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Molecular Imaging Core

Overview of Services

The Molecular Imaging Core images animals and cells by several techniques:

  • MRI
  • bioluminescence
  • fluorescence
  • images from different modalities can be combined


A cyclotron produces radioisotopes which the Radiochemistry Laboratory uses to make radioisotopes for non-invasive Positron Emission Tomography imaging. The Radiochemistry Laboratory synthesizes established radiotracers and assists development of novel imaging agents. The Radiochemistry Core is equpped with:


Trasis All-in-One Automated Radiosynthesizer

Produce preclinical or clinical radiopharmaceuticals on a fully automated platform.

  • [18F]FET – primary brain tumors
  • [11C]methionine – primary brain tumors – low-grade glioma
  • [18F]DCFPyl- prostate cancer – PSMA
  • [18F]FAZA – hypoxic tumor microenvironment –predicting radiation response
    • [18F]Fcholine – metastatic prostate cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma
  • [18F]FDOPA – LAT1-overexpressing tumors; CNS tumors, dopamine turnover
  • [18F]FLT – head-and-neck tumors, cell proliferation
  • [18F]FMISO – tumor hypoxia status
  • [11C]palmitate - fatty acid synthesis 
  • [11C]acetate - prostate cancer

*This list is not meant to be all-inclusive as we have a variety of other imaging agents available for preclinical and human research use. The Trasis is also an open platform machine; thus, we can produce customized radiopharmaceuticals as well. Please contact Kiel Neumann with questions about radiotracer availability and production.


Custom Chemical Synthesis

The core is also capable of performing custom chemical synthesis for researchers interested in using organic small molecules in their research. Services may include:

  • custom chemical synthesis of precursors for radiopharmaceuticals
  • custom chemical synthesis of small molecules intended for research use
  • custom chemical synthesis of standards for HPLC identity


Hidex Automated Gamma Counter

Gamma detection window of 15-4,000 kEv (almost any research isotope (F18, C11, Tc99m, 125I, 68Ga 89Zr, 64Cu, etc.))

Belt-driven/robotic arm automated system with a shielded internal sample balance

  1. Machine will tare and weigh empty or full vials and will decay-correct to specified time
  2. Data stored as an excel spreadsheet. Will provide raw counts and also convert to %ID/g or %ID/mL
  • in vitro radiopharmaceutical binding assays
  • in vitro radiopharmaceutical accumulation assays
  • ex vivo tissue biodistribution assays
  • ex vivo arterial input function
  • ex vivo metabolite assays



Maurits Jansen                Molecular Imaging Core Director

Shivashankar Khanapur   Radiochemistry Core Director

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Staffed: Monday - Friday    9am - 5pm

P.O. Box 801332

480 Ray C Hunt  Drive
The Snyder Building
Fontaine Research Park
Charlottesville, VA 22903

map of Fontaine Research Park showing Molecular Imaging Core

Links and Resources

Please click here to access our website.


Name Role Phone Email Location
Maurits Jansen
Core Director