Archive for December, 2016

Happy Holidays


For the upcoming holidays, we will be closed Monday, December 26, and Monday, January 2. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!

Happy Holidays & Best Wishes for the New Year

Bradley-Alavi Student Fellowship


Nicolas Guehl was awarded the SNMMI Bradley-Alavi Student Fellowship based on his proposal “Development of methods for simultaneous rest-stress myocardial blood flow (MBF) measurements.” The fellowship is funded by the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and is designed to support research activities in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging for three months. Nicolas Guehl is a research fellow at the MGH Gordon Center.

Nicolas Guehl

Neuroplastic Changes in Blind Individuals



This article was initially published by the RSNA Daily Bulletin on November 30, 2016.

Dr. Laura Ortiz-Terán is a clinical radiologist and neuroimaging research scientist at the MGH Gordon Center. She works with Dr. Jorge Sepulcre to investigate the neuroplastic changes occurring in blind individuals, adults and children, using graph theory based resting-state functional connectivity analysis.

Novel Radioligand for Brain Imaging


Central nervous system demyelination represents the pathological hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is thought to contribute to other neurological conditions including traumatic brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. The ability to assess demyelination quickly and quantitatively is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. As current imaging approaches for demyelination rely on magnetic resonance imaging, which is neither quantitative nor specific for demyelination, Dr. Pedro Brugarolas set out to develop a PET tracer for demyelination. He described the development of a novel radioligand for brain imaging based on the FDA-approved drug for MS, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). After demonstrating that C-14 labeled 4-AP localizes to demyelinated areas in mouse models of MS –presumably through binding to exposed potassium channels in demyelinated axons– he designed a fluorinated derivative of 4-AP compatible with with F-18 labeling and PET. Dr. Brugarolas then developed a novel radiochemical method to label this compound and performed PET/CT imaging in rats harboring demyelinated lesions. According to Dr. Pedro Brugarolas, this is the first example of a PET radioligand for potassium channels in the brain potentially opening a new window for looking at brain diseases.

Dr. Pedro Brugarolas is a radiochemist at the University of Chicago. He was the guest speaker of a lecture organized by the Gordon Center and his presentation was titled "[18F]3F4AP: a new PET tracer for imaging brain demyelination."

Pedro Brugarolas, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
The University of Chicago

Seminar: Smart Photonic Materials for Theranostic Applications


According to Dr. Sei Kwang Hahn from Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, smart photonic materials have a variety of biomedical applications for biosensing, molecular imaging, surgery and therapies. In a conference organized by the Gordon Center, he discussed his research efforts to develop melanoidin nanoparticles for in vivo noninvasive photoacoustic mapping of sentinel lymph nodes, photoacoustic tomography of gastro-intestinal tracts, and photothermal ablation cancer therapy. Dr. Hahn and his colleagues created biodegradable polymer waveguides and upconversion nanoparticles for photochemical tissue bonding. They also synthesized cell-integrated poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels for in vivo optogenetic sensing and therapy. Real-time optical readout of encapsulated heat-shock-protein-coupled fluorescent reporter cells made it possible to measure the nanotoxicity of cadmium-based quantum dots in vivo. Using optogenetic cells to produce glucagon-like peptide-1, Dr. Hahn developed smart contact lenses composed of biosensors, drug delivery systems and power sources for the treatment of diabetes as a model disease.

Sei Kwang Hahn, Ph.D. SeAh Young Chair Professor Department of Materials Science and Engineering School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

Sei Kwang Hahn, Ph.D.
SeAh Young Chair Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)