The Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource provides state-of-the-art in vivo molecular imaging capabilities to the investigators of the Kimmel Cancer Center. It was established under the direction of Dr. Mathew Thakur in April 2004 supported, to date, by the Thomas Jefferson University and the Department of Radiology. This resource provides non-invasive small animal imaging, with PET, SPECT, CT and optical imaging. These modalities offer innovative basic, as well as pre-clinical translational, research capabilities for studying patho-physiology and genesis of cancer. In addition to providing comprehensive imaging services the expertise exists to a) custom synthesize probes specific for targeted bio-markers;b) develop new image generation and analysis techniques;and c) train cancer investigators to harness the strengths of molecular imaging. The facility is supported by three AALAC accredited animal houses and two veterinarian staff members. Thus far this shared resource has supported fifteen federally funded investigations related to oncology and enhanced productivity as depicted by several publications in peer-reviewed journals. The facility was used by seven cancer center members.
In recent years, new approaches to drug discovery have been focused upon better understanding of the biochemical pathways that control the genesis of diseases at a molecular level. Once understood. Molecular Imaging (Ml) can extend that knowledge to a new meaningful dimension and contribute extensively to the management of patients suffering from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and more.
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