and advisers who have been exceptional in their support of the professional, scholarly, and personal development of their graduate students. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Morris expressed his sincere appreciation for this honor and cited three keys to successful mentoring…“A. Always have great students; B. Treat them like colleagues; C. Demand a lot from them.”  Dr. Morris is an associate professor of diagnostic radiology, of biomedical engineering, and of psychiatry, and co-director for imaging at the Yale University PET Center.  see photosee video

Edward Fung, Xiao Jin, and Christine Sandiego successfully defended their PET Theses and were awarded doctorate degrees in Biomedical Engineering through the Yale University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences on May 20, 2013.  Edward Fung’s PhD dissertation is entitled, “Cerebral blood flow measurements using carotid artery image-derived input functions in positron emission tomography." Xiao Jin’s thesis is entitled, “Event-by-Event Motion Correction in Positron Emission Tomography: Development, Evaluation and Applications,” and Christine Sandiego’s PET dissertation is entitled, “Neuroreceptor Imaging of the Awake Nonhuman Primate."Congratulations to these three PET researchers who, along with Jenna Sullivan, hold the distinction of being the first graduate students to receive doctoral degrees since the PET Center opened in January 2007!

PET researchers are portrayed as “Mapmakers of the living human body” in the March 2013 issue of the Medicine@Yale. The article positions Positron Emission Tomography as a vital tool for Yale School of Medicine researchers studying psychiatric diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The specific research contributions of investigators from a wide range of Yale School of Medicine departments are explored. In addition, the distinct benefits of utilizing PET in industry research collaborations are examined and the unique capabilities of this state-of-the-art PET facility are highlighted.

The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation highlights the expanding research capabilities of the Yale University PET Center. A featured article in the Fall 2012 YCCI newsletter, ”PET Research Center Moves Beyond the Brain,” explores how PET investigators are expanding research interests and capabilities beyond brain imaging to include studies in diabetes and cancer.

... "and you can call her Doctor! On December 14, 2012,  Jenna Sullivan successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled, "Development of PET Methodologies for Imaging Addiction: Imaging the mGluR5 and Detecting Smoking-induced Dopamine Release." Sullivan, who is now  Manager of Translational Research at InVicro in Boston, will walk in the graduation procession in May 2013.  Her PhD, in Biomedical Engineering, will be awarded through the Yale University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Jenna is the first to receive the doctorate awarded to a graduate student conducting research through the Yale University PET Center since it opened in New Haven in January 2007.

Chi Liu, PhD recipient of 2012 Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award.Dr. Chi Liu, Assistant Professor, Yale University PET Center, was presented with the Bruce Hasegawa Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award at the 2012 IEEE Medical Imaging Conference. This annual award recognizes young investigators who have made significant and/or innovative technical contributions to the field of Medical Imaging Science.

PET collaborations with Pharma aid in CNS drug development (American Pharmaceutical Review – 6/19/2012)Positron Emission Tomography, as a quantitative imaging modality, is an important tool in the development of drugs for CNS disorders…The value of this imaging modality has been increasingly recognized by the pharmaceutical companies, as evidenced by their entry into the radiotracer development area. It is expected that PET imaging will continue to have a substantial and growing impact on CNS drug development.”

Diabetes study demonstrates PET can aid in measuring insulin production (MedicalXpress.com/News release - 6/1/2012) - "A Yale University-led research team has developed a way to measure the loss of insulin-producing islet cells in the human pancreas.  The death of those beta cells leads to diabetes.  The finding is a crucial step in developing therapies to preserve insulin production and slow or halt the progress of diabetes.  A synopsis of this study is also highlighted in Yale News (6/1/2012). The full research study appears in the June 2012 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine." 

Chi Liu, PhD named as YCCI Scholar.  Assistant Professor Chi Liu was named as a Junior Faculty Scholar in 2011 by the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.

Second preclinical PET scanner arrives in Yale PET Center. A second Focus-220 PET scanner for preclinical imaging was delivered in September 2011. This is the 5th scanner for the Yale PET Center and will allow a substantial increase in preclinical PET imaging.

New PET/CT scanner delivered to Yale PET Center. A Siemens mCT-X PET/CT scanner was delivered to the PET Center on August 1, 2011. This state-of-the-art time-of-flight scanner will be used for studies of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Young Investigator Award at the 2011 Society of Nuclear Medicine Meeting. Jenna Sullivan, MS.  received Young Investigator award at the 2011 SNM annual meeting in San Antonio, TX for a paper entitled Bolus vs. bolus/infusion of the mGluR5 tracer [18F]FPEB in humans. This presentations was amongst 14 oral and poster presentations given by PET Center faculty, staff, and students.

Young Investigator Bursaries  were won by Rachael Sirianni, Ph.D, and Christine Sandiego, M. Phil, at the 2011 Brain/BrainPET conference

Ming-Qiang Zheng PhD has been invited to participate as part of the American delegation to  the young professionals symposium at the Sino-American Conference on Nuclear Medicine, in Beijing, China, in February of 2011.

Four new hot cells were installed in the PET Radiochemistry lab. The radiochemistry lab now has 6 full-sized hot cells and 6 mini cells

Medical Imaging including PET featured in Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 2010 Engineering magazine.

New PET/CT scanner for Yale PET Center awarded from NIH. The Yale PET Center has been awarded a high-end instrumentation grant from the NIH (1S10RR029245-01) to purchase a research PET/CT scanner. This scanner will be added to the three scanners currently in the PET Center: the HRRT, the HR+, and the Focus-220.

Chi Liu, Ph.D.,  joined the Diagnostic Radiology Department of Yale University on August 1, 2010. Dr. Liu has expertise in PET and SPECT physics, including motion correction, image reconstruction, and system design.

Maria Corsi, MHS, CNMT, RT(N) has been appointed as a member of the Committee on Scholarships and Grants and the Professional Development and Education Foundation of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section (SNMTS)

Young Investigator Awards at the 2010 Society of Nuclear Medicine Meeting. Ming-Qiang Zheng, Ph.D. and Marc Normandin, Ph.D., each received Young Investigator awards at the 2010 SNM annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ming-Qiang Zheng presented a paper entitled "[11C]LY2795050, An Antagonist Tracer for PET Imaging of the Kappa Opioid Receptors" in the Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry section. Marc Normandin presented a paper entitled "Test-retest reproducibility and gender differences in binding of CB1 PET tracer [11C]OMAR in humans" in the Neurosciences section. These two presentations were amongst 14 oral and poster presentations given by PET Center faculty, staff, and students.

Richard Carson, Ph.D., named to theConnecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Richard Carson was inducted as a new member to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in a ceremony in Hartford in May 2010

Young Investigator Award at Molecular Neuroimaging Symposium. Rachael Sirianni, Ph.D., won first place and a travel award for her presentation at the Molecular Neuroimaging Symposium in Bethesda, MD, in April 2010. Her presentation was entitled "Development of dPET, a non-invasive imaging technique to measure the distribution of drugs after direct delivery to the brain"

Jenna Sullivan, a biomedical engineering grad student now working in the PET Center was selected as the Purdue University College of Engineering's nominee for the 2010 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished MS Thesis Award. The title of her thesis was "Small Animal PET for the Detection of Alcohol- or Cocaine-Induced Striatal Dopamine Release."

Richard E. Carson named one of 25 most influential in radiology by RT-Image. "Keep the change" — The old adage “The only constant is change” perfectly describes radiology, for the field is rife with new technologies, techniques, and theories. Richard E. Carson, PhD, educates others about these changes as professor of diagnostic radiology and biomedical engineering at Yale University, director of Yale’s PET Center, and as researcher. His dedication to education was recognized in 2008 when he received the Sheffield Distinguished Teaching Award from the Yale School of Engineering. more...

Evan Morris, Ph.D., joined the PET Center and the Diagnostic Radiology Department of Yale University on August 1, 2009. Dr. Morris has expertise in PET modeling and measurement of neurotransmitter dynamics.

Young Investigator Awards at the Brain'09/BrainPET'09 conference. Mika Naganawa, Ph.D., Giampaolo Tomasi, Ph.D., and Christine Sandiego, M.S. each received Young Investigator Bursaries for presentations at the 2009 International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism in Chicago, IL.

Dean's Workshop held November 30th, 2007. The impressive molecular imaging capabilities of the new state-of-the-art PET Center were featured at the Dean's Workshop on Friday, November 30th. The event, entitled, "A Window into the Body: Molecular Imaging with Positron Emission Tomography," was held in the Anlyan Center Auditorium at 300 Cedar Street from 1:30-3:30 pm. more...

“New PET Center Will Aid Drug Development.” PET scans unveil biological processes in living human body. Although molecular medicine has made striking advances in recent years, for many diseases physicians are still stumbling in the dark, able to glean clues to a therapy’s effectiveness only by studying changes in symptoms. more…

Richard E. Carson, Ph.D. receives 2007 Kuhl-Lassen Award. The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) presented Richard E. Carson, Ph.D. with the Kuhl-Lassen Award for Brain Imaging on June 3, 2007. Dr. Carson, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, and Acting Director of the Yale University PET Center, presented his award lecture, “Quantitative Neuroreceptor Imaging with PET: Madness in the Methods or Method to the Madness,” at the 54th Annual SNM meeting held in Washington, DC.

“PET Center Offers” new tools for diagnosis and treatment. At Yale’s new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center, researchers hope to bring light into this darkness by discovering novel diagnostic tools for otherwise hidden molecular abnormalities and speeding development of new medications. more…

“State-of-the-Art” Yale PET Center Opens January 18, 2007. New Haven, Conn. — A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-art Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Research Center for molecular imaging takes place today at the Anlyan Center Auditorium, 300 Cedar St. more…