Professor in Residence
UCSF Physics Research Laboratory
B.S. (Physics) – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 1995
M.S. (Physics) – University of Alabama in Huntsville, 1997
M.S. (Physics) – University of California, Los Angeles, 2001
Ph.D. (Physics) – University of California, Los Angeles, 2002
Youngho Seo, PhD, is a Professor in Residence and Director of Nuclear Imaging Physics in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Professor in Residence in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty Affiliate at the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute, Program Member of Pediatric Malignancies and Prostate Cancer programs at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Professor in Residence in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, Faculty of the UC Berkeley - UCSF Bioengineering Graduate Program, and Physicist Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
He received his bachelor's degree in Physics from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) where he investigated radiation effects on electronics by cosmic ray. He completed a master's degree in Physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, focusing on space plasma physics. He spent one year at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as a medical physics student before moving to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He obtained his second master's degree and PhD in Physics from UCLA with the dissertation on a dark matter experiment using dual-phase xenon under the supervision of Professor David B. Cline, followed by postdoctoral training at the same institution in experimental neutrino physics. Dr. Seo joined the UCSF Physics Research Laboratory (PRL) in 2003, and was trained in medical imaging physics under the supervision of Professor Bruce H. Hasegawa before joining the faculty in 2006.
Dr. Seo leads a group of physicists and engineers working in the field of radionuclide and x-ray imaging instrumentation and physics, and directs the UCSF PRL. His primary research focus is to use quantitative SPECT/CT, PET/CT, and PET/MR molecular imaging tools for a broad range of research areas from small animal imaging using dedicated animal imaging systems and basic instrumentation development to physics analysis of clinical research data. Dr. Seo also directs the preclinical PET/SPECT/CT/Optical imaging core facility at the UCSF Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging at China Basin.
- Quantitative molecular imaging instrumentation and physics research:
- Hardware development: Energy-resolving/photon-counting detectors, phase-contrast/dark-field x-ray imaging technology, novel collimators, and compact systems
- Software development: Model-based image reconstruction, internal radiation dosimetry calculation, acceleration of algorithms, and radiomics and machine learning-based image analytics
- Application focus: Neuroblastoma, neuroendocrine tumors, small volume imaging (brain, heart, thyroid, etc.), dynamic imaging of heart and brain, prostate cancer, liver cancer, cardiac function, neuropsychiatric disorders
- Preclinical research: Animal imaging (quantification, modeling), molecular imaging probes (in collaboration with radiochemistry groups), molecular pathways (in collaboration with molecular biology groups), and regulatory (IACUC, radiation safety, etc.)
- Clinical research: Image quantification/quantitation (modeling), protocol development/implementation, scanner QC/QA (phantoms), regulatory (IRB, IND, etc.)
Honors and Awards:
Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award, National Cancer Institute (2006-2011)
Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation of the Year Award, Prostate Cancer Diagnosis North America (2010)
Distinguished Investigator Award, Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research (2016)
Alexander R. Margulis Award for Scientific Excellence, Radiological Society of North America (2019)
Full Member, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
Diplomate, American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM)
Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
Member, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI)