The Physics and Engineering Division of the JPNM consists of the medical physicists and engineers hired by the JPNM hospitals to provide education and clinical service and to conduct research. Members of the division are engaged in education of medical residents and post-doctoral fellows and trainees, collaborative research across hospitals and clinical service at their respective hospitals. Members of the Physics and Engineering division teach an introductory course in Physics and Instrumentation for the first year residents. This four month course meets three times per week and involves didactic sessions, laboratory experiments and problem solving exercises. A second course is taught for second-year residents that covers image reconstruction and image processing. In addition, members of the group contribute to courses conducted by other JPNM faculty members as well as continuing education and clinical courses.
The research interests of the members of the Physics and Engineering Group include investigation of detectors of ionizing radiation, dual isotope imaging, objective assessment of image quality, quantitative and qualitative performance of nuclear medicine instrumentation, kinetic modeling, development of new imaging instrumentation, optimizing clinical imaging protocols and development and testing of software corrections for physical effects. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a special area of interest. An important aspect of the division is to support the faculty and residents in pursuit of their research objectives. Recently, the Division has provided support in the field of small animal imaging including MicroSPET, MicroPET and MicroCT.
Significant effort of the Physics and Engineering group is devoted to harmonize matters directly related to clinical work across the JPNM hospitals. Common quality control protocols are developed and frequently reviewed. Clinical imaging protocols that involve multiple hospitals are implemented and monitored. Currently, the Division is working on the standardization of clinical PET quantitation.