Diagnostic and molecular imaging are important components of research studies, as they provide real-time, longitudinal, structural, and functional insights into disease processes that cannot be obtained by other laboratory tests. In support of external collaborators with innovative projects, the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick) is uniquely positioned to perform advanced imaging using a wide variety of standard imaging modalities housed within a BSL-4 containment laboratory as well as specific state-of-the-art techniques such as quantitative image analysis, imaging post-processing, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML)/deep learning (DL) algorithms.
Main Areas of Focus
- In vivo imaging of small animals and nonhuman primates with high-consequence infectious diseases
- Image acquisition, imaging physics, and image analysis
- Anatomic imaging to evaluate structural and morphologic changes from infectious diseases
- Molecular imaging to evaluate the pathophysiological function and biochemical changes
- Functional imaging to evaluate characteristics and/or biological behaviors from infectious diseases
- Development of advanced post-processing/analysis methods
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis of structural, functional, and molecular images to identify and characterize disease-related lesions and whole‑body and/or organ‑specific abnormalities using
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
- Optical fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging
- Specific built-in and dedicated commercial software for quantitative analysis
- High-performance computing capabilities
- AI, ML, and DL algorithms applied to imaging and clinical biomarkers
- Interpretive radiograph analysis by radiologists
- Access to NIH Imaging Probe Development Center, development or manufacture of imaging probes
- Pre-clinical imaging research protocol partnering
- Imaging to evaluate basic, pre-clinical, and translational physiological and pathophysiological disease mechanisms and processes
- Imaging as a tool to enhance pharmaceutical development, measuring countermeasure efficacy, and understanding of drug mechanisms
- Using imaging to detect biomarkers for infectious disease
- Development of novel AI and ML algorithms for image segmentation and prognosis
- Molecular imaging probe development
- Data sharing with research community
18F-Albumin positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) fusion images on a healthy rhesus macaque (Macacca mulatta) show the distribution and local accumulation of blood pool noninvasively; the color gradient indicates relative concentration of 18F-Albumin, with a higher concentration in red and a lower concentration in blue.
The longitudinal 18fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) fusion images of a SARS-CoV-2-infected aged hamster show bilateral increases of metabolic activities in the lung, which correspond to lung lesions on CT images from baseline (BL) to Day 8 (D8). See more SARS-CoV-2 imaging examples.
All procedures are well-documented and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods, or study-approved plans and agreements.
- Studies relevant to human disease
- Use of surrogate systems to test clinical hypotheses
- Use of biological systems to answer questions regarding disease pathogenesis and strategies for intervention including antimicrobials, vaccines, and other countermeasures
- Developing and incorporating cutting-edge technologies to understand infectious diseases
Read more about how to work with the IRF-Frederick.
Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick)
Jens H. Kuhn, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D., M.S.
Principal Scientist and Director of Virology (Contractor)