MSU Board of Trustees approves addition to Clinical Center and Radiology Building

Contact: Russ White, University Relations, (517) 432-0923,

Feb 13, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today approved the acquisition of an $8.8 million loan from GE Healthcare Financial Services to finance the radiopharmaceutical addition to MSU's Clinical Center and Radiology Building.

H&H Systems and Design Inc. (HHSD) of New Albany, Ind., was awarded the contract to design and build a single story and basement addition connected to the Clinical Center MRI wing and the Radiology Building. The 12,000-square-foot addition will include space dedicated to radiopharmaceutical production, positron emission tomography (PET), vertical whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and offices.

The Department of Radiology at MSU has a distinguished history in clinical and research applications of high technology medical imaging.

MSU is pursuing acquisition of a PET scanner from General Electric Medical Systems. An initiative to produce radiopharmaceuticals with a medical cyclotron is also being proposed as a natural outgrowth of MSU's strength in both radiology and cyclotron physics.

PET is an important medical imaging process that complements magnetic resonance, computed tomography and other traditional radiological imaging techniques. During a PET imaging procedure, pharmaceuticals tagged with short-lived radioactive isotopes are administered to patients, providing critical diagnostic information on tissue metabolism.

PET is typically used to diagnose and stage cancer, but is also used for studying cardiac viability and providing blood flow measurements.

PET radiopharmaceuticals manufactured in the medical cyclotron will be formulated with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) isotopes. FDG has a half-life of approximately two hours and can be transported from a manufacturing facility to an imaging center where it maintains its clinical usefulness for several hours. Other isotopes are so short-lived that they must be utilized immediately in a clinical setting that is near the cyclotron producing them.

HHSD, established in 1971, specializes in the design and construction of medical facilities to accommodate specialty equipment and has designed and constructed 10 similar facilities in the past two years.

"This is a major step forward in the development of molecular medicine as a component of a universitywide molecular medicine initiative," said James Potchen, chairperson of MSU's Department of Radiology. "The future of medicine is in applied genomics and acquiring an understanding of the interaction between human gene expression and the environment in the development of disease.

"PET imaging and cyclotron-produced radioisotopes provide a unique avenue to visualize biological function in human beings," Potchen said.