The Gordon Speaker Series



These conferences usually take place on a weekly basis and cover research topics in molecular imaging by invited speakers followed by discussion of the theme of the talk. All trainees are required to attend. To attend a conference, please check our calendar of events or contact us.



2017 and 2016 series


Older Series:


“Smoking in the PET Scanner. Dopamine Movies Reveal Sex Differences in Male and Female Smokers” by Evan D. Morris, Ph.D.
We have introduced a kinetic model for tracking the effects of transient dopamine activation on the dynamic 11C-raclopride PET signal. By extracting these effects at each voxel and correcting for multiple comparisons, we create “dopamine movies” of the brain’s response to stimuli. We present dopamine movies of male and female smokers smoking in the PET scanner and explore the implications of newly discovered sex differences. Dopamine movies offer many new image-based endpoints that will require new types of analyses and interpretations.

Evan D. Morris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology
Biomedical Engineering, Psychiatry
Co-Director of Imaging, Yale PET Center
Yale University

“ANSTO Camperdown the New Flagship for NST Radio-chemistry and Irradiation Technology Platform (RITe)” by Dr. Gary Perkins
ANSTO Camperdown forms one of the major facilities of the new NST Radio-chemistry and irradiation technology platform. Within this platform there are several themes that are been developed such as Microfluidic research, GMP manufacturing of radiotracers and cyclotron irradiated isotope production. This presentation will cover these general themes and look into other developments within hardware and 11C chemistry.

Dr. Gary Perkins
Radiochemistry Development Platform Coordinator
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

“Myeloperoxidase Immunoradiology” by John Chen, M.D.
Myeloperoxidase is a highly oxidizing enzyme secreted during inflammation. This talk will discuss how noninvasively tracking its activity helped to reveal the immune response and elucidate drug mechanisms in neurological diseases

John Chen, M.D.
Associate Professor of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital

“Future Trends in Emission Tomography Instrumentations” by Dr. Lian-Jing Meng
This presentation focuses on several recent technological developments that were specifically designed to address the shortcomings of modern emission tomography instrumentations. These developments are based on state-of-art semiconductor gamma ray detectors and new system design concepts that could allow future SPECT and PET systems to offer a dramatically lowered detection limit, a significantly improved spatial resolution and the ability to work simultaneously with other imaging modalities (such as MRI and optical imaging). In addition, we are exploring a “smart” emission tomography technique that allows certain control of the signal-emission process and therefore a greatly simplified image formation. This technique could potentially be used for 3-D mapping of trace metals in biological samples, and for real-time monitoring the delivery of anti-cancer therapies, such as X-ray induced photodynamic therapy.

Dr. Lian-Jing Meng
Associate Professor
Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering,
Department of Bioengineering
Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Molecular Imaging of Fibrosis” by Peter Caravan, Ph.D.
Fibrosis is a hallmark of many chronic diseases (e.g. heart failure, diabetic nephropathy, hepatitis, and many cancers). Assessing fibrosis is critical for diagnosis, patient management, and monitoring response to treatment. The gold standard for measuring fibrosis is biopsy, but this is invasive, carries complication risk, and often cannot be repeated. I will describe our efforts to develop molecular probes to noninvasively quantify fibrosis and fibrogenesis and the application of these probes in models of pulmonary, cardiac, and hepatic fibrosis.

Peter Caravan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School Director
Institute for Innovation in Imaging (I3)
Massachusetts General Hospital

“Accelerated Brain Aging” by David Salat, Ph.D.
Decades of work towards characterizing 'typical' brain aging has identified key changes in regional brain tissue structure and activity that are linked to attenuation in peak function in older adults. More substantial degenerative changes are well described that accompany dementing neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. A lack of information however exists regarding the modifiers that alter trajectories towards more substantial brain changes with advancing age. We describe here associations between systemic and vascular health and imaging markers of neural health as well as the potential influence of life events including military trauma exposure.

David Salat, Ph.D.
Assistant Prof. Radiology, MGH, Martinos Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Health Science Specialist VA Boston
Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center

“Task Based Maximization of Information in Medical Imaging” by Quanzheng Li, Ph.D.
In this talk I will briefly introduce how to use mathematical tools to maximize the information derived from medical imaging systems for different diagnosis and prognosis tasks, and demonstrate some applications in image reconstruction (e.g. static, dynamic, TOF PET and spectrum CT) , image analysis (e.g. partial volume effect correction, heterogeneity estimation and treatment response evaluation) and brain network analysis.

Quanzheng Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Center for Advanced Medical Imaging Science, Mass General Hospital

“Innovative X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) Research Starts with Advanced System Modeling” by Synho Do, Ph.D.
In this presentation, multiple innovative CT image reconstruction technologies and applications will be presented. 1) Sparse view CT image reconstruction, 2) Region of Interest CT reconstruction, and 3) Archimedean spiral CT image reconstruction. In addition, the advanced system modeling be illuminated with simulations, phantom scans, and clinical data results. This seminar will be beneficial for clinical researchers to understand the iterative image reconstruction technology (IRT) for CT and also for researchers, whose major research topics are non-CT, will be able to get a different perspective.

Synho Do, Ph.D.
Assistant in Physics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Instructor at Harvard Medical School
Assistant Medical Director for Advanced Health Technology Engineering, Research, and Development, MGPO

“Modeling, Mining and Measurement in Translational Nuclear Imaging” by Jack Hoppin, Ph.D.
Translational nuclear imaging offers a broad array of assays to drug discovery and development researchers. This talk will focus on the strengths and limitations of such assays from both the physical and fiscal perspective. Results of numerous case studies will be presented with a focus on both successful and unsuccessful modeling and data mining in these efforts.

Jack Hoppin, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Managing Director
inviCRO, LLC

“New Radiochemical Methods Applied to Clinical PET Neuroimaging” by Neil Vasdev, Ph.D
This presentation will focus on some non-traditional and cutting-edge approaches to prepare PET radiopharmaceuticals for new targets, focused on neurodegenerative diseases, and will show some of our recent advances with the short-lived radionuclides fluorine-18 and carbon-11. A focus of the presentation will be on applications of hypervalent iodine (III)-based precursors to label non-activated aromatic rings with [18F]fluoride that are suitable for human use. Carbon-11 CO2 fixation that has advanced preclinical and clinical imaging studies and Lab-on-a-chip technologies that have advanced 18F-radiopharmaceuticals for human imaging studies will also be highlighted. This presentation aims to show the intricacies of transitioning labeled compounds to PET radiopharmaceuticals from "bench to bedside" and aspire to work towards the ultimate, albeit impossible, goal in the field: to radiolabel virtually any compound for PET.

Neil Vasdev, Ph.D.
Director of Radiochemistry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

“Fibrin-targeting PET probes for molecular imaging of thrombosis: toward a single-step approach for whole-body clot detection, fibrin content estimation and thrombolysis monitoring” by Francesco Blasi, PharmD Ph.D.
Thrombosis is often the underlying cause of major cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, stroke, and venous thromboembolism, which are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite the recent advances in non-invasive thrombus detection, current imaging modalities still have some pitfalls and limitations that challenge both diagnosis and therapy monitoring. In this presentation I will illustrate the efficacy of novel fibrin-binding PET probes for molecular imaging of thrombosis, fibrin content estimation and thrombolysis monitoring.

Francesco Blasi, PharmD Ph.D.
Research Fellow in Radiology
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

“Current Understanding of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Development and Rupture” by Sean J. English, M.D.
Dr. Englsi provides a review of the inflammatory and thrombotic mechanisms driving the development & ultimate rupture of a murine model of abdominal aortic aneurysm that he has developed. He describes his experience evaluating this model with FDG & PBR28 micro-PET, as well as human disease with FDG-PET.

Sean J. English, M.D.
MGH Clinical & Research Fellow
Division of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery

“Imaging Brain Inflammation in People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)” by Nazem Atassi, MD MMSc
The lack of mechanism-based biomarkers is one of the major challenges facing drug development for people with neurodegenerative disorders. This presentation summarizes the challenges of ALS drug development and explores the role of [11C]-PBR28-PET as a potential biomarker for drug response in people with ALS.

Nazem Atassi, MD MMSc
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School (HMS)
Associate Director, MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI)

“Abeta and beyond” by Dominic Martin Walsh, Ph.D.
Understanding the bioactivity, primary structure and aggregation state of Abeta species produced by certain cell culture systems and extract from human brain.

Dominic Martin Walsh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology
Brighan and Women’s Hospital

"Medical Image Synthesis: Methods and Applications" by Jerry L. Prince, Ph.D.
Acquisition of truly calibrated magnetic resonance images is not currently possible. Scanners and pulse sequences are different—in subtle ways sometimes and quite dramatic ways more often. Manufacturers have different strategies for optimizing their image quality and MR techs might change a parameter to try to improve the image quality on any given day. As a consequence, the use of MR images for automatic image analysis yields inconsistent results. We have been exploring image synthesis methods to address this problem and are hopeful that through synthesis we will be able to obtain more consistent image analysis results. If successful, the use of automatic image analysis methods applied to MR images might become a more important part of clinical practice in the future. Four methods and a variety of applications and their results are presented in this talk. Sparse reconstruction is an important theme throughout, and image segmentation and registration are key methods that serve to demonstrate improvements. Although our results are promising, this new area of research is controversial and its future impact is uncertain. The talk concludes with some ideas about future directions and some thoughts about what might be possible in the future.

Jerry L. Prince
William B. Kouwenhoven Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Johns Hopkins University


“Theranostic Nanoprobes for Cancer Imaging and Therapy” by Anna Moore, Ph.D.
RNA interference is an innate cellular mechanism for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in which double-stranded ribonucleic acid inhibits the expression of genes with complementary nucleotide sequences. Its therapeutic potential is indisputable, considering that one can use this mechanism to silence virtually any gene with single-nucleotide specificity. Recently described phenomenon of miRNA silencing has been attributed to targeting about 60% of mammalian genes and is an important modulator in various pathologies. This presentation will focus on theranostic nanoprobes that utilizes siRNA/microRNA mechanisms for image-guided cancer therapy.

Anna Moore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Radiology
Director, Molecular Imaging Laboratory
MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Department of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital


“Imaging in CNS radiation oncology to improve treatment delivery and outcomes assessment” by Helen Shih, M.D.
Review of the role of radiation therapy in neuro-oncology, current tools and investigations at MGH, and areas of limitations in radiation therapy that might benefit from collaborative imaging studies.

Helen Shih, M.D.
Chief, CNS & Eye Services, Department of Radiation Oncology
Associate Medical Director
Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology
Harvard Medical School

“Cardiothoracic imaging: Clinical and research perspective at Yonsei University” by Byoung Wook Choi, M.D., Ph.D.
This talk will introduce current clinical and research perspective about cardiovascular and thoracic imaging focusing on the on-going research at Yonsei University. Future collaboration between the Gordon Center and Yonsei will be discussed.

Byoung Wook Choi, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Radiology & Director,
Research Institute of Radiological Science
Yonsei University College of Medicine
Seoul, Rep. of Korea

“Nanotechnology-based approaches for Imaging and Therapy” by Charalambos Kaittanis, Ph.D.
Improved diagnostics and therapeutics are needed in the clinic, contributing towards better treatment and survivorship. During this presentation, we will discuss how nanoparticle-based tools can support decision-making, through imaging and new insights on how nanoparticles interact with their environment. Overall, we will explore how nanoparticles can serve as sensitive probes, as well as translational platforms for personalized medicine.

Charalambos Kaittanis, Ph.D.
Research Scholar
Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

“Is the Future of Nuclear Medicine (a.k.a the true Molecular Imaging) in Dedicated Imagers?” by Stan Majewski, Ph.D.
New developments in compact PET imaging technology and in modern reconstruction algorithms permit designing and implementation of different flexible limited angle tomography PET detection structures well-adapted to particular imaging tasks, also offering higher efficiency and resolution, mobility, and even wearability.

Stan Majewski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiology Research
Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging
University of Virginia

"Correction of Rigid Head Motion in Helical CT: Methodology and Clinical Feasibility" by Dr. Roger Fulton
We have recently developed a promising method of correcting for patient head motion during helical CT imaging. The method reconstructs a motion-corrected image from an orbit that is modified based on knowledge of the head motion during the scan, which is obtained by optical motion tracking or a data-driven algorithm. Results from real CT scans of moving phantoms, and simulations of a variety of realistic volunteer head motion patterns are shown to illustrate the ability of the method to compensate effectively for all but the most severe types of motion patients might exhibit in the clinical setting.

Dr. Roger Fulton
Conjoint Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Sydney
Principal Nuclear Medicine Physicist at Westmead Hospital