Mission Statement

The UAB Cyclotron Facility will enable a broad scope of research and cutting-edge patient care through initiatives ranging from nuclear science for novel isotope production to developing and supplying state-of the art molecular imaging agents for clinical trials and routine patient care.

Vision

Molecular imaging is a powerful technique that can be applied to basic, translational, and clinical research as well as to routine patient care. Molecular imaging allows spatial localization and quantification of biological processes such as metabolism, enzyme activity, cell proliferation, receptor density and cellular transport that are not readily assessed with conventional anatomic imaging techniques. The Cyclotron Facility will position UAB to be a leader in molecular imaging and enable new research and clinical endeavors directly relevant to UAB’s mission. In the long run, the UAB Cyclotron Facility will serve as key resource for the UAB community, the Southeast, and, for some applications, the entire United States.

Through collaborations with clinical faculty and preclinical and basic researchers, we aim to create a program which operates in close synergy with other investigators at UAB. The Cyclotron Facility will provide human use radiopharmaceuticals to investigators with programs in molecular imaging and educate potential new investigators about the use of molecular imaging in their research. The Cyclotron Facility will also provide physicians and patients at UAB with access to molecular imaging tracers not available at most other centers in the United States.

The facility will leverage existing strengths in the UAB Cancer Center in immunology and experimental therapeutics to become world leader in the use of molecular imaging for personalized medicine. Through involvement in the disease-oriented working groups, key areas where molecular imaging can play a large role will be identified. Pilot projects will establish the techniques and be used for materials for outreach to other investigators. The development and application of diagnostic molecular imaging agents directly coupled to therapy will be a major emphasis.

The Cyclotron Facility will provide clinicians in Neurology, Psychiatry and related fields as well as neuroscientists at UAB access to the tools needed for molecular neuroimaging in disease models and patients. Tracers will include amyloid and tau imaging agents that are revolutionizing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative processes. The availability of molecular imaging agents will add a new dimension to already strong clinical and research programs centered on neurological diseases and neuroscience.

Cardiovascular imaging at both the preclinical and clinical levels will benefit from molecular imaging agents available through the Cyclotron Facility. In addition to tracers specific to cardiovascular applications, imaging agents already in demand by investigators at the cancer center will be leveraged for use in investigating cardiovascular metabolism and other parameters of interest such as hypoxia.

The Cyclotron facility at UAB will make use of existing and new faculty chemistry expertise in isotope production and the radiosynthesis of novel molecules to bring new agents online in a timely fashion. Additional collaboration with basic scientists in Chemistry, Physics and Biomedical engineering are also envisioned.