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Dr Adriana Tavares graduated from the School of Health Technology of Porto (ESTSP-IPP), Portugal, with a Nuclear Medicine BSc (Hons.) degree in 2007. She has worked for over 15 years in clinical and preclinical radionuclide imaging and obtained a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Portugal, in 2009, as well as, a PhD degree in radiotracer development from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Glasgow, UK, in 2011. Post-completion of her PhD, Dr Tavares took on a position as Image Processing Analyst and later Imaging Consultant at Molecular NeuroImaging (MNI), New Haven, USA. She joined the University of Edinburgh as the Head of the Preclinical PET Facility at the Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging (EPI) and a Research Fellow in PET Imaging. Currently, Adriana is a Reader in PET Imaging.


PhD in Molecular Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of Porto University (FEUP), Portugal.

BSc (Hons.) Degree in Nuclear Medicine, School of Health Technology of Porto (ESTSP-IPP), Portugal.



Research Interests

 1. Development of novel selective PET and SPECT radiotracers

 Currently, a major limiting factor for studies of humans with PET and SPECT imaging is the availability of high quality radiotracers for a wide range of sites relevant to organ chemistry and function. Moreover, a large proportion of available radiotracers lack pharmacological specificity, targeting more than one site in vivo. Selective radiotracers, which produce high quality images, are key to realize the full potential for PET and SPECT imaging studies both in the process of drug development and in the clinical management of patients. A wider range of radiotracers will also open up many opportunities for studying specific molecular targets relevant to understanding physiological and pathological human conditions.   


2. Repurpose of currently available radiotracers as imaging biomarkers for different clinical applications

 At present, radiotracers used in the clinical setting are often oriented to a single clinical application. However, a given target protein can have different roles depending on the tissue or organ where it is expressed. For example, the adenosine receptors are expressed in both the brain and the heart, but play different roles in the physiology of those distinct tissues. Furthermore, recently, radiotracers targeting the vesicular monoamine transporters type 2, which have been extensively examined in brain applications, have been applied for imaging the pancreas to the study processes underlying the development of diabetes. These examples, illustrate the importance of exploring and/or repurposing currently available radiotracers as imaging biomarkers for different clinical applications, in particular as novel mechanistic pathways are identified via ongoing research.



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