Overview of Our Research

The Wang Research Lab in the Department of Radiology at the UC Davis Medical Center focuses on development of computational molecular imaging methods and their clinical translation. Our research approach commonly integrates (1) multidimensional data acquisition 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. By developing advanced algorithms to exploit the value of data we collect, we can make medical imaging better, cheaper, safer and more informative. In close collaboration with clinicians, we translate these imaging technologies into the clinic to reduce the burden of various diseases (e.g., cancer, liver disease and heart disease).

Current Research Topics

1. Parametric PET: Novel Methods and Clinical Translation

One emphasis of our current research is on developing and utilizing 4D (3D space + 1D time) dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) to create high-quality “movies” of radiolabeled tracers moving through the human body. These movie data can then be fed into mathematical models to obtain physiologically important tracer kinetic parameters. We are interested in advancing organ-specific (e.g., liver, heart, kidney, lung) parametric PET and total-body parametric PET methods, in particular for imaging of molecular transport kinetics. We develop enabling algorithms (e.g., high-temporal resolution imaging, dual-input kinetic modeling) and explore novel clinical applications to address unmet clinical needs in different diseases.

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

We explore a novel concept based on PET/CT physics and advanced algorithms to enable 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.