Frontiers Lecture: Fangyu Peng, MD, PhD, FACNM

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Frontiers Lecture

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Frontiers of BrainHealth Lunch Lecture Series 

The Center for BrainHealth invites scientists to share their scientific study with students and other researchers at the Frontiers of BrainHealth Lunch Lectures. The lectures are heavily science focused and are not intended for a lay audience. Lectures to be simulcast among UTD affiliated locations.

The lectures are free, but you must register to reserve your seat. Lunch is served at 11:45 AM.

Assessment of Altered Copper Fluxes in Brain Disorders with 64CuCl2 PET Imaging          

Fangyu Peng, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of its Nuclear Medicine Division. He also serves as the Director of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Translational Imaging, and holds a secondary appointment in the Advanced Imaging Research Center. His clinical interests include general nuclear medicine, PET imaging, and computed tomography (CT), with a particular interest in oncology and neurology. 

He focuses his research on inherited and acquired copper metabolism disorders in Wilson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury, and investigates copper metabolism as a theranostic target for molecular imaging and cancer treatment. His research has been published in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. He also invented and received a patent for intracellular trapping of radionuclides by enzyme-mediated reduction. 

Dr. Fangyu Peng will cover several topics of his research: (1) principle of assessment of brain disorders with PET using 64CuCl2 as a radiotracer; (2) examples of using 64CuCl2 radiotracer for assessment of altered brain copper fluxes in a mouse model of Wilson’s disease with PET imaging;  (3) exploratory study of functional imaging of traumatic brain injury with PET using 64CuCl2 radiotracer; and (4) The last part of this talk will shed light on the alteration of copper fluxes in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as potential application of altered copper fluxes as a new biomarker for functional imaging of brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders with PET.

Copper is a nutritional metal required for brain development and physiology.  It has been well known that disruption of copper homeostasis causes brain disorders, such as Menkes disease caused by ATP7A gene mutation and Wilson’s disease caused by ATP7B gene mutation.   Moreover, emerging evidence suggests copper’s role in pathogenesis of traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Altered copper fluxes is a potential imaging biomarker for functional imaging of brain disorders with positron emission tomography using radioactive copper-64 chloride (64CuCl2) as a radiotracer.