The ATID is at the forefront of cancer research. Starting at the molecular level we are uncovering new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. Our research focuses on understanding the biology of disease, diagnosing disease using molecular imaging, and developing novel treatment approaches. Because ATID includes the UCLA Nuclear Medicine clinic we can rapidly translate our discoveries into patient care.
Clinical research projects apply PET imaging for monitoring therapeutic responses in cancer patients. Specific cancers under study include brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and metastatic bone disease. The aim of these studies is to allow early treatment response assessments that will enable treating to identify treatment failure early after start of therapy.
Translational research is scientific research that facilitates the translation of findings from basic science to practical applications that enhance human health and well-being. ATID integrates biology, chemistry, radiochemistry, physics, and molecular imaging to 1) uncover molecular errors of disease, 2) advance molecular diagnostics and 3) develop molecular therapeutics to improve the outcome of patients.
Our research group is working on a novel electrochemical solvent exchange and anodic oxidation method for 18F-fluorination of electron rich aromatic molecules through direct nucleophilic substitution. This will provide wider accessibility to probes such as 18F-DOPA which have traditionally been synthesized through electrophilic fluorination.
The preclinical imaging facilities are staffed in assisting investigators with obtaining the necessary authorizations for animal and radioactivity usage; training new investigators on the operation and analysis of imaging systems; assisting with animal preparation, including minor surgery and catheterizations; operation and maintenance of the gas anesthesia systems, monitor animals during imaging and recovery; operation of microPET systems, including calibration tests, image creation and quality control;
The Division owns a brand new Agilent Technologies 6460 mass spectrometer coupled to a new Agilent Technologies 1290 UHPLC. Using these resources, researchers in the Division are able to perform a wide range of studies on both pre-clinical and clinical samples. These studies include cellular metabolite analyses in relation to perturbations caused by pharmacological and genetic interventions, metabolite flux analyses, pharmacokinetic studies of novel therapeutics and probes, and drug metabolite studies.
The chemistry laboratory of the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division (ATID) focuses on image-driven drug development. Our goal is to use PET imaging to accelerate and improve drug R&D at an early stage in the development process. Driven by the biological research performed within the ATID, our lab aims to develop novel therapeutics in which we incorporate a cold (19F) fluorine atom into the molecular scaffold of each candidate.
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