autumn 2016

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

Sist endret: 06.04.2017

The course is provided by

Faculty of Health Sciences


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Extended application deadline in Søknadsweb (application code 9306): August 1st

PhD students and students at the Medical Student Research Program at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway appy for admission by registering for class in Studentweb by September 1st

Type of course

PhD course. This course is available as a singular course.

The course is organized by the Department of Clinical Medicine and the Norwegian Research School in Medical Imaging (MEDIM).

Admission requirements

PhD students and masters students at a Medical Student Research Program, or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+ 2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted. Valid documentation is a statement from your institution that you are a registered PhD student, or master student at a Medical Student Research Program or a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. PhD students are exempt from semester fee.

For more information regarding PhD courses at the Faculty of Health Sciences go to:

The course has a capacity of 10 students.

If there are more applicants than available spaces in the course, students will be given priority from category 1 to 5.

1. PhD students affiliated with the national network "Norwegian Research School in Medical Imagining" (MedIm)

2. PhD students, research fellows and students participating in the medical student research programme at the UiT - The Arctic University of Tromsø (not affiliated with MedIm)

3. Participants in the Associate Professor Programme

4. PhD students and students at the medical student research programme at other universities (not affiliated with MedIm)

5. People who have minimum a Master's degree or equivalent, but have not been admitted to a PhD programme.

If fewer than six participants have applied to the course, the course will be cancelled.

Recommended prerequisites:

Passed course in Experimental animal science for researchers (Category C).

Course content

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

Link to the preclinical PET/SPECT/CT facility at the Faculty of Health Science:

Objectives of the course

At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • Describe the theoretical foundation of preclinical molecular imaging as a modern research tool.
  • Describe and discuss advantages and limitations with modern techniques for in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro preclinical molecular imaging, including multicellular tumour spheroid (MTS), frozen section autoradiography biodistribition and PET/SPECT/CT.
  • Have a basic understanding for radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, biodistribution of tracers and the factors affecting the choice of tracer for a specific imaging task.
  • Plan, prepare and perform a basic MTS experiment, including preparation of cell cultures to be used for MTS's, preparation of the MTS's, collecting data and analyzing the results.
  • Plan, prepare and perform a standard in vitro frozen section autoradiography experiment, including preparation and cryosectioning 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 biodistribution experiment, including sacrificing the animal after PET-tracer administration, dissection and removing the organs of interest, measuring the radioactivity in each organ using wellcounter, analyze, correlate and compare the result with in vivo imaging.
  • Plan, prepare and perform a standard in vivo PET/SPECT/CT experiment, including intravenous administration of a PET or SPECT tracer, preparing a static or dynamic scan protocol, performing the scan, reconstructing the images, analyzing and extracting useful information from the static or dynamic images, for example specific uptake values (SUV) and time activity curves.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures, demonstrations and practical hands-on exercises.


Work requirements:

  • Attendance at the course, including lectures, demonstrations and laboratory exercises.
  • Passed reports on all of the laboratory exercises.

Examination and assessment:

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

Re-sit exam:

There will be the option of one re-sit examination if a fail grade is achieved at the first attempt. Registration deadline for re-sit exam is January 15th.


Recommended reading/syllabus


  • Kiessling, Pichler. Small Animal Imaging. Springer Verlag 2011.
  • Cherry, Sorenson, Phelps. Physics in Nuclear Medicine. Elsevier 2012.


Research articles:

  • Autoradiography
    • Bergstrom, M. (2003). Autoradiography with Positron Emitting Isotopes in Positron Emission Tomography Tracer Discovery. Molecular Imaging & Biology, 5(6), 390¿396. doi:10.1016/j.mibio.2003.09.004
    • Sihver, S., Sihver, W., Bergström, M., Höglund, a U., Sjöberg, P., Lângström, B., & Watanabe, Y. (1999). Quantitative autoradiography with short-lived positron emission tomography tracers: a study on muscarinic acetylcholine receptors with N-[(11)C]methyl-4-piperidylbenzilate. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, 290(2), 917¿22. Retrieved from
  • MTS
  • Bergstrom, M., Monazzam, A., Razifar, P., Ide, S., Josephsson, R., & Langstrom, B. (2008). Modeling spheroid growth, PET tracer uptake, and treatment effects of the Hsp90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 49(7), 1204¿10. doi:10.2967/jnumed.108.050799
  • Monazzam, A., Razifar, P., Ide, S., Rugaard Jensen, M., Josephsson, R., Blomqvist, C., ¿ Bergström, M. (2009). Evaluation of the Hsp90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 in multicellular tumour spheroids with respect to effects on growth and PET tracer uptake. Nuclear medicine and biology, 36(3), 335¿42. doi:10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2008.12.009
  • Monazzam, A., Razifar, P., Lindhe, O., Josephsson, R., Långström, B., & Bergström, M. (2005). A new, fast and semi-automated size determination method (SASDM) for studying multicellular tumor spheroids. Cancer cell international, 5, 32. doi:10.1186/1475-2867-5-32
  • Monazzam, A., Razifar, P., Simonsson, M., Qvarnström, F., Josephsson, R., Blomqvist, C., ¿ Bergström, M. (2006). Multicellular tumour spheroid as a model for evaluation of [18F]FDG as biomarker for breast cancer treatment monitoring. Cancer cell international, 6, 6. doi:10.1186/1475-2867-6-6


Karlsen, Monica

Rådgiver for ph.d.-programmet ved Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet
Telefon: +4777623279

PhD students at UiT

PhD students and students at the Medical Student Research Program at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb

Registration for the autumn semester starts June 15th

External applicants

External applicants apply through SøknadsWeb

Choose the code 9303 and write the course code (HEL-8021) in the remark field. You'll find a manual for SøknadsWeb here.

Remember to upload documentation of your education, or documentation of your status as a PhD student / student at a medical student research programme.

For questions regarding application:

Useful information for external students (in Norwegian/English)

Course information

Lectures: 7 November - 11 November and 28 November - 2 December

Submission deadline for the exam is 9 December