Research

As as a faculty member in the Radiology Department of the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, I am leading a number of research projects in nuclear medical imaging, mainly in the areas of whole-body parametric PET/CT and PET/MR oncologic and cardiovascular imaging. In particular my research aims at the clinical translation of highly quantitative PET imaging methods in the above areas by introducing optimized clinical imaging protocols, novel tracer kinetic modeling, robust whole-body parametric image reconstruction and motion compensation techniques as well as machine learning. Our projects target both basic research and clinical translation orientation thanks to the highly integrated medical imaging research environment established at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Our ultimate aim is to utilize the state-of-the-art technology in multi-modality PET systems to develop highly quantitative multi-parametric diagnostic and theragnostic molecular imaging tools for oncologic and cardiovascular diseases and facilitate their translation in the clinical routine.

The primary tools utilized for this purpose is a continuously evolving library of in-house C/C++ and MATLAB libraries, which have been developed and validated throughout a list of peer-reviewed publications over the last 10 years. In the past, we contributed to large-scale CERN software projects, such as Geant4 and GATE Monte Carlo simulation packages. Furthermore, we are currently designing and validating new libraries for more specific open-source software packages such as the open-source STIR (Software for Tomographic Image Reconstruction) platform and R Statistical Package.

In addition, I am maintaining a close collaboration with the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute in the Icahn School Medicine at Mt Sinai, NY, where we actively develop clinically adoptable cardiovascular PET/MR imaging methods to enhance early diagnosis and treatment response assessments of the atherosclerosis disease in the carotid and coronary arteries.

My research activities, during my PhD appointment, in the area of Monte Carlo simulations for Emission Tomography Imaging have decisively helped me envision my current research strategy.

By productively interacting with other equally enthusiastic and highly motivated research partners and collaborators, we aim at innovative and translational methodologies for the enhancement of the quantitative value of nuclear medical imaging to improve its diagnostic and theranostic role in cardiology, oncology and neurology.

 

On-going research projects

  • “Whole-Body PET/CT and PET/MR Parametric Imaging to enhance atherosclerotic plaque and tumor detectability and quantitation”
    Feb, 2011 – now

Past Research Projects

  • “Generalized Intra- and Inter-Frame Motion Correction for Dynamic PET Brain Imaging”,
    Feb, 2011 – July 2015
  • “3.5D Dynamic PET image reconstruction incorporating kinetics based clusters”,
    March 2011 – March 2013
  • “Implementation of Variance Reduction Techniques for Improvement in Computation Efficiency of GATE Monte Carlo Simulation Package on a Distributed Computing Platform – fastGATE”,
    March 2006 – March 2008
    Scientific and Technological Cooperation between RTD Organizations in Greece and RTD Organizations in U.S.A. In collaboration with Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging at University of California, Los Angeles
  • “Simulation and Modelling of Complicated Biological Processes in Small Animals”,
    Jan. 2006 – 2007
    Scientific and Technological Cooperation between RTD Organizations in Greece and RTD Organizations in Albania. In collaboration with Tirana Polytechnic University
  • “Monte Carlo simulation of a new generation, small field of view and high resolution Positron Emission Tomography (small animal PET)”,
    July 2005 – 2007
    Scientific and Technological Cooperation between RTD Organizations in Greece and RTD Organizations in Spain. In collaboration with Madrid Polytechnic University
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