Cai Research Group Shines at the 2014 SNMMI Annual Meeting in St. Louis

The Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology Laboratory ( shines again at this year's Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Annual Meeting in St Louis (June 7-11, 2014).

With 17 abstracts submitted from the Cai Research Group, and 4 other abstracts from collaborators, the total number of abstracts breaks 20 (among the top 5 groups in terms of number of abstracts). 16 of these abstracts were chosen as oral presentations, tied at 1st place for the most oral presentations. One poster (Hao Hong was the 1st author) was selected as Finalists to compete for the Poster Award in the "Molecular Targeting Probes" track.

The Cai Research Group ( includes 2 Assistant Scientists (Hao Hong and Yunan Yang), 3 post-doctoral fellows (Feng Chen, Rubel Chakravarty, and Haiming Luo), and 3 graduate students (Reinier Hernandez, Sixiang Shi, and Shreya Goel). Every member had at least 1 oral presentation at the SNMMI Annual Meeting, and Feng Chen has 5 oral presentations.

4 members of the Cai Group (Feng Chen, Haiming Luo, Rubel Chakravarty, and Sixiang Shi) received Travel Awards ($1000 each), and 2 more members (Hao Hong and Yin Zhang) had their Travels Awards carried over from last year due to visa issues to Canada. Of note, the total number of Travel Awards was only 25 this year.

There are many Young Investigator Award Symposiums at the SNMMI Annual Meeting, where the highest-scored abstracts were chosen to compete in the symposium. In 2 separate symposiums (Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council [RPSC] and Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation [CMIIT]) with 7 oral presentations each, there were 3 abstracts each from UW-Madison. Paul A. Ellison and Christina M. Lewis from UW - Madison won the 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the CMIIT Yung Investigator Award Symposium (both collaborating with the Cai Group).

At the meeting, the Chinese American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (CASNMMI; also had a competition for Young Scientist Award, and Hao Hong was the only one this year to receive 1st prize.

At the SNMMI Annual Meeting, there were also many summary sessions and highlight lectures where leaders in the field summarized the best abstracts. > 10 of the Cai Group abstracts (among the 17 total) were invited to submit 2-3 summary slides for inclusion in these summary sections. More than half (a total of 6) were presented: 3 in the RPSC/CMIIT Basic Science Summary Session on June 8th and 3 in the Henry N. Wagner, Jr. Highlights Lecture on June 11th.

In addition, Prof. Cai organized and moderated a Continuing Education session on "Radiolabeled Nanoparticles" and was a Co-Moderator for another Continuing Education session on "PET Imaging with Radiometals". Both sessions were well attended.

This is the 4th year that the Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology laboratory submitted abstracts to the SNMMI annual meeting. The Cai group has won multiple awards at the previous SNMMI meetings every year: 2 for 2011, 4 for 2012, and 4 for 2013.