Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Translational Imaging Core Facilities

Translational Imaging Core Facilities in the Research Institute include state-of-the-art cGMP and imaging facilities for preclinical and clinical studies.  Facilities include a cGMP cyclotron and radionucleotide production lab, a preclinical imaging lab, and a suite for magnetic resonance and positron emission tomography imaging.

More information about the Translational Imaging Core Facilities:

          Cyclotron & Radiopharmaceutical cGMP (iLab)
          Positron Emission Tomography (iLab)
          Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iLab)
          Preclinical Imaging (iLab)



The unique design of the imaging suite fully separates preclinical and clinical research areas with separate access to the scanner room. Comfortable and calming waiting and recovery areas were created for clinical research subjects to ensure a pleasant Methodist Experience for our patients participating in research studies.

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.