טלפון משרד: 02-6776075
אימייל: [email protected]
תחום מחקר: דימות וחומרי דימות
Nuclear Molecular Imaging (NMI) aims to quantitatively visualize and characterize biological processes at the cellular and molecular levels in humans. NMI has great potential as a research and diagnostic modality in the fields of neurology, cardiology, oncology, and drug development. One of the leading modalities in this field is Positron Emission Tomography (PET). PET utilizes unique radio-isotopes, mostly produced by cyclotrons, in conjunction with carrier molecules (biomarkers) to form radioactive imaging agents that selectively target specific biochemical systems in vivo. The high sensitivity of PET and the low concentration of the radioactive imaging agents used, may allow for the quantitative visualization of low capacity biological elements such as receptors and enzymes in healthy and pathological conditions making PET a cardinal molecular imaging tool in pre-clinical studies and clinical settings.
The focus of our research investigations is in acquiring deeper insight and knowledge towards a) the development and b) utilization of novel targeted PET radiopharmaceuticals as the major foundation leading to new frontiers in the field of nuclear molecular imaging and translational medicine.
a) Comprehensive studies were accomplished in order to assess the hypothesis of whether receptors presented at very low concentrations could be successfully targeted and quantitatively imaged in vivo by PET using novel radiopharmaceuticals. In this context, PTK receptors (but not only), which play a major role in signal transduction pathways in angiogenesis and cancer progression, were selected as major targets for our investigation. In the last two years, we have also been working towards the hypothesis that fluorine-18 and carbon-11 ammonium salts could serve as imaging agents and thus open up new approaches for quantitative PET myocardial perfusion imaging. In order to accomplish the above-mentioned investigations, our research endeavors have focused on the development of novel labeling agents, labeling methods and the design, radiosynthesis and biological evaluation of novel PET biomarkers with high “chemical resolution” to allow quantitative targeted molecular imaging.
b) The second aspect of our research endeavors deals with the advancement of the PET methodology and the study of physiological, biochemical and pharmacological functions at the molecular level, whether in animals, healthy subjects or in patients. This was achieved by utilizing the gold standard PET imaging agent Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and non-conventional radiopharmaceuticals other than FDG such as [C-11] Choline, [F-18]Choline, [F-18]FES, [F-18]FDOPA, [F-18]FLT, [Ga-68]DOTA-NOC, [C-11]Acetate and [F-18]Fluoride.