SNM provides $75,000 in 2005 grants, awards for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine researchers

First SNM/Mallinckrodt seed grant provides $25,000 for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine cancer research

SNM recently awarded $75,000 in grants and awards, funded by its Education and Research Foundation, for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine researchers.

Meixang Yu, Ph.D., associate professor and chief PET radiochemist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, was named the first recipient of the SNM/Mallinckrodt Seed Grant in Molecular Imaging/Nuclear Medicine Research. This competitive grant is designed to assist researchers in conducting new and innovative pilot projects that have potential for future support from foundations, corporations or government agencies. The grant for Yu's research project, "Molecular Imaging and Biological Evaluation of 124I Avastin Anti-VEGF Antibody: Implications for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Response," was made possible by a $25,000 donation from Tyco Healthcare/Mallinckrodt.

"Through its grants and awards program, SNM actively promotes funding molecular imaging research, which will lead to a better understanding of disease and the development of life-saving treatments," said SNM President Peter. S. Conti, M.D., Ph.D. "This research project will extend our knowledge of how an existing radiotracer may be eventually used to fight colorectal and lung cancer in humans," added ERF Vice President Robert F. Carretta, M.D.

Yu earned a doctorate in radiological chemistry in 1996 from Peking University and did post-doctoral work at Kuopio University in Finland. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1990 from Peking University in China and a master's degree in analytical chemistry in 1993 from the China Institute of Atomic Energy. Yu has been involved with PET tracer development for more than 10 years and has experience in PET data processing, including modeling calculation.

The ERF funded the William L. Ashburn, M.D., Pilot Research Grant, which is funded by Digirad Corporation in memory of the co-founder of the company and a physician researcher whose career in molecular and nuclear imaging spanned almost 40 years. Steven Burrell, M.D., assistant professor at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, received $10,000; his research project was "Cardiac 123I-Meta Iodo Benzyl Guanidine Imaging as a Means of Predicting Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Events."

Additionally, the ERF funded the Mitzi and William Blahd, M.D., Pilot Research Grant, which honors the couple's dedication to philanthropic support for education and research in nuclear medicine. Jun Zhao, Ph.D., a research scientist at the Research Foundation of Mental Hygiene Inc., New York State Psychiatric Institute, at Columbia University in New York City, received $8,000 for his project, "Development of NMDA/Glycine Site PET Radioligands."

Pilot research grants, each totaling $8,000, support clinical and basic research by young investigators who are interested in testing innovative ideas while other major grant support is being sought. Recipients include

  • Datta E. Ponde, Ph.D., research assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, "Comparison of Radiolabled Choline and Ethanolamine as a Probe for Cancer Detection and for Measuring Cell Proliferation";

  • Jinsong Ouyang, Ph.D., physicist at Brigham & Women's Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., "Fast and Accurate Iterative Reconstruction for Simultaneous Dual-Isotope SPECT Using Parallel Computing";

  • Feng Quing, M.D., Ph.D., PET fellow, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, PET Center, Iowa City, "Perfusion and Oxygenation in Mouse Tumors Using Xe-133 Gamma Imaging and Oxygen Electrodes"; and

  • Mike F. Georgiou, Ph.D., research assistant professor, University of Miami Hospital and Clinics/Sylvester Cancer Comprehensive Center, Miami, Fla., "A PET Gating System for Respiratory Motion Compensation of Lung Lesions."

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The Education and Research Foundation for SNM has been supporting the molecular imaging/nuclear medicine community since its founding in 1969. The foundation's mission is to advance excellence in health care through education and research in molecular imaging/nuclear medicine by provision of grants and awards.

For more information about these awards or to learn more about SNM, the foundation or making a contribution, please contact Kathy Bates, SNM's director of development, via phone at (703) 708-9000, ext. 1028, or via e-mail at kbates@snm.org.

About SNM

SNM is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of molecular and nuclear imaging to diagnose, manage and treat diseases in women, men and children. Founded more than 50 years ago, SNM continues to train physicians, technologists, scientists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists in state-of-the-art imaging procedures and advances; provide essential resources for health care practitioners and patients; publish the most prominent peer-reviewed resource in the field; sponsor research grants, fellowships and awards; and host the premier annual meeting for medical imaging. SNM members have introduced--and continue to explore--biological and technological innovations in medicine that noninvasively investigate the molecular basis of diseases, benefiting countless generations of patients. SNM is based in Reston, Va.; additional information can be found online at http://www.snm.org.


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