Baskin Engineering professor receives $300K in NIH funding to develop new brain imaging technology

Shiva Abbaszadeh
Guobao Wang
Baskin Engineering Communications Staff

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded $300,000 to Shiva Abbaszadeh, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, to develop a positron emission tomography (PET)-based system for brain imaging. The newly funded project — a collaboration with Guobao Wang, associate professor of radiology at UC Davis Health — could eventually lead to less invasive, more accurate visualization of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

The new technology is inspired by a similar PET-based imaging system that Abbaszadeh developed previously to improve visualization of lymph nodes in head and neck cancers. That effort was funded by a $2 million NIH grant that Abbaszadeh received in 2018, and it led to the development of a novel imaging system that may one day be easily incorporated into existing clinical workflows for patients undergoing whole-body PET scans.

Abbaszadeh, who leads the Radiological Instrumentation Laboratory, believes her collaboration with Wang will help demonstrate the feasibility of using PET-based imaging tools to probe regions of the body that have been difficult to visualize with existing PET technologies.