My research centers on quantitative clinical nuclear medical imaging using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT and PET/CT. Separately, each of these imaging modalities has clinical limitations: SPECT images are not quantitative, and planar images cannot be used to precisely calculate radiation dose levels in normal tissue or to assess tumor dosimetry and kinetics. I am working to implement and validate quantitative SPECT/CT imaging by evaluating variability in the standard uptake value (SUV) – the amount of radiation absorbed by a target tissue – a measurement that is used to stage tumors and assess response to therapy.
Currently, I am performing an extended study evaluating the repeatability of SUV measurements and to determine if there is a relationship between SUV variability and tumor site, origin, or size. I am also involved in several research projects using compartmental modeling of dynamic PET to understand the behavior of novel radiotracers in the body. I am particularly interested in determining parameter variability to improve measuring techniques.