New Yale PET Center to Open in 2005

The Yale University Positron Emission Tomography Center is being formed to advance the interests of Yale clinicians, scientists and students in molecular imaging. The Center will exist in approximately 17,000 sq. ft. of renovated and newly constructed spaced and will open in the summer of 2005. While the primary focus of the PET Center will be to conduct scientific research in humans and experimental animals, some imaging for clinical patient management will be conducted; the majority of clinical imaging will be performed in the Yale New Haven Hospital using PET-CT scanners. The Yale PET Center will have 2 scanners: a CTI HR+ and a HRRT scanner and there is also space for a dedicated animal PET scanner.

The Yale PET Center will have a state-of-the-art radiochemistry facility that will permit the development and use of a complete line of PET radiopharmaceuticals. Mini hot cells and automated radiochemistry modules will ensure that the needs of all investigators can be met, while minimizing radiation exposure to the chemistry staff.

Another important section of the Center is the PET physics and data analysis group. This group will oversee the operation of the PET scanners, develop new methods to optimize data acquisition and analysis, and will run an image analysis laboratory that will offer investigators computer workstations with image analysis software applications for their data analysis, and will provide training and consultation to investigators.

The biological evaluation of molecular tracers is another valuable aspect of the Center. Accordingly, a biology group will be created that will be comprised of pharmacologists, molecular biologists, technical staff and students who will design new radiotracers, evaluate and validate them as in vivo agents, and participate in developing modeling methods to quantify their in vivo biodistribution.

It is anticipated that the PET Center will develop scientific collaborations with many School of Medicine departments and their members, but also create ties to basic science departments in the wider Yale University community in order to advance basic imaging science research and participate in the education of doctoral and postdoctoral trainees. Finally, the Yale PET Center will be involved in collaborations with industry partners in order to advance the use of molecular imaging in new medication discovery and development, and to bring forth new diagnostic PET radiopharmaceuticals.