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Radiology and Imaging Sciences

ISTP Research Opportunities

The Imaging Sciences Training Program provides research opportunities in the following areas:

Radiology Research Opportunities 

Clinicians in Radiology provide radiologic consultation for patients in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center and perform interventional procedures under imaging guidance.

Research opportunities include the following:

  • Molecular imaging
  • Cardiovascular imaging (CT, MRI of the heart and blood vessels)
  • Breast imaging
  • Genetic imaging, including phenotype-genotype correlations and imaging of animal models
  • Imaging of angiogenesis in cancer and inflammatory conditions
  • Noninvasive vascular imaging including magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), computed tomographic angiography (CTA), and Doppler ultrasound
  • Virtual endoscopy and three-dimensional (3D) rendering of imaging data
  • Morphologic and functional imaging of stroke
  • Image processing, including automatic lesion detection and mapping pathologic images with normal image atlases
  • Musculoskeletal imaging of inflammatory conditions of the joints
  • Infrared and optical imaging technology.

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Nuclear Medicine Research Opportunities 

Nuclear Medicine provides traditional nuclear medicine clinical tests (approximately 4,500 per year) for all National Institutes of Health (NIH) patients enrolled in active studies. Nuclear Medicine is equipped with six single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) gamma cameras, interfaced to modern computer systems that are used to process and display patient studies. All images are centrally stored and can be accessed by investigators. The laboratories include instrumentation development, radiolabeling of proteins and peptides, and molecular biology facilities.

Nuclear Medicine research opportunities include the following:

  • Molecular imaging
  • Biodistribution studies of radiolabeled antibody fragments
  • Comparative positron emission tomography (PET) and SPECT imaging studies of several cancers, including colon, breast, and endocrine tumors
  • New methods of computer analysis to extract information from experimental and conventional imaging techniques
  • Radioantibody therapy trials.

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PET Research Opportunities 

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) provides protocol-specific patient care, as well as the services, training, and environment needed to initiate and support the clinical research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes.

PET at the NIH Clinical Center is organized as a scientific core concentrating on radiochemistry. Extensive resources available through the department include three medical cyclotrons to produce the radionuclides; six lead-lined chemistry hoods, where the radiopharmaceuticals are formulated; laboratories for radiochemistry; three PET tomographs; and computer hardware and software for generating and analyzing the PET images.

PET research opportunities include the following:

  • Molecular imaging
  • Development of site-directed radiopharmaceuticals
  • Imaging knockout mice in a dedicated high-resolution scanner with appropriate radiopharmaceuticals
  • Developing a methodology for measuring changes in neurotransmitter concentration in vivo
  • Expanding our receptor-based research to validate or disprove the accuracy of commonly used receptor models.

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LDRR Research Opportunities 

The Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research (LDRR) serves as the focal point for the Imaging Sciences Training Program (ISTP) Fellows. The LDRR is equipped with a state-of-the-art 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit dedicated to the LDRR's research. Its offices and laboratory are networked to all imaging modalities in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, thereby allowing Fellows to process their data on workstations using the LDRR-developed Multimodality Radiological Image Processing System (MRIPS). The LDRR provides bench research opportunities to Fellows.

LDRR research opportunities include the following:

  • Molecular imaging
  • Magnetic resonance neuroimaging utilizing MR measures as primary and secondary outcomes in treatment trial designs in central nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and stroke
  • Magnetic resonance microscopy in experimental disease models
  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging for measuring metabolite concentrations in various normal and central nervous system diseases
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging including real-time processing and statistical analysis for physiological interviews and measures of cerebral perfusion
  • Development of novel magnetic resonance pulse sequences to be used for monitoring physiologic and metabolic processes in normal and disease states
  • Contrast agent development for molecular imaging and cellular tags
  • Innovative image processing and visualization algorithms.

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Interventional Radiology / Center for Interventional Oncology 

Clinicians and scientists within the Clinical Center, NCI, NHLBI, and NIBIB develop and translate from the bench to the patient novel approaches for combining drugs, devices, and imaging, including image-able drugs, heat-deployed nanoparticles, and Medical GPS or Fusion interventions, which allows pre-procedural imaging to be used during minimally invasive procedures.

  • Minimally invasive image guided therapies
  • Interventional oncology and targeted image guided drug delivery or energy-activatable nanoparticles
  • Image guided drug dose painting
  • Drug + device + imaging
  • Fusion interventions with "Medical GPS"


Interventional Radiology Lab (IR Lab)
Center for Interventional Oncology

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This page last updated on 03/20/2019

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