NEWS | November 7, 2019

Radiology professor awarded "Trailblazer" grant for hybrid imaging research

(SACRAMENTO)

Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology at UC Davis Health and a Paul Calabresi K12 Clinical Oncology Career Development scholar, has received a "Trailblazer R21" grant ($628,000 over three years) from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH/NIBIB).

Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology at UC Davis Health Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology at UC Davis Health

With this grant, Wang will develop the algorithms and test the feasibility of a new method combining positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning. The proposed method provides new applications for human molecular imaging and adds spectral CT imaging as a dimension of information to clinical PET/CT.

The integration of PET’s ability for molecular imaging with the ability of spectral CT for measuring tissue compositions leads to a new multiparametric imaging solution allowing for better characterization of several diseases including cancer and heart disease.

“Successful development of this project will bring a new technical capability of PET/CT scanners for dual-energy or multi-energy spectral CT imaging,” said Wang. “This is possible without changing scanner hardware or increasing radiation exposure to that of a standard clinical PET/CT scan.”

Wang will demonstrate the proof-of-concept use of his novel PET-enabled dual-energy CT method using phantom validation and animal studies before starting a clinical imaging trial. Wang and his team at the Wang Lab will work with clinicians on translating quantitative imaging techniques to improve clinical diagnosis, prognosis and therapy response assessment ifor various diseases.

About the Trailblazer R21 Award

The award is an opportunity for new and early-stage investigators to pursue research programs of high interest to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the interface of the life sciences with engineering and the physical sciences.