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Molecular Imaging Program


The ability to see inside a living organism and watch its biological functions sounds like a futuristic dream of X-ray superhero proportions. Yet revolutionary advances in imaging over the last decade make this a reality.


Molecular imaging techniques such as combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) offer noninvasive ways of measuring biologic processes in the body at the cellular or molecular level.


Molecular imaging techniques such as combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) offer noninvasive ways of measuring bio- logic processes in the body at the cellular or molecular level. This has important implications for research as well as for patient care. Molecular imaging enables scientists and clinicians to view processes in the body that contribute to disease such as altered cellular metabolism and gene expression. In clinical care, doctors use molecular imaging to diagnose cancers and monitor therapies. Molecular imaging has also been used to diagnose and better understand various neurologic, psychiatric, and cardiac diseases.


Initiated in August 2005, the Molecular Imaging Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a joint effort of HCI, the University of Utah’s Brain Institute, and the Departments of Radiology and Internal Medicine. “Complicated medical problems require that scientists work as a team,” says John M. Hoffman, MD, professor of radiology and neurology at


6 HUNTSMAN CANCER INSTITUTE


the University of Utah and director of HCI’s Molecular Imaging Program. “This program facilitates teamwork.”


While the Molecular Imaging Program influences research and patient care across disciplines, it focuses on treating HCI patients and providing state-of- the-art imaging techniques to cancer researchers.


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