September 29, 2000

Linda Chang Named Chair of Brookhaven Lab's
Medical Department


UPTON, NY - Linda Chang, formerly an associate professor of neurology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical School and a researcher at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, has been appointed chair of the Medical Department at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, effective September 18. She succeeds Nora Volkow, who had been promoted to Associate Laboratory Director for Life Sciences. Brookhaven scientist Gene-Jack Wang had served as interim chair until Chang assumed her position. He has returned to full-time research in the Medical Department.

Brookhaven1s Medical Department has a staff of 65, and a yearly budget of about $13 million. Research areas include the use of positron emission tomography (PET) and other imaging techniques to investigate the effects of addiction, aging and HIV on the brain, the study of radiation effects on the neural system, and tumor detection. The department also develops and evaluates novel radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Unique radiopharmaceuticals are produced for distribution to researchers and industry.

Chang explained, "I have used imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate neurological disorders, addiction, and HIV, so I am well-prepared to continue this work at Brookhaven. I look forward to expanding the Laboratory's medical imaging facilities and to further integrating PET and MRI to study diseases such as addiction and the effects of HIV on the brain."

Chang added that she hopes to recruit outstanding young scientists who specialize in neuroimaging to work in the newly expanded PET research center and the MRI program. She foresees a growing department in the future, with several strong programs. Also, Chang said she views Brookhaven's Medical Department as "a good training ground for future scientists," and she encourages her staff to continue Brookhaven's tradition of providing research opportunities for students.

Board-certified in both neurology and electrophysiology, Chang earned a B.S. in biochemistry at the University of Maryland in 1981, an M.S. in physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University in 1982, and an M.D. at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1986. She served her internship in internal medicine at the University of Southern California Medical Center, and her residency in neurology at UCLA Medical Center.

From 1981-83, Chang was a chemist and research assistant at the National Institutes of Health. She began her career at UCLA as a clinical instructor and research associate in 1991. Chang is the recipient of several awards, including the 1998 Richard E. Weitzman Award in Biochemical Research, an annual Young Investigator Research Award given by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.


NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Linda Chang is a resident of Shoreham, NY.