SNM awards $105,000 for research

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SNM recently awarded $105,000 in numerous research grants and fellowships funded by its Education and Research Foundation.
“SNM’s awards and fellowships are designed to support the work of promising researchers in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine and—ultimately—to improve healthcare for our patients,” said SNM President Alexander J. McEwan. “By funding scholars so they may pursue independent research projects, SNM continues its long-time tradition of promoting the discovery of new science and the creation of new techniques and technologies,” added Mathew L. Thakur, chair of SNM’s Awards Committee.
Steve Shih-Lin Huang at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, is the recipient of the $25,000 SNM/Mallinckrodt Seed Grant in Molecular Imaging/Nuclear Medicine Research for studying “Three-Helix-Bundle Ribosome Display System for VEGRF2 Imaging.” This one-year grant is designed to assist researchers in conducting new and innovative pilot projects that have potential for future support from foundations, corporations or government agencies.
Monica Sala-Rabanal of the University of California David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles received the $10,000 Mitzi and William Blahd, MD, Pilot Research Grant for the research project, “Functional Expression of Glucose Transporters: Positron Emission Tomography Studies in Mice.” This grant honors the couple’s dedication to building philanthropic support for education and research in nuclear medicine.
Xuping Zhu of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., received the $10,000 Mallinckrodt Pilot Research Grant for studying “Quantitative Y-86 PET Imaging for Monitoring Y-90 Therapy.”
Pilot research grants, each totaling $8,000, support clinical and basic research by young investigators who are interested in testing innovative ideas while other major grant support is being sought. Recipients include:

  • Wengen Chen, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, “Glucose Metabolism in Macrophage Foam Cells: Molecular Mechanism for Imaging Atherosclerosis by FDG-PET”;
  • Hyung Chun, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., “Integration of Imaging and Genomics for Characterization of Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy”;           
  • Bart Cornelissen, University of Toronto, Canada, “Bispecific Radioimmunoconjugates for Molecular Imaging of the Response and Resistance of Breast Cancer to Herceptin”;
  • Sridhar Nimmagadda, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., “Choline Kinase as a Therapeutic Target: Imaging Downstream Effects of Choline Kinase Inhibition”; and
  • Kaijun Zhang, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa., “PET Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer by Targeting VPAC1 Receptors.”

The prestigious Mark Tetalman Award was presented to Matthew A. Kupinski, an assistant professor in both the College of Optical Sciences and the Department of Radiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The $5,000 Mark Tetalman Award honors the work of a young investigator who is pursuing a career in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine.

The society also announced the recipients of $3,000 fellowships, which support students’ full-time participation in clinical and basic research activities in molecular imaging/nuclear medicine. The Bradley-Alavi Fellows are: Ricky Tong and Andrew Hsu, both at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and Christopher Kim, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa.

SNM’s student fellowship program is open to students enrolled in medical, pharmacy or graduate school and undergraduates who demonstrate outstanding competence in the physical and/or biological aspects of radioactive tracers. Student fellowships were awarded to: Nathan Basken, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and Kitch Wilson, Stanford University.