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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Companion Animals in Translational Imaging-Based Research

Amy K. LeBlanc, Associate Professor and Director of Translational ResearchCollege of Veterinary Medicine

Molecular imaging, specifically Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT), is integral to the clinical management of human patients with a variety of diseases, most notably cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurologic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, as a noninvasive tool for biomedical research and drug development, PET/CT is a powerful tool for researchers and more recently, an expanding field in clinical veterinary medicine. It is now widely accepted that companion animals such as dogs and cats can serve as spontaneous, relevant disease models for many common human ailments. Novel PET imaging reagents can be validated in such animal models in order to inform the development pathway of these molecules, to the benefit of humans and pets alike. This presentation highlights work demonstrating the application of 18F-PET tracers utilizing PET/CT imaging to a variety of veterinary diseases, thus paving the way for UT as a leader in translational imaging-based research.​

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