Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Cyclotron cGMP Facility

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Cyclotron cGMP Core


The Houston Methodist Research Institute Cyclotron cGMP Facility produces radiopharmaceuticals for research and medical applications. The facility operates a GE PETrace cyclotron that produces tracers for Positron Imaging Tomography (PET). These clinical grade tracers are available to customers throughout the Texas Medical Center.


Core Director 

Meixiang (Max) Yu, Ph.D.
Associate Member
Houston Methodist Research Institute
Associate Research Professor of Radiochemistry in Radiology
Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

About the Facility

The Research Institute Cyclotron cGMP Facility is the only academically owned and operated cyclotron in the state of Texas. This facility can produce PET tracers with half lives ranging from 2 to 110 minutes, including tracers that are not commercially available. In addition to the commercially available [18F]FDG compound, the Methodist cyclotron facility will produce rare 15O, 13N, 11C, 64Cu and other 18F compounds such as [11C]PIB, [18F]FLT and [18F]FDOPA.

 PET Radiopharmaceuticals Produced On Site

  • [18F]FDG
  • [18F]FDOPA
  • [18F]FLT
  • [18F]FHBG
  • [18F]NaF
  • [15O]Water
  • [13N]Ammonia
  • [11C]PIB
  • [11C]Acetate
  • [11C]Palmitate
  • [11C]Choline
  • [11C]WAY-100,635
  • [11C]Raclopride
  • and more...

About the Facility

Producing short half-life radiopharmaceuticals on site enables Methodist to engage in research studies that require custom tracers, produce multiple doses for a patient in a single day, and offer cutting edge PET imaging for patients that is not available elsewhere in the Texas Medical Center:


More specific PET radiopharmaceuticals will improve current PET imaging and enable PET imaging of cancer types that are not available with traditional [18F]FDG-based imaging, including imaging of prostate, renal, and certain types of brain cancers. PET imaging is used to:
  • Identify primary and metastatic malignancies
  • Monitor responses to treatment
  • Stage and restage during the course of disease to effectively tailor treatment to each patient


The specific PET radiopharmaceuticals produced at Methodist have applications in the treatment of stroke and movement disorders. PET is also the most sensitive tool for specific diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and other dementias, and is ideal for locating epilepsy seizure foci prior to surgery.


The Methodist cyclotron facility produces tracers containing 15O and 13N that are the leading tools for PET detection of coronary artery disease and diseased tissue that will benefit from revascularization.

New drug development

PET can facilitate the speed of drug development with non invasive measurement of in vivo biodistribution and pharmacokinetic profiles. With PET, only very low amounts of the experimental drug are administered, far below toxicity levels, enabling preclinical human studies that expedite FDA approval pathways.