Dr. François Bénard trained in medicine and nuclear medicine in Sherbrooke, Canada. After undertaking a Research Fellowship in Positron Emission Tomography at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to Sherbrooke, where he was chief of the molecular imaging centre at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, and Professor of nuclear medicine and radiobiology at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Dr. Bénard is currently the BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging, based at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and Professor in the department of Radiology. Dr. Bénard is also the Vice President, Research and Distinguished Scientist at BC Cancer, and the recipient of the 2015 NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. His interests combine state‐of‐the art clinical care with a thriving translational research program in imaging and radionuclide therapy. His research focuses on the development of novel radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and therapy, and the development of non-invasive methods to predict and monitor the response of primary and metastatic tumours to chemotherapy.


Dr. Bénard's research interest lies in the development of novel radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis and targeted radionuclide therapy of various cancer types, as well as cyclotron production of isotopes. The identification of new targets, the design of potent targeting vector and the access to adequate radioisotopes are the key to develop efficient radiopharmaceuticals.


University of British Columbia, Department of Radiology


Vice President Research, BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority

Associate Dean, University of British Columbia

Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer Research Center

BC Leadership Chair in Functional Cancer Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia

Professor, Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia


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).

Selected Publications

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