The following story originally appeared in the Jan. 10, 2019, edition of the VUMC Reporter.
Michael Nickels, Ph.D., assistant professor of research in Vanderbilt’s Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, was recently appointed director of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS) Radiochemistry Core Lab, marking a significant reorganization of the program.
In this role, Nickels will be the new primary point of contact for faculty interested in developing or using novel and known radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging. He will direct Core Lab staff and be responsible for all aspects of managing its extensive resources, making him the main scientific contact for developing molecular probes for use with positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
The mission of the Core Lab, which is housed in the VUMC PET Center in the Robinson Research Building, is to assist Vanderbilt investigators in developing and translating radiopharmaceuticals to patients, non-invasively visualizing and quantifying molecular events in both preclinical in vivo models and patients and conducting clinical trials that feature molecular imaging endpoints.
Nickels has worked at VUMC since 2008, previously serving as a research instructor in the Department of Radiology before being named an assistant professor in 2018. He serves as a board member for the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Radiopharmaceutical Science Council (RPSC) and chair of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) Managers of Molecular Imaging Laboratories (MOMIL) interest group as expansions of his involvement with SNMMI, WMIS, the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and American Chemical Society.