For over 30 years, CAMH has been a world leader in clinical brain- positron emission tomography (PET) research worldwide. Our work in PETresearch has had a major global impact in understanding brain chemistry, leading to better clinical treatment of mental illness and addiction, and drug development. We have over 40 PET radiopharmaceuticals for neuroimaging translated for human use and over 100 labeled compounds tested in preclinical models. Since 1989, we have significantly expanded our PET research capabilities to include PET imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pre-clinical imaging, digital autoradiography, radiochemistry production facility, and neuro-science research programs.
The Brain Health Imaging Centre houses the following:
- Two PET scanners: A Discovery MI 5 and a HRRT (High Resolution Research Tomograph);
- Two cyclotrons including a dual-particle cyclotron (Scanditronix MC-17) and a new IBA cyclone18 cyclotron;
- One MRI scanner, the 3T GE Discovery MR750 with multinuclear imaging capability.
- Two fully equipped radiochemistry laboratory including one allowing GMP production of short-lived positron emitting radiotracers tracers for human use. The radiochemistry facility houses a total of 17 HEPA-filtered hot cells (Comecer) with >10 commercial automated synthesis units (GE, Synthra, Neptis) and customized home-built apparatus for non-traditional radiochemistry.
- PET Data Analysis Laboratory with modern radiochromatography and radiopharmaceutical analysis apparatus for quality control.
- Preclinical Imaging Laboratory housing a 3T PET-MR (Mediso).
Results You Can See
Our team at the Brain Health Imaging Centre have developed several imaging radiotracers used in PET brain research globally. Using these chemical brain imaging tools, our research has helped to more accurately calculate medication doses for depression and schizophrenia, identified targets for treatments of illnesses such as postpartum depression, and enabled academic centres and pharmaceutical companies to conduct more effective drug development.
We are also pursuing the development of radiotracers to discover chemical brain markers that could identify the risk of illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, traumatic brain injuries and their mental health consequences, autism spectrum disorder, suicide prevention, and addictions.
The Brain Health Imaging Centre (BHIC) facility will be relocated from its current location at CAMH’s College Street campus to the Research & Discovery Centre, scheduled to open in 2027. BHIC houses two cyclotrons for the production of imaging radiopharmaceuticals fully dedicated to positron emission tomography (PET) research on brain disorders. Two new cyclotrons will replace the existing two in the new building. They will be installed in adjacent underground bunkers on the south side of the Research & Discovery Centre.
- PET and PET-CT studies: Alvina Ng (Alvina.Ng@camh.ca)
- PET protocols: Kimberly Desmond (Kimberly.Desmond@camh.ca)
- MRI studies: Anusha Ravichandran (Anusha.Ravichandran@camh.ca)
- Radiochemistry inquiries: Armando Garcia (Armando.Garcia@camh.ca)
- Preclinical Imaging: Junchao Tong (Junchao.Tong@camh.ca)
- Billing: Stephanie Seto (Stephanie.Seto@camh.ca)