UBC PHYS 541: Physics of Nuclear Medicine

Instructors: Arman Rahmim & Carlos Uribe (contact us for any questions & office hours)

Semester Offered: Spring semester, typically on alternative years

Prerequisite: None, since our course starts with the basics of nuclear physics.

Textbook: “Nuclear Medicine Physics: The Basics” by Chandra and Rahmim, 8th edition

Credits: 3

Supplemental material: You will find this book useful: “Physics in Nuclear Medicine” by Cherry, Sorenson, and Phelps, 4th edition

Course Outline: Basic principles of radioactive decay; radioisotope production; radiation detection and dosimetry; principles of operation of nuclear medicine instruments (planar, SPECT and PET); principles of tomography; image reconstruction and analysis; quantitative and dynamic imaging; radiopharmaceutical therapies and theranostics.

Missed exams: There will be one in-class midterm exam. If you miss the exam with a legitimate excuse (proof of illness, family emergency, etc), see us to discuss make-up options.

Religious holidays: Students are entitled to request an alternate test date if a scheduled test date falls on one of their holy days. If you think this may apply to you, please contact us as soon as possible to make an alternate arrangement (we need at least two week’s notice).

Tentative List of Topics by week:

  1. General introduction, examples of clinical applications
  2. Radioactive decays
  3. Production of radioisotopes
  4. Interaction of radiation with matter
  5. Radiation detection and detectors
  6. Dosimetry, internal dose and radiation protection
  7. Electronics and counting systems, Anger camera
  8. Error analysis, counting statistics
  9. Principles of tomography, Radon transform, digital filters
  10. Analytic reconstruction methods
  11. Iterative reconstruction methods
  12. SPECT and SPECT/CT systems
  13. PET and PET/CT systems
  14. Quality control and NEMA tests
  15. Image processing, dynamic imaging, kinetic models
  16. Radiopharmaceutical therapies and theranostics
  17. Presentations of students’ projects