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A proven track record

Brookhaven is a pioneer in positron emission tomography and its uses in drug developement with a proven record of working with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

GJ Wang

PET imaging can help you get the results you need

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island, New York, has a proven track record of using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to improve drug discovery and development. BNL is a pioneer and leader in this field, advancing medical imaging technology for over 50 years. BNL's PET Imaging Group has a long history of widely cited investigations of the neurochemical circuits that are disrupted in diseases of addiction and in pathological eating disorders (obesity) as well as working with pharmaceutical and biotech organizations under collaborative arrangements to study various aspects of drug development.

If you are developing a new drug or studying new uses of an old drug and need information on mechanisms, sites of action, dosing amounts, dosing schedules, and/or possible side effects, BNL's PET Imaging Group can help you get the results you need.

BNL has a long history of breakthrough developments in PET

  • 2009: President Obama presents Dr. Fowler with the National Medal of Science Award for "exceptional accomplishments in the synthesis of positron-emitting chemical probes and for their implementation in biomedical imaging and studies of in vivo biochemistry."
  • 2000s: Development of "RatCAP" (which allows PET imaging on conscious animals for simultaneous studies of behavior and biochemistry) and other imaging instruments.
  • 1980s to Present: Numerous pre-clinical and clinical studies done with radiolabeled tracers and drugs at BNL including widely cited investigations of the neurochemical circuits that are disrupted in diseases of addiction and in pathological eating disorders (obesity).
  • 1978: Joanna Fowler and Al Wolf develop fluorodeoxyglucose (18F), or 18FDG, a radiotracer widely used in neuroscience and cancer imaging. This was followed by synthesis of many more radiolabeled tracers and drugs at BNL.
  • 1973-75: BNL's Robertson and Cho propose ring system for PET
  • 1961: Robertson builds first single-plane PET scanner.

PET and MRI imaging resources available to industry

BNL has all the resources needed for utilizing PET and MRI imaging in drug development, from producing radioisotopes, to designing and synthesizing radiolabeled drugs and tracers, to writing and implementing protocols to running animal and human studies.

  • Cyclotron and Radiotracer Laboratory for radioisotope production and radiotracer synthesis.
  • Radiotracer Chemistry - organic syntheses and labeling with positron emitters, including validation and quantification in animals and humans (including cGMP radiotracer production for human studies).
  • Kinetic Modeling - radiotracer quantification/development of new analytic methods.
  • PET and microPET research, operations, and quality control for all basic preclinical studies.
  • MRI studies for clinical studies.
  • Quantitative Autoradiography and animal behavior methods and models.
  • Neuropsychoimaging - neuropsycometric evaluation and studies of brain-behavior relationships.
  • Instrumentation Access - Two PET scanners (HR+), microPET, RatCAP, 4T human MRI
  • Instrumentation Development - PET and MRI imaging instrumentation development including multimodality instrumentation and new detectors; access to BNL Instrumentation Division and shops.
  • Clinical Trial Capabilities. Access to subjects, and physician and nursing oversight for all clinical trials.

Professional specialists in many areas

BNL's professional staff includes specialists in chemistry, radiotracer design and testing, animal studies, physics, engineering, imaging design and testing, pharmacology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, clinical studies, neurology, psychiatry, kinetic modeling, nursing, protocol development, data management and other fields involved in PET imaging and drug development.

Contact Us

For more information, or to arrange a visit, contact:

BNL Office of Technology Commercialization & Partnerships
(631) 344-4919


See a list of all available radiotracers. (Other radiotracers described in the literature can also be transferred to our lab.)

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