Center for Radiochemistry Research opens

Center for Radiochemistry Research

October 27, 2016

In September, the Center for Radiochemistry Research opened, the newest research building to be built on OHSU's Marquam Hill campus since the Biomedical Research Building opened in 2005.

The center includes new labs, a cyclotron for isotope generation and cleanrooms for synthesis of diagnostic agents for translational imaging and personalized medicine, all housed within a state-of-the-art new facility which adds modern flair to the central research courtyard. 

In particular, the center will provide:

  • New capacity to develop novel radioactive isotopes to address specific research questions using in-vivo, real-time imaging.
  • New PET/MRI capacity to enhance the capability to quantify organ perfusion, assess metabolic pathways and measure pharmacodynamics.
  • Applications toward a range of models, ranging from small animal to non-human primate, to humans.

OHSU scientists will utilize this new suite of powerful imaging tools to improve understanding of disease processes and facilitate their treatment in order to enhance clinical care. 

"The technology also elevates OHSU’s national standing and competitive advantage in advanced imaging and will increase funding opportunities both in the public and private sectors," said Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., co-director, OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, and Ernest C. Swigert Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine Professor of Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology Associate Dean, OHSU School of Medicine.

The center will benefit a broad range of scientists, from dedicated imaging scientists to researchers in oncology, neurology, neurobiology, pharmacology (PET pharmacokinetics), cardiology, regenerative medicine, metabolism and more.

"While the most obvious new asset is the GE PETrace cyclotron installed to produce our own radioactive tracers on campus for PET imaging, the world-class radiochemists recruited to lead the center and counsel our scientists are arguably the greatest asset for our research community to be added from this project," said Dr. Kaul. "Drs. Jeanne Link and Kenneth Krohn are national leaders in radiochemistry and PET imaging and bring decades of experience in advising scientists on accelerating their research and landing major research grants by incorporating this imaging capability."

The OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute led the collaborative effort to bring advanced radiochemistry capabilities to campus. Many groups were involved, in particular the OHSU School of Medicine’s Collaborative Research Leadership Group, which saw the potential for radiochemistry to elevate research across multiple fields. 

"We are especially grateful to Phil and Penny Knight for their trust in our vision for allocating part of their generous gift towards this project," said Dr. Kaul. "We can’t wait to hear about the new research conducted in the Center for Radiochemistry Research and hope it accelerates scientific breakthroughs at OHSU."