Explore UAB

Cyclotron mission statement

The UAB Cyclotron Facility enables 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.


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 positions UAB to be a leader in molecular imaging and enables new research and clinical endeavors directly relevant to UAB’s mission. The UAB Cyclotron Facility serves as a 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 maintain a program which operates in close synergy with other investigators at UAB. The Cyclotron Facility provides human use radiopharmaceuticals to investigators with programs in molecular imaging and educates potential new investigators about the use of molecular imaging in their research. The Cyclotron Facility also provides physicians and patients at UAB with access to molecular imaging tracers not available at most other centers in the United States.

The facility leverages existing strengths in the UAB Cancer Center in immunology and experimental therapeutics to enable the use of molecular imaging for personalized medicine. Pilot projects establish the techniques and are used for materials for outreach to other investigators. The development and application of diagnostic molecular imaging agents directly coupled to therapy is a major emphasis.

The Cyclotron Facility provides 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 include amyloid, tau and neuroinflammation imaging agents that are revolutionizing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative processes. The availability of molecular imaging agents adds 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 benefits 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 are leveraged for use in investigating cardiovascular metabolism and other parameters of interest such as hypoxia.

The Cyclotron facility at UAB makes 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. Collaborations with basic scientists in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biomedical engineering are also ongoing.

If you would like to know more about the UAB Cyclotron Facility please contact Suzanne Lapi, PhD, UAB Cyclotron Facility Director at lapi@uab.edu