The impact of Molecular Imaging on oncology encompasses all aspects of clinical management including early detection, guiding the preclinical development of targeted therapeutics and biomarkers, assisting staging of disease and monitoring response to therapeutics. Utilization of Molecular Imaging can significantly decrease the costs incurred with the development of new therapies by allowing accurate patient treatment stratification and allowing the non-invasive serial assessment of the biological response to treatment in vivo. However, a significant bottleneck has emerged for the development and translation of molecular imaging agents, specifically those utilized for positron emission tomography (PET probes). Current limitations for the rapid development and translation of targeted molecular imaging agents for PET include but are not limited to; the complex design, synthesis and screening approaches for both targeted ligand identification and imaging agent development. As such there is clearly a growing need for exceptional laboratory-based scientists with extensive research experience in the field of bioimaging research, more specifically in the case of Dr Hausner radiochemistry and probe optimization for molecular imaging PET probes. Scientists such as Dr Hausner provide the continuity, stability and detailed scientific knowledge to students and trainees far beyond that of a technician and are vital to sustain the molecular imaging research enterprise. This funding is an excellent opportunity to recognize Dr Hausner?s contributions, not only to the Sutcliffe laboratory but also to molecular imaging research. It will also allow him to develop a more defined and stable career path to pursue research in basic, translational, and clinical molecular imaging research within the Sutcliffe research program without the pressure of becoming an independent investigator. Dr Hausner will continue to support the development of targeted molecular imaging agents for cancer detection in the Sutcliffe laboratory and more specifically focus on improving the pharmacokinetics of peptide based molecular imaging agents. Molecular imaging agents under development in the Sutcliffe laboratory support pre-clinical studies in mice and non-human primates at the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, as well as clinical studies through the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Radiology. Dr Sutcliffe is the primary support Unit Director who will continue to work with Dr Hausner to plan, direct and monitor the proposed research.
Tools for earlier diagnosis of malignancies, assessing extent of disease and monitoring response to treatment are critical to improve patient outcomes. We will develop robust radiochemistry and improve pharmacokinetics of molecular imaging agents for applications in cancer imaging with PET.