Hershey and Liu Named Distinguished Investigators

Tamara Hershey, PhD, and Yongjian Liu, PhD, have been named Distinguished Investigators of the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research. This award honors those who’ve made outstanding contributions to medical imaging.

Hershey, the James S. McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and director of the Neuroimaging Labs Research Center, works in the fields of cognitive and clinical neuroscience. Hershey’s lab uses a wide range of neuroimaging, pharmacological and cognitive techniques to understand the impact of metabolic a neurodegenerative condition on the brain across the lifespan.

Hershey’s key accomplishments include defining the neural underpinnings of cognitive and mood dysfunction in disorders relevant the basal ganglia, highlighting the effects of diabetes and obesity on the brain, particularly within development, and determining the neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative impact of a rare genetic condition, Wolfram Syndrome.

Liu, an associate professor of radiology and principal investigator in the Precision Radiotheranostics Translation Center, focuses on the development and translation of novel molecular probes from preclinical research to human PET imaging and therapy with a focus on cardiovascular research. He has been working on agents with various imaging characteristics including peptides, small molecules, antibodies and nanoparticles to study the pathogenesis, progression/regression, and treatment response in a number of animal models.

Liu has translated four radiotracers for human PET imaging including two antibodies, one nanoparticle and one peptide tracer for human imaging.