Functional Molecular Imaging (PET, SPECT, optical)

Functional and molecular imaging at the University of Chicago includes a broad spectrum of research agenda in positron emission tomography (PET), singlephoton emission computed tomography (SPECT), x-ray computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, optical imaging (fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging), photoacoustic imaging, etc., in order to enable and improve quantitative measurements of physiologic functions and assessments of molecular pathways, both in health and in disease. These molecular imaging tools are often employed to facilitate and enhance therapeutics developments as well. A unique emphasis in our program is multi-modality imaging, in which images and data from different but complementary sources are integrated in order to generate new information unattainable by using a single imaging modality. Radiology faculty members are exploring new imaging detector, sensor, and electronic technologies for use in the next-generation imaging systems; designing and building novel imaging instrumentation with unique features, characteristics or utilities; incorporating innovative image reconstruction algorithms specific for the unique imaging devices or protocols in use; exploring new modeling methodologies to capture the physical factors involved in imaging more completely and accurately; developing new molecular imaging probes, tracers, and contrast agents; investigating various mathematical and computing methods for derivation of physiologic parameters and functional measures; implementing novel image analysis approaches to extract accurate quantitative information from image data; designing and implementing a variety of imaging protocols for both clinical human and preclinical animal imaging studies. The general objective is to develop new functional and molecular imaging methods for improved detection of abnormalities, for novel image-guided interventions, for better monitoring of treatment responses, for more efficient and effective developments of new drugs and other therapeutics, and for making new discoveries and creating new knowledge in our fundamental understanding of life and life processes.


Research Faculty

Xiaochuan Pan, PhD

Professor of Radiology, Radiation and Cellular Oncology

Bill C. O'Brien-Penney

Associate Professor of Radiology

Chin-Tu, Chen

Chin-Tu Chen

Associate Professor of Radiology

Patrick La Riviere

Associate Professor of Radiology

Chien-Min Kao

Associate Professor of Radiology