Advances in Neuroimaging with PET: 40 Years of Progress

October 31, 2019

Theme:Advances in Neuroimaging with PET: 40 Years of Progress

Host:Peter Herscovitch, Ph.D.

Time:10:00, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Location: Room 204, Engineering Building, Xuhui Campus, SJTU



It has been 40 years since the publication of the first paper describing the use of F‑18 FDG to image cerebral glucose utilization in man with PET. Since then, there has been tremendous progress in PET radiochemistry, instrumentation, and tracer kinetic modeling. Because of this progress in our ability to study brain function, PET has made important contributions to basic, translational and clinical neuroscience. These contributions will be reviewed from a historical aspect. Early PET studies focused on measurements of cerebral blood flow and metabolism; these were followed by methods to study brain neurotransmitter systems; more recently, the focus has been on radiotracers to study specific protein targets. These PET studies have resulted in a greater understanding of the physiology of the normal brain and mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disease. PET has also played an important role in developing new drugs and treatments, and is increasingly being used in clinical diagnosis and management.


Peter Herscovitch earned a Bachelor of engineering in electrical engineering, followed by a medical degree and neurology residency at McGill University, Montreal Canada, and a research fellowship in PET at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA. He has been at the U.S. National Institutes of Health since 1987, and is currently Director of the Positron Emission Tomography Department at the NIH Clinical Center. His research interests include the development of methods to study cerebral blood flow, metabolism, and neuroreceptor systems with PET, and their application to clinical research in neuropsychiatric disease. He has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and chapters, and has served on review committees for the NIH, research foundations, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He was president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in 2014-15 and received its Kuhl-Lassen Award for Brain Imaging. From 2015-17, he was president of the International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and SNMMI.