autumn 2018
HEL-8034 Preclinical PET and Complementary Methods in Small Animal Molecular Imaging - 8 ECTS

Last changed 01.03.2019

Application deadline

Registration deadline for PhD students and students at the Student Research Program at Uit - The Arctic University of Norway: June 15th

Application deadline for external applicants: June 1st. Application code in SøknadsWeb is 9303

Type of course

PhD course.

The course is available as a singular course

Admission requirements

PhD students or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+ 2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted. PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you see the following list:

Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries

For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document:

Proficiency in English - PhD level studies  

This course has a maximum capacity of 10 students. A minimum requirement for the course to be arranged is 6 applicants. If the number of applicants exceeds the course capacity, the applicants will be prioritized in the following order:

1) Students affiliated to the national network "Digital Life Norwegian Research school".

2) PhD students, research fellows and students participating in the Medical Student Research Programme at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (not affiliated with "Digital Life Norwegian Research School").

3) PhD students and students at a Medical Student Research Programme at other universities (not affiliated with "Digital Life Norwegian Research School").

4) Applicants who have minimum a master's degree or equivalent, but have not been admitted to a PhD programme.

Recommended prerequisites:

It is recommended although not mandatory to have the radioactivity safety sourse and the FELASA Laboratory animal science course.

Course overlap

HEL-8021 Preclinical PET and Complementary Methods in Small Animal Molecular Imaging 5 stp

Course content

The topics discussed will include animal welfare and injection methods, radiation protection, basic radiochemistry and radiopharmacy, multicellular tumour spheroid (MTS), frozen section autoradiography, bio-distribution, preclinical PET/SPECT/CT, image analysis and aspects of translational research.

Recommended prerequisites

HEL-8014 Animal Experimentation for Researchers

Objectives of the course

Students will complete the course with the following achievements:


Students will

  • Have the theoretical foundation of preclinical molecular imaging as a modern research tool.
  • Have an insight into small animal imaging methodology and applications
  • Know the different steps to follow during a PET/CT or SPECT/CT study, including animal handling and preparatory techniques for the molecular imaging experiment, scan performance, image reconstruction, data handling and analysis and image validation methods
  • Describe and discuss advantages and limitations of modern techniques for in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro preclinical molecular imaging, including PET/SPECT/CT, MTS, frozen section autoradiography and bio-distribution.
  • Have a basic understanding for radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, bio-distribution of tracers and the factors affecting the choice of tracer for a specific imaging task.


Students will be able to

  • Design a standard in vivo PET/SPECT/CT experiment,
  • Prepare static or dynamic PET/CT scan protocols, as well as a SPECT/CT imaging experiment.
  • Analyze and extract useful information from the static or dynamic PET images, (for example: specific uptake values (SUV) and time activity curves) as well as Evaluate the information provided by the SPECT images
  • Plan, prepare and perform a basic MTS experiment, including preparation of cell cultures to be used for MTS, collecting data and analyzing the results.
  • Plan, prepare and perform a standard in vitro frozen section autoradiography experiment, including collection, preparation and cryo-sectioning of frozen tissue, incubating it with a radioactive PET or SPECT tracer, exposing and scanning the image plate and analyzing the resulting images.
  • Plan, prepare and perform a standard ex vivo bio-distribution experiment, including sacrificing the animal after PET-tracer administration, dissection and collecting the organs of interest, measuring the radioactivity in each organ using well counter, analyze, correlate and compare the result with in vivo imaging.


Students will

  • Understand the working flow of a small animal imaging study
  • Have the capability of developing molecular imaging protocols involving PET/CT and SPECT/CT
  • Identify key issues in a standard imaging study
  • Have the overview of how to handle images as data

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course is a two weeks intensive course, heavily directed to practical/active education. The course will offer theoretical and practical training in state of the art techniques common in small animal molecular imaging. The teaching will be given as lectures, demonstrations, and practical hands-on exercises.


Work requirements:

  • 90 percent attendance at the course, including lectures, demonstrations and laboratory exercises.
  • Passed reports on all of the laboratory exercises.
  • Oral presentations of the protocols, data collection and results in the last day of the course

Examination: Home examination, 10 pages, graded pass or fail. The examination can be answered in any Scandinavian language or English.

A re-sit exam will be offered in the event of failing.

Recommended reading/syllabus

«Small Animal Imaging- Basics and Practical Guide». Fabian Kiessling, Bernd J. Pichler. Ed. Springer
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 8
  • Course code: HEL-8034
  • Tilleggsinformasjon
  • PhD students at UiT
  • External applicants
  • Course information