Positron Emission Tomography (PET) - Tomographie par Emission de Positons (TEP) - (in French) is a medical imaging technique that allows doctors and researchers to investigate biochemical activity in living organisms using radioactive tracers. The Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging is part of the Department of Radiology & Medical Informatics at Geneva University Hospitals. It is accredited by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and has a long tradition in PET physics and instrumentation developments as well as clinical research with an ever increasing interest in neuroscience. In 2000, Prof. Zaidi initiated a basic research program and founded the PET Instrumentation and Neuroimaging laboratory (PinLab) which is part of the PhD School in Life Sciences of the Faculties of Medicine and Science and Geneva Neuroscience Center. In a relatively short time, the group has assumed a leading role in Switzerland and become internationally recognized for excellence in medical imaging research with PET being a focus for its activities. Our group gained international recognition for contributions to the development and analysis of new image correction and reconstruction techniques for improved quantification of PET images as well as development and better understanding of PET Monte Carlo modelling tools. PinLab provides an academic environment in the hospital setting for the training of highly qualified personnel in medical physics and medical imaging. A close relationship with medical professionals helps us to focus our research on issues that are especially relevant for medicine. The membership of the group varies between 8 and 10 depending on the available funding and number of graduate students.
Our objective is to develop image reconstruction techniques, modeling/simulation tools and accurate data correction techniques for PET as well as the assessment of new possible designs of PET detection modules. We are particularly interested in improving the quality and quantitative accuracy of nuclear medicine images, and statistical analysis of different reconstruction algorithms and attenuation, scatter and partial volume correction techniques. A strong interest is arising in the field of molecular imaging-guided radiation therapy and monitoring treatment response. In this direction, we are developing various strategies for PET image segmentation and their validation in clinical setting in collaboration with AAPM Task group TG211 Classification, Advantages and Limitations of the Auto-Segmentation Approaches for PET. More recently, the lab has been involved in the development of detector modules and novel designs for dedicated high-resolution PET detectors and hybrid imaging devices (PET/CT and PET/MRI) in collaboration with CERN and other research institutions.
We currently use biomedical imaging equipment from various vendors. Two dual-modality PET/CT scanners (mCT Flow Edge 128 and Biograph TruePoint 64) were installed in 2006 and 2014, respectively, 3 SPECT/CT cameras and a trimodality SPECT/PET/CT small-animal scanner from Gamma Medica Inc, now TriFoil Imaging, installed in 2008. Another dedicated preclinical PET scanner GENYSIS from Sofie Biosciences was recently installed. The Ingenuity TF whole-body PET/MR system developed by Philips Healthcare was installed in 2010 in our division thus enabling unique clinical research studies to be carried out. The SPECT-CT and PET-CT scanners are connected to the hospital PACS through hermes workstations. We also have a nice tracer production facility equipped with a Cyclone 18/9 cyclotron from IBA where 18F-FDG is produced on a routine basis in addition to other 13N-based (e.g. NH3 amomia for cardiac perfusion imaging) and 11C-based tracers (e.g. 11C-acetate for prostate cancer imaging). We collaborate with several research groups including the CIBM (Prof. J-P Thiran and Prof. R. Grueter), Neuroradiology service (Prof. Karl Lovblad), the Department of Radiology (Prof. M. Becker and Prof. R. Miralbell), the Computer Vision and Multimedia Lab (Prof. Sviatoslav Voloshynovskiy) of Geneva University, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Prof. Peter Weilhammer, Dr Christian Joram, Dr Jacques Séguinot, Dr Crispin Williams, Dr Katayoun Doroud), Institut de Recherche de l'Ecole Navale (Dr A Boudraa), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Prof. Mohammad R Ay), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (Prof. Niels Kuster), University of Florida (Prof. Wesley Bolch), NIH-NCI (Dr Choonsik Lee), University of the West of Scotland (Prof Abbes Amira), University of Leeds (Dr Charalampos Tsoumpas), King's College London (Prof. Andrew Reader), University Medical Center Groningen (Prof. Rudi Dierckx), University of Michigan (Prof. Issam El Naqa), Johns Hopkins University (Prof. Arman Rahmim), the University of Southern Denmark (Prof. Poul Fleming Hoilund-Carlsen) and the University of Pennsylvania (Prof. Abass Alavi) among others ...