I am a clinician-scientist and the BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging with a primary interest in developing new molecular imaging tools and methods for the diagnosis and in vivo characterization of cancers. My expertise covers both pre-clinical research related to the evaluation of novel radiopharmaceuticals, from the design phase to receptor-binding assays, preclinical evaluation, and clinical research ranging from phase 0-1 studies to multicentre clinical trials. I bridge the gap between basic science and clinical applications.

We established a state-of-the art cyclotron and molecular imaging facility at BC Cancer. I have extensive experience directing PET programs and a cyclotron facility and have always been intimately involved in the operation of the cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratories. I managed the PET/CT core laboratory for the Medical Imaging Trial Network of Canada. As part of this network, I led multicenter prospective clinical trials on the use of 18F-NaF to detect bone metastases in breast and prostate cancers and on the clinical validation of cyclotron produced 99mTc. I am also leading clinical trials using 18F- and 177Lu-labeled radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis and therapy of prostate cancer.

My team consists of scientists, technologists and trainees from a diverse background ranging from molecular biologists, chemists, radiochemists, medical physicists, nuclear medicine technologists to cyclotron operators. My research group currently includes 5 graduate students, 3 coop students, 5 post-doctoral fellows/research associates, 1 research radiochemist, 3 technicians, with 2 nuclear medicine technologists for preclinical imaging. Institutionally supported staff members include medical physicists who support the clinic and cyclotron facility, 4 radiochemists involved in routine production of radiotracers, a clinical research manager and multiple technologists. A QA manager and a QA specialist supervise the GMP aspects of our program.

Members

Faculty/Leaders

Affiliate

Staff

Lily Lee Lee Li

Functional Imaging - Student

Carolyn Lui

Coordinator, Research Administration, Office of VP Research / Office of Research Administration

Milan Vuckovic

Functional Imaging - Production Unit Manager

Michael Woods

Functional Imaging

Post-Docs

Students/Trainees

Open Positions

Research Animal Technician 2

Role Summary 

In accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic directions of Provincial Health Services Authority patient safety is a priority and a responsibility shared by everyone at PHSA, and as such, the requirement to continuously improve quality and safety is inherent in all aspects of this position.

These positions supervise designated staff by scheduling and assigning work, and assist in daily animal care operations by leading various health monitoring and colony management programs, trouble-shooting minor issues and performing other administrative tasks. These positions also maintain the daily care of laboratory mice and perform various surgical procedures and laboratory techniques.

Key Accountabilities

• Develops, implements, reviews and updates animal care standard operating procedures for assigned area.
• Leads various animal care programs such as health monitoring and colony management.
• Maintains current knowledge of, and ensures compliance with, animal care regulations.
• Supervises designated staff by scheduling and assigning work, providing orientation and training and monitoring performance.
• Maintains daily care of laboratory mice including maintaining adequate food and water levels and observing mice for general health conditions.
• Performs surgeries and techniques including blood collection, surgical implantations, tumour implantation, injection of solutions, collection of tissues and organs and embryo manipulations, and cryopreservation.
• Performs laboratory techniques such as media preparation, cell culture and hormone preparation, and polymerase chain reaction analysis as required.
• Leads training programs, prepares and gives presentations and orients and trains staff and animal users on proper animal care theory, protocols, techniques and procedures.
• Changes and cleans animal cages, bottles and racks.
• Performs general cleaning of animal facilities including disinfecting equipment, walls, floors, rooms, etc.
• Performs census duties such as counting cages and reporting cage numbers.
• Receives and processes laboratory animal care supplies.

Qualifications

A level of education, training, and experience equivalent to graduation from a recognized program in Animal Health or Veterinary Technology, or a Bachelor’s program in an appropriate discipline (e.g. Animal Science); plus five (5) years of recent related experience in a research laboratory, including two (2) years in a supervisory capacity.

To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to careersmolonc@bccrc.ca – Please put “Research Assistant Tech 2_full name” in the subject line.

Selected Publications

Projects

Quantitative Imaging and Radiation Dosimetry

Our aim is to develop data acquisition protocols that generate fully quantitative reconstructed images.  Radiomics, the extraction of extensive quantitative features from images, has generated interest promising improved assessment of disease and prediction of outcome. Moreover, quantitative images allow for the personalized estimation of radiation doses delivered to tumors and target organs in molecular radiotherapies.  

Cyclotron-produced radioisotopes

The identification and the availability of a radioisotope for radiolabeling with properties and half-life that match with the pharmacokinetic of the radiopharmaceutical is crucial. Key collaborations with radiochemists at UBC, TRIUMF and the BC Cancer Agency allow developing methods for cyclotron-produced radioisotopes and purification as an attractive and practical substitution of reactors/generators, e.g 44Sc, 86Y and 61Cu 68Ga or 99mTc (actually available for patient SPECT imaging).

Targeted radionuclide therapy for cancer

A radiopharmaceutical can be conjugated with radioactive isotopes for use either in diagnosis (e.g. low doses of radiations that do not harm patients) or treatment, with radioactive isotopes that emit damaging radiation to kill tumour cells. Continued identification of new tumour‐specific targets and the development of targeting agent are key to the development of new therapeutics, which are urgently needed to improve the outcome of treatment resistant cancer.

Radiopharmaceuticals for cancer imaging

Molecular imaging techniques, including positron emission tomography (PET) and single photo emission computed tomography (SPECT), provide information about the presence of specific drug targets on cancer cells. PET is a robust and highly sensitive imaging method that allows for the characterization of cancers via real‐time tracking of radioactive compounds that bind to tumour‐specific “markers” (or, receptors).

Sponsors

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