Overview of Our Research

The Wang Research Lab in the Department of Radiology at the UC Davis Medical Center focuses on advancing molecular imaging using computational methods and clinical translation. Our research approach commonly integrates (1) multidimensional data acquisition (e.g., 4D space-time data) with (2) design of computational imaging algorithms (including image reconstruction, tracer kinetic modeling, machine learning), and (3) discovery of quantitative imaging biomarkers to enable clinically efficient and effective imaging methods in human diseases. By developing advanced imaging algorithms and translating them for clinical applications, we can make medical imaging better, cheaper, safer and more informative.

Current Research Topics

1. Parametric PET: Novel Methods and Clinical Translation

Conventionally Positron Emission Tomography (PET) methods mainly assess the steady-state characteristics of a radiotracer, e.g., glucose metabolism imaging with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), using either static or dynamic scanning. Our current research explores a different aspect – the fast kinetics of radiotracer transport toward multiparametric imaging. We develop the enabling parametric PET algorithms (dynamic imaging + kinetic modeling) and novel clinical applications for diseases in individual organs (e.g., liver, heart, kidney, brain) and at the whole-body system level (e.g., metastatic cancer). In close collaboration with clinicians, we translate these new imaging approaches into clinics to reduce the burden of various diseases.


2. PET-enabled Spectral Computed Tomography (PS-CT)

We explore a novel concept based on PET/CT physics and advanced algorithms to enable dual-energy or multi-energy spectral CT imaging using combined PET and CT scanning. This PET-enabled spectral CT method can add a new dimension of tissue composition information on top of existing PET/CT functional imaging without costly hardware upgrade or increasing radiation exposure.


Funding Acknowledgements:






and start-up funds from the UC Davis School of Medicine and Cancer Center.