On May 1, 2006 all the Chemistry Department imaging programs transferred to the BNL Medical Department, however all programmatic material herein remains unchanged
Radiotracer Chemistry and Neuroimaging
Understanding brain function at the molecular and systems level is an enormous challenge. At the heart of the complexity is that the brain functions as a set of interacting and constantly adapting molecular systems governed by gene expression, protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, synaptic activity and signal transduction, to name a few. Our overarching vision in our Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Program is (1) to develop new scientific tools (radiotracers and multi-dimensional imaging technologies) to rapidly advance our knowledge of how brain function and behavior are shaped by gender, genetics, age, environment, drugs and disease and (2) to apply these tools to medical problems which have a major impact on society including addictive disorders, aging and neurodegenerative disease. Research is multidisciplinary and synergistic with a strong synergy between clinical and preclinical research. Research is carried out in the following specific areas: medical radioisotope production, radiotracer synthesis and mechanistic studies (including kinetic analysis, microdialysis and microPET); PET imaging physics and quantification and; the design and fabrication of specialized imaging instruments. Major milestones include the development of 18FDG, the first images of the addicted human brain (see figure), and the development of a new addiction treatment. Training, education, research collaborations and community outreach programs are vital components of the Program.
The Radiotracer and Neuroimaging Program is supported by the Medical Sciences Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Last Modified: June 28, 2012