Simultanous PET/MR Imaging

We develop and apply state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques to study brain function.

A few things we’re interested in investigating

Our lab conducts highly translational imaging research ranging from preclinical experiments, first-in-human studies, and clinical applications.

Brain Function




Neuroreceptor Mapping

We are interested in investigating neuroreceptor systems in responses to behavioral and/or pharmacological challenges in health and diseases, with an emphasis on applied substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. We are developing PET/fMRI methods to quantify:
* Agonist-induced recptor trafficking, and
* Receptor systems interaction

Funding: NIDA K99/R00 and R21

Neuroepigenetics with [11C]Martinostat PET/MRI

These studies will use a newly developed PET radiotracer, [11C]Martinostat, to quantify the distribution and availability of HDACs in the brain of chronic low back pain (cLBP) patients
1) with and without taking prescription opioids, and
2) with different subtypes of low back pain.

Funding: NIDA R61/R33 and NIAMS UH2/UH3

Other projects in progress


Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Integrity and Glymphatic System

We are developing novel MRI and PET imaging techniques to image BBB integrity. We will conduct translational experiments to investigate the impacts of BBB permeability on PET radiotracer kinetics and to evaluate the relationships between BBB impairment and toxic protein deposition in neurodegenerative disorders.


Endocannabinoid System in Chronic Pain

We are developing and validating new PET radiotracers targeting the endocannabinoid systems (receptors and enzymes) to be applied to patients with chronic pain.


Neuroepigenetics and neuroreceptor mapping

Jacob Hooker, PhD


PET kinetic modeling

Julie Price, PhD


PET/MRI hardware and software

Ciprian Catana, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Novel PET tracer development

Changning Wang, PhD

Assistant Professor

Pain neuroimaging

Marco Loggia, PhD

Associate Professor

Neuroepigenetics and neruoimaging

Nicole Zurcher, PhD

Assistant Professor

Neuropharmacology and neuroreceptor mapping

Michael Placzek, PhD

Assistant Professor