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2006 Scientific Report

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Van Andel Research

Van Andel Research Institute | Scientific Report Rick Hay, Ph.D., M.D., F.A.H.A. Laboratory of Noninvasive Imaging and Radiation Biology 34 Dr. Rick Hay is Senior Scientific Investigator, Director of the Laboratory of Noninvasive Imaging and Radiation Biology, and Deputy Director for Clinical Programs at the Van Andel Research Institute. He earned Ph.D. and M.D. degrees at the University of Chicago and received advanced training in pathology, biochemistry, and nuclear medicine at Chicago, the University of Basel (Switzerland), and the University of Michigan. He has worked as a medical scientist and practicing physician at academic, private, and governmental institutions, and is an expert in the development of radiopharmaceutical agents from benchtop to clinical use. He has previously worked in the fields of cardiovascular pathology, cardiovascular imaging, and imaging of inflammatory disease. His current research emphasizes the evaluation of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies and derivatives for imaging and therapeutic applications. Staff Laboratory Staff Visiting Scientist Students Student Visiting Scientists Consultants Troy Giambernardi, Ph.D. Yue Guo, B.S. Catherine Walker, B.S. Nigel Crompton, Ph.D., D.Sc. Jose Toro Helayne Sherman, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C. Milton Gross, M.D., F.A.C.N.P.

VARI | 2006 Research Interests In July 2005, the Laboratory of Noninvasive Imaging and Radiation Biology originated as an outgrowth and expansion of activities previously supported by the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology. This new laboratory is devoted to both noninvasive imaging (generation and analysis of images depicting structure and selected functions in living organisms without surgically or mechanically penetrating a body cavity) and radiation biology (analysis of the consequences of external and internal radiation exposure in living organisms). The laboratory’s work is along three major themes: • Development and use of laboratory models that address medical imaging and radiation exposure problems • Advancement of technology in imaging and radiation biology, including novel agents, probes, and reporters; new strategies for tackling research problems; and new instrumentation • Pursuit of two-way translation between the laboratory and the clinical setting, i.e., using examples of human disease to design and improve laboratory model systems for study, as well as moving new discoveries from the laboratory benchtop to the patient’s bedside 35 Both locally and through our ongoing collaborations, we depend upon access to sophisticated instruments and equipment, including nuclear imaging cameras; planar and tomographic X-ray units; clinical and research ultrasonography units; fluorescence detection systems; and cell and organism irradiation capability. We have major instruments either in place or scheduled to be obtained and installed within the coming year. During our first year of operation, we have established research projects in radiation biology and nuclear imaging, and we are in the process of acquiring new equipment and staff and of creating new projects in the areas of ultrasonography, fiberoptic imaging, and fusion imaging (combined nuclear imaging and computed tomography). One established research project continues work begun by Nigel Crompton at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, now performed in collaboration with the radiation oncology service at St. Mary’s Mercy Medical Center. This project seeks to predict the sensitivity of a patient’s normal tissues to irradiation that is being administered for treatment of a serious condition such as cancer. For this project a sample of the patient’s blood is drawn before radiation therapy. The blood sample is then irradiated (outside the patient) under precise conditions of exposure, treated with fluorescent molecules that detect certain types of blood cells (lymphocytes), and then analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) for evidence of lymphocyte death. In Switzerland, Dr. Crompton established a close correlation between lymphocyte death and a patient’s normal tissue tolerance to irradiation; we are now determining whether western Michigan patients respond similarly.

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