Mark B. Williams, PhD

Mark B. Williams, PhD

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Multi-modality imaging for breast cancer and for cancer research

The research in the Williams lab focuses on three areas:

  1. Molecular imaging for small animal research: The goal of this project is to design, build and test a scanner capable of obtaining fused 3-D structural/functional image data from mice and rats. The scanner uses a high resolution solid state x-ray detector to obtain the CT projection data, and a series of small field of view gamma cameras to obtain the SPECT projection data. The project is funded by the NCI. Collaborators include the Jefferson Lab, Brandeis University, and the University of Utah.
  2. Image-guided breast surgery: the goal of this project is to use a breast scanner we have developed to guide surgeons to nonpaplable breast lesions. The scanner utilizes stereotactic x-ray and gamma emission imaging to place a small marker, labeled with a radioisotope, at the center of the lesion. The surgeon identifies the location of the marker using a hand-held gamma probe. The project is funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Collaborators from the Cancer Center include David Brenin and Anneka Schroenen (surgery), Jennifer Harvey, Patrice Rehm, Dongfeng Pan (radiology), and Gina Petroni (biostatistics).
  3. Dual modality breast imaging: The goal of this project is to develop a scanner for obtaining co-registered structural and functional images of the breast in order to better characterize suspicious breast lesions. The scanner combines digital x-ray mammography and gamma emission scintigraphy on a single upright mammography unit. Radiotracer distribution within the breast is superimposed on the digital mammogram in the resulting dual modality image. The scanner is capable of multiple-view imaging with both modalities, thereby enabling 3-dimensional dual modality imaging of the breast. This project has received support from the NCI, the US Army Breast Cancer Research Program, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and Dupont Pharma. Collaborators include the Jefferson Lab, and Jennifer Harvey and Patrice Rehm from Radiology.