Molecular Imaging

Collectively, non-invasive medical imaging platforms provide excellent anatomical information; however, molecular and cellular detail are not typically well resolved. To achieve finer structural and functional information about human health and disease, molecular imaging techniques are being developed. Using the fields of chemistry and molecular and cellular biology to label metabolites, genes, proteins and cells, Lawson investigators are adapting various biomarkers for detection by clinical, diagnostic imaging modalities (MRI, PET, SPECT and optical). Many imaging platforms are adaptable to hybrid imaging (e.g. SPECT/CT, PET/CT and PET/MRI), allowing for the synchronous collection of both anatomical and molecular information. Molecular imaging research is therefore a partnership between chemists, biologists and physicists, attempting to track cellular activities as they occur in living subjects.

J.J.L. Carson
optical imaging
S. Dhanvantari
D. Goldhawk
MRI reporter gene expression
L. Hoffman
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
T.-Y. Lee
L.G. Luyt
probe development
M.S. Kovacs
cyclotron & radiochemistry
F.S. Prato
diagnostic imaging
R.Z. Stodilka
R.T. Thompson
G. Wisenberg
P.L. Zabel

Cyclotron & PET Radiochemistry
Field-cycled MR/PET
Molecular Imaging
Optical Imaging


Future Directions

We will:

  • Develop reporter gene expression for MRI, cardiac and muscle stem cell transplantation, cancer cell tracking, pancreatic β cell fate determination
  • Develop peptide probes for molecular imaging
  • Develop nanoparticle probes for molecular imaging
  • Develop hybrid imaging to verify cell status using multiple indicators and to monitor multiple cellular activities simultaneously
  • Translate our research into clinical practice
Key Accomplishments

The Molecular Imaging group has:

  • Installed a cyclotron for the on-site production of Positron Emitting Radiopharmaceuticals (PERs)
  • Developed methods for the design and synthesis of molecular imaging probes
  • Developed small animal imaging models for preclinical research
  • Developed large animal imaging models for clinical translation
  • Developed research collaborations across disciplines in London and within Ontario
  • Developed partnerships with private industry
  • Led the creation of a new interdisciplinary graduate program in molecular imaging at UWO
  • Patented our molecular imaging technologies e.g.
    • MagA reporter gene expression for MRI
    • Imaging probes for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor

All rights reserved. Lawson Imaging, Lawson Health Research Institute
268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 4V2
Tel:(519) 646-6100 | Fax:(519) 646-6205