Converting Energy to Medical Progress

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California

Since the 1920s and 1930s, scientists at this California site pursued the frontiers of radiation research--inventing the cyclotron, discovering iodine-131 and technetium-99m, and using the first artificially produced radionuclide to treat a patient with leukemia. Today, BER researchers continue to keep Lawrence Berkeley at the forefront of engineering,mathematics, and computer science focused on the advancement of nuclear medicine imaging systems.

As radiotracers become more refined and sophisticated, visualizing specific molecular reactions in the living human body, physicians will need more advanced nuclear medicine scanners--with capabilities far beyond those envisioned by commercial manufacturers--to capture those images.

Members of LBNL PET team

Members of the Lawrence Berkeley BER Research team that built this PET scanner, known as the highest resolution brain and animal PET system in the world.

Current BER research here includes development of:

  • Specialized instruments to improve the detection of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and other cancers.
  • Advancements in sophisticated, quantitative PET and SPECT imaging for brain studies of mental illness, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias.
  • New radiopharmaceuticals to study aging, heart disease, and cancer.

Next: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee


Table of Contents * About BER * Many Patients * How Does It Work? * BER Medical * Future Healthcare * BNL * LBNL * ORNL * Sloan-Kettering * UCLA * Washington Univ. * Univ. of Michigan * 50-Years * Credits

Published April 2001

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