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Preclinical Imaging Facility

Radiology Pre-Clinical PET/CT Imaging Scan
Radiology Pre-Clinical PET/CT Imaging Scan
Radiology Pre-Clinical PET/CT Imaging Scan
Radiology Pre-Clinical PET/CT Imaging Scan

Animal models (including transgenic and knock-out mouse models) are routinely used to identify biomarkers of human diseases and to devise novel therapeutic strategies. In vivo, non-invasive imaging of mice and rats is ideally suited to assess the efficacy of such biomarkers, characterize mechanisms of disease progression, and assess response to therapy longitudinally in preclinical rodent models. Importantly, preclinical imaging plays a critical role in the translation and practice of precision medicine by providing a platform to identify and characterize early diagnostic markers, guide and evaluate adaptive therapeutic strategies, and to assess mechanisms of residual disease. In this context, the Preclinical PET/CT Imaging Facility has been collaborating with investigators throughout WUSM for over two decades to perform qualitative and quantitative preclinical imaging in a broad range of domains including cardiac/cardiovascular imaging, imaging manifestations of metabolic syndrome, pulmonary/lung imaging, cancer/oncologic imaging, brain/neuroimaging, and skeletal imaging to name a few. Over the years, the facility has amassed combined expertise of over six decades in developing preclinical PET/CT imaging strategies in numerous applications, including:

• Quantitative assessment of disease progression and therapeutic response
• Physiologic and functional imaging of disease biomarkers and mechanisms
• Metabolic imaging (e.g., cancer metabolism, substrate metabolism)
• Antibody and peptide radiolabeling and imaging for target engagement and whole-  body bio-distribution
• Imaging infectious diseases (primarily bacterial infections)
• Development of small molecules for imaging disease mechanisms
• Receptor occupancy and availability
• Dose finding studies for therapeutic response
• Radiolabeling and imaging of drugs for pharmacokinetic studies
• Functionalization of nanoparticles for imaging and therapeutic applications
• In vivo pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies
• Quantitative image phenotyping and modeling
• Radiation dosimetry


Mission and Goals:
The primary purpose of the facility is to provide an infrastructure for investigators to perform qualitative and quantitative preclinical imaging positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) research to facilitate research and discovery of diagnostic and predictive imaging biomarkers of disease and validation of radiotracers for translation to the clinic.