The Molecular Imaging Research Laboratory of Timothy R. DeGrado, at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, uses noninvasive methods to monitor the biochemistry in human diseases at the cellular level. The objective of the lab is molecular imaging development, specifically for:
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT)
- Optical imaging
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Use of radioisotope production, radiochemistry and radiopharmacology
Research focuses on receptor ligands and metabolizable small molecule radiotracers for cancer, neuronal and cardiovascular imaging.
Molecular imaging improves patient care by providing a clearer understanding of the biochemical status of disease within each patient, allowing the best treatment options for individuals, rather than making decisions based on group averages. Novel molecular imaging targets help focus the interest to a specific aspect of the disease that is predictive on patient outcomes and sensitive to therapy response for early treatment information.