Public Release: 

Brookhaven Lab and Mount Sinai form joint Center for Translational Biomedical Imaging

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

UPTON, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM) have signed an agreement to establish a 'Joint Center for Translational Biomedical Imaging.' Building on earlier Brookhaven/MSSM collaborations using radioactively tagged molecules (radiotracers) and brain-imaging techniques to investigate the biological basis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance abuse, this formalized agreement will foster more robust research collaborations investigating these and other conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and depression.

Brookhaven Lab's world-class medical-imaging scientists will benefit from collaboration with the highly regarded medical school where research professionals can help identify new molecular targets for radiotracer development and provide access to a broad base of research-subject (patient) populations. The agreement also establishes a mechanism for joint appointments for Brookhaven scientists and the mentoring of Mount Sinai graduate students.

Mount Sinai researchers will gain access to Brookhaven's sophisticated imaging tools - including positron emission tomography (PET), high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), micro-PET, and micro-MRI - as well as Brookhaven's expertise in radiotracer chemistry and specialized facilities for the development of new tracer molecules.

This agreement draws on the complimentary strengths of our two institutions," said Fritz Henn, Brookhaven Lab's new Associate Laboratory Director for Life Sciences.

"Our hope is that this center will foster innovations in radiotracer development and imaging techniques that can be translated to improvements in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, as well as advances in drug research and development."

Said Dr. Dennis Charney, Dean of Academic and Scientific Affairs for Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences for Mount Sinai Medical Center, "In addition to pursuing the research interests we already share with our Brookhaven colleagues, Mount Sinai scientists will likely identify new medical problems where imaging can play a role. Our medical expertise and experience in clinical studies will also be a great asset when trying to translate and apply Brookhaven's capabilities and developments in imaging to clinical studies of disease and behavior disorders in patients."

Under the agreement, Brookhaven Lab scientists will continue to initiate and lead their own research programs, as well as operate, maintain, and advance the core imaging facilities, associated technical staff, and components of the clinical infrastructure. This novel integration of physical and life sciences has led to a variety of advances in radiopharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine instrumentation and will continue to be funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the Department of Energy's Office of Science and by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In the initial start-up phase of the collaboration, a core group of scientists from the two institutions will conduct pilot studies to demonstrate the value of the program and to provide preliminary data. These data will then be used to apply for joint MSSM/Brookhaven research grants from funding agencies such as NIH.

Brookhaven scientists involved in these pilot studies and any future studies conducted by the center are expected to hold joint appointments with Mount Sinai. The number of joint appointments of

Brookhaven/MSSM faculty would grow appropriately as funding for the center's research projects increases. All NIH grants for joint research conducted by the center would be awarded to and administered by Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


Located in Manhattan, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized for ground-breaking clinical and basic-science research, and innovative approaches to medical education. Through the Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Mount Sinai trains biomedical researchers with an emphasis on the rapid translation of discoveries of basic research into new techniques for fighting disease. One indication of Mount Sinai's leadership in scientific investigation is its receipt during fiscal year 2004 of $153.2 million. Mount Sinai now ranks 25th among the nation's medical schools in receipt of research support from NIH. Mount Sinai School of Medicine also is known for unique educational programs such as the Humanities in Medicine program, which creates opportunities for liberal arts students to pursue medical school, and instructional innovations like The Morchand Center, the nation's largest program teaching students and physicians with "standardized patients" to become not only highly skilled, but compassionate caregivers. Long dedicated to improving its community, the School extends its boundaries to work with East Harlem and surrounding communities to provide access to health care and educational programs to at risk populations.

One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation of State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization. Visit Brookhaven Lab's electronic newsroom for links, news archives, graphics, and more:

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.