Youngho Seo, Professor

Closed (1) Molecular imaging of cancer metabolism and data analysis

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Cancer metabolism is studied using several different methods. One of the most powerful information sources is in vivo imaging of cancer metabolism using animal models and positron emission tomography (PET).

Metabolism of glucose, fatty acid, and glutamine all plays important roles for cancer. However, glutamine metabolism of cancer is the least studied so far. We have acquired 18F-fluoroglutamine (or [18F]FGln) PET imaging data in animal models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. Several subtypes of HCC exist and these subtypes are associated with different metabolic profiles. Understanding the metabolic profiles associated with tumor progression may help identify therapeutic targets and provide useful tools for monitoring therapy.

The goal of this project is to quantitative analyze the acquired PET imaging data, and write a scientific manuscript for the experiment and the analysis result.

Training Opportunity
- Learn how to quantitative analyze nuclear molecular imaging data
- Learn how cancer metabolism differs between different subtypes of HCC
- Analyze the data and make figures, tables, and plots
- Write a manuscript that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal

Qualifications: Requirement - Understanding of basic cancer biology - Experience in quantitative data analysis with appropriate statistics - Ability to travel to San Francisco (3-4 times per semester) - Experience in technical writing Due to limited compute resources and mentor time, we will be conducting interviews to select the most suitable candidates. We are more likely to find you suitable, if you meet many of the above required criteria, have proven track record of quantitative data analysis experience, GPA above 3.5, demonstrated interest in both biological and physical sciences, and/or scientific paper writing experience.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Most of the work will be done remotely. However, for use of commercial software package, travel to San Francisco will be required a few times.

Off campus location:
UCSF Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging
185 Berry Street, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94107

Related website: http://www.radiology.ucsf.edu/physics
Related website: http://profiles.ucsf.edu/youngho.seo

Open (2) Internship in Molecular Imaging Research

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Enter your application on the web beginning January 11th. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 24th at 9 AM.

Molecular imaging is a powerful method of interrogating biochemical properties of imaging subjects. Particularly in research, we use small animal positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which are combined with x-ray computed tomography (CT). More commonly, these imaging modalities are known as microPET/CT and microSPECT/CT.

Our core imaging facility at UCSF China Basin Campus operates these scanners and work with world-class faculty and researchers. There are a number of highly significant research projects for which our preclinical imaging core facility provides important datasets using molecular imaging technologies.

The goal of this project is to expose student trainees (who are near graduation) and train them to become next-generation preclinical imaging researcher with hands-on experience and expertise.

Training and Internship Opportunity
- Learn how to handle small animals for molecular imaging
- Learn how to run molecular imaging scanners (microPET/CT and microSPECT/CT)
- Learn how to quantify the imaging data
- Analyze the data and make figures, tables, and plots

Qualifications: Requirement - Understanding of basic biology, chemistry, and physics - Near graduation (preferably graduating after spring semester 2022) - Ability to travel to San Francisco - No constraint to work with small animals Due to limited resources and mentor time, we will be conducting interviews to select the most suitable candidates. We are more likely to find you suitable, if you meet many of the above required criteria, have proven track record of laboratory work experience, GPA above 3.0, and demonstrated interest in both biological and physical sciences. We are also strongly interested in those who plan to take sometime (2-3 years) to gain research and work experience before moving to the next career stage (e.g., graduate school, medical school, etc.).

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Most work will require travel to San Francisco. Some of trainings will be done remotely.

Off campus location:
UCSF Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging
185 Berry Street, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94107

Related website: http://radiology.ucsf.edu/research/core-services/mspc
Related website: http://www.radiology.ucsf.edu/physics

Open (3) Development of new radiation detector concept for imaging of alpha radiotherapy

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Enter your application on the web beginning January 11th. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 24th at 9 AM.

Radiotherapy with alpha-emitting nuclides is an extremely promising technique in cancer therapy. The very short range of alpha particles compared to beta particles allows to deliver a much higher therapeutical dose to the lesion, sparing healthy tissue.

A fundamental problem with this technique is the inability of current radiation imaging devices to locate the position of the alpha-emitting nuclides inside the human body, so there exists a lack of understanding of the pharmacokinetics of developmental alpha radiopharmaceuticals. The typical low doses injected in this therapy along with the high energy of the emitted gamma rays makes this task a quasi-impossible challenge.

Our research team is developing a novel radiation detector dedicated to overcome this hurdle and to provide a device that can image the location of alpha-emitters in small animals and potentially humans. The final goal is to develop a technology that enables the study of alpha radiopharmaceuticals in small animals, and/or monitoring of such radiopharmaceuticals in humans for personalized treatments.

In this project, the student will be closely collaborating with the team to develop one or several aspects of the project, from data analysis to detector modeling, with the possibility of publishing a manuscript in a peer reviewed journal.

Note: on this project you will collaborate with the PRL group under direct supervision of Dr. Javier Caravaca (https://profiles.ucsf.edu/javier.caravaca)

The involved student will acquire a deep understanding of gamma ray imaging and learn the principles of radiation detection, detector simulation and modeling, quantitative image reconstruction, and data analysis.

The student is expected to develop one or more of the tasks below:
- Develop framework to calibrate/characterize detector and analyze detector data
- Develop simulation framework for radiation detector and calibrate/validate model with real data collected from radioactive sources
- Develop alternative reconstruction algorithms for new detector concept and test it with real data

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Javier Caravaca, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required: - Understanding of the basics of gamma ray detection and nuclear physics - Experience in quantitative data analysis - Ability to work on site (UCSF Mission Bay area) at least once a month Desirable: - Familiarity with programming languages C, C++ and/or Python - Laboratory experience

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Most of the work can be done remotely. However, on site (UCSF Mission Bay area) presence is required once a month to directly work with the radiation detector prototype and for in-person meetings.

Off campus location:
UCSF Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging
185 Berry Street, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94107

Related website: http://www.radiology.ucsf.edu/physics