Isotopes for Science and Medicine: Rare, Radioactive, and Useful

Monday, February 20, 2012: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room 114-115 (VCC West Building)
Forty million nuclear-medicine procedures are performed worldwide each year; nearly half are in the United States alone. These procedures are essential to diagnose heart attacks, cancer metastases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Global supply has been seriously interrupted multiple times over the past 3 years because of critical failures in two aging nuclear reactors dedicated to isotope production (one in Canada and one in The Netherlands). Additional demand for the production of varied isotopes is driven by breakthroughs in targeted biomolecules that carry imaging or therapeutic isotopes. Modern isotope production requires the skills of physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. Governments around the world are aggressively seeking solutions to modernize supply technologies and public policies. TRIUMF is leading a Canadian effort to produce the key medical isotopes using existing medical cyclotrons instead of new nuclear reactors. These isotopes are also of intense research interest for understanding the origin of the chemical elements in supernova explosions.  This symposium will discuss the science, public policy, and health issues around the research, development, and production of isotopes for the world.
Gene Sprouse, American Physical Society
Timothy Meyer, TRIUMF
Nigel Lockyer, TRIUMF
Karlheinz Langanke, Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research
From the Stars to Earth: The Role of Isotopes in Illuminating the Universe
See more of: Discovery
See more of: Symposia