From Nuclear Medicine to Molecular Imaging: A Spectrum of Isotopes and New Molecular Probes

MON, 10/24/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series

For nearly 90 years radioisotopes have been applied to image the in vivo biology of living systems from plants to animals to humans. Over this period of time many isotopes with a range of decay characteristics and properties have been discovered, produced and applied to trace normal and disease pathologies. Technological advances in scanner design from the early gamma cameras to the multimodality scanners available today have transformed imaging approaches. Advances in labeling chemistry have provided a variety of radiotracers that can interrogate a multitude of vital targets related to normal pathology, disease sates and drug development. The state of the art of imaging science will be presented from the perspective of isotope production as well as molecular imaging tracer development and applications.

About the Speaker:

Dr. VanBrocklin is currently Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Director of Radiopharmaceutical Research in the Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging. His work in the field spans many disciplines from short-lived radioisotope production to the creation of fluorine-18 and carbon-11 labeling chemistry strategies for new radiotracer preparation and application. His current research interests include development of automated devices for the production of fluorine-18 labeled molecules, preparation of radiopharmaceutical probes for PET and SPECT blood flow measurement, design of imaging agents targeting cancer cell surface markers, and the application of imaging in drug development. He has on-going collaborations with several pharmaceutical companies. Dr. VanBrocklin has overseen the complete build out of a state of the art radiochemistry, imaging, and training facility at UCSF for basic R&D and preclinical studies as well as clinical applications.

Dr. VanBrocklin received his Ph.D. in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry from Washington University St. Louis under the mentorship of Prof. Michael Welch. He furthered the development of positron-labeled estrogens, progestins and androgens for tumor imaging. As a US Department of Energy Alexander Hollander Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship he continued his research on positron labeled steroids and fatty acids in the laboratory of Prof. John Katzenellenbogen at the University of Illinois. In 1992 Dr. VanBrocklin moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he was a Staff Scientist and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry Group Leader in the Department of Functional Imaging prior to moving to UCSF in 2005.