Subprograms and Principal Investigators

The Smarter Imaging Program is currently divided into five projects, each devoted to developing a different way to image cancers.

Four of the projects are organized by imaging modalities: radionuclides, x-ray tomography, ultrasound and nuclear magnetic resonance. These projects focus on detection or diagnosis of specific cancers - breast, prostate, lung and brain - that are important because of their prevalence, high associated mortality or lack of performance of existing diagnostic tools.

The projects exploit the functional or molecular specificity of various biomarkers that have recently been associated with the presence or characteristics of cancer and that potentially will enable earlier detection, more accurate diagnosis, improved determination of extent of disease and predictive value regarding response to therapy or prognostic information.

The fifth project concentrates on the high potential of being able to image individual cancer cells and possibly, cancer stem cells in vivo.

The work has brought together outstanding researchers from different disciplines, who will combine new methods in chemistry and nanotechnology with state-of-the-art digital computer techniques to allow doctors to diagnose cancers in the breast, prostate, lungs, colon and brain, earlier and more accurately.

Beginning in 2012, the Program will have a new structure. Rather than focusing on imaging modalities, the emphasis will be on specific cancer sites - breast, prostate, liver and pancreas. This will allow for even closer interaction between basic scientists and clinical researchers to address specific clinical issues related to each cancer site.