Dr. Yu graduated with a Ph.D. from Peking University in 1996. He completed his postdoctoral training in Nuclear Medicine and Pharmacolgy at Kupio University Hospital in Finland before taking a position as a Research Scientist at the Turku PET Center in Finland. In 2001, he joined the Harvard Medical School Radiology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital as a Research Scientist and Instructor before being appointed Associate Professor and Chief Radiochemist at the University of Tennessee in 2005. He was also the Senior Radiochemist at Banner Alxheimer's Institute in Phoenix, AZ from 2007 to 2009 before joining Houston Methodist in 2009. At the Research Institute, Dr. Yu oversees the design and operation of the cyclotron facility, which produces PET radiopharmaceuticals for clinical use in compliance with FDA cGMP (current good manufacture practice) regulations.
Dr. Yu's research focuses on molecular imaging biomarker development for translational medicine applications. Functional parameters from in vivo imaging include biodistribution, metabolism, receptor and transporter occupancy, as well as blood flow will be important in diseases diagnosis, stages and response evaluation. For these purposes, his team is developing PET and SPECT imaging tracers of pharmacological affects on glutamate receptors, dopamine transporters and receptors, and serotonin transporters and receptors, which are important in neurodegeneration diseases and psychiatry. In addition, as the Ccyclotron Operation/Radiochemistry Director, Dr. Yu supervises the Research Institute cyclotron facility design, including the installation and operation of the cyclotron, hot cells, radiochemistry synthetic modules, quality control instruments, and radiation safety monitoring. He also oversees the development of standard operation procedures for cyclotron operation, PET radiopharmaceutical production, quality control, and radiation safety.