NIBIB National Technology Centers Webinar Series: Molecular Imaging Technology Centers

CMITT will be presenting at the “NIBIB National Technology Centers Webinar Series: Molecular Imaging Technology Centers” on December 12th, 2-3:30 pm EST. Join to learn about our cutting-edge technologies and opportunities for training and collaboration!

There will be three centers presenting: 

  • Center for Molecular Imaging Technology & Translation (CMITT), MGH, led by Dr. El Fakhri
  • Resource for Molecular Imaging Agents in Precision Medicine, Johns Hopkins, led by Dr. Pomper
  • The PET Radiotracer Translation and Resource Center (PET-RTRC), Wash U, led by Dr. Gropler

There will be a brief introduction by the Director of National Technology Centers Program, Dr. Shabestari, followed by the three talks by the center leaders and subsequent Q&A session, in which the attendees can directly ask the speakers questions. This will be live but recorded and will be made available on the NIBIB website after the event.  

The webinar is open to public, but registration is required:


Dr. Kuang Gong receives IEEE NPSS Award

award plaque

Gordon Center faculty member Dr. Kuang Gong has received the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society 2021 Bruce H. Hasegawa Young Investigator in Medical Imaging Science Award.

The award was given for contributions to machine learning-based PET imaging reconstruction, image denoising and attenuation correction as well as advanced PET point-spread function modeling and novel PET system design.

The award winner was announced at the recent virtual 2021 IEEE NSS/MIC meeting.

Some of Dr. Kuang’s work is featured on the TR&D 2 research page


In vivo and neuropathology data support locus coeruleus integrity as indicator of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive decline

In a new publication in Science Translational Medicine, the Jacobs and Johnson labs have employed longitudinal MR and PET imaging to show that the locus coeruleus is associated with features of Alzheimer’s Disease. Their work suggests that non-invasive imaging may be used to monitor cognitive decline.

The locus coeruleus, a small region in the brainstem, is known to accumulate abnormal tau proteins early in adulthood. This tau protein is one of the important causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Here, the Jacobs et al. used new MRI-methods to visualize the locus coeruleus during life and demonstrated that lower locus coeruleus integrity was associated with the initial accumulation of tau pathology, measured with positron emission tomography, and with memory decline. These findings have important implications for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, as they suggest that locus coeruleus MRI-measures have the potential to identify individuals who are at-risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

See also this excellent summary of the work.


Bulfinch Building Tour

Some of the CMITT lab space is featured in a recently created virtual tour of the Bulfinch Building, celebrating 200 years of patient care at MGH.

We are located in the basement, and if you click on the 6th highlight, you can start exploring from one of our laboratories


Radiochemists Produce Hand Sanitizer to Meet Hospital Demand

In response to a shortage of hand sanitizer, pharmacists and chemists from CMITT and the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital have converted our PET production lab into a facility to produce pump bottles of hand sanitizer.

Radiochemist making hand sanitizer

The group delivered its first batch, 19 bottles, of the ethanol-based product to Mass General’s Environmental Services Department last week. With a projected total production of 4,000 bottles, they hope to create enough sanitizer to meet the hospital’s demand for the next two weeks, says Daniel Yokell, PharmD, associate director of Radiopharmacy and Regulatory Affairs in the Gordon Center in the Department of Radiology.

“I heard about the shortage, and I thought, we have all the infrastructure, the people and the bandwidth to produce this product,” says Yokell.

The 10-member team—which worked closely with staff in materials management, nursing and environmental services—followed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy for “Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency,” using 80% ethanol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and sterile water, to produce their first batch. “It was like we were back in pharmacy school, compounding creams and lotions. It’s just a different use of the materials we have on hand—and our skill sets,” says Yokell.

After clearance by Mass General safety and hospital compliance, the next step was bottling the solution using sterile and safe methods, then bottling the product into hand pump containers.

Radiopharmacist delivering sanitizer bottles

“This is a great conversion success story, where Dan and his staff used their know-how to make something essential in the fight against COVID-19,” says Georges El Fakhri, PhD, DABR, director of the Gordon Center and PI of CMITT.

The group is now working on its next production run. With 3,000 bottles and hand pumps scheduled to be delivered this week, Yokell is confident the group can meet Mass General’s demand for hand sanitizer in the short term. “Two weeks ago, demand was 45 bottles a day,” he says. “Our goal is to double that amount and backfill what is needed. We want to produce enough to be sufficient for hand hygiene for the whole hospital.”

James Brink, MD, radiologist-in-chief, says, “I’m so pleased and proud that our radiochemistry team was able to apply their talents so effectively to produce a product that is vital in our fight against COVID-19. They needed to think creatively and retool their operation completely, and they did so in a very thoughtful and efficient way.”

This story was originally published on 03/30/2020 on the Mass General Hospital website. Link to article