Richard Freifelder, Ph.D.
Cyclotron Facility Program Director
Richard Freifelder, Ph.D. is the Program Director of the Facility. Dr. Freifelder has been a member of the University of Chicago community since August of 2014. Previously he worked at the University of Pennsylvania for 24 years. For those first 10 years, he was a member of the Physics and Instrumentation Group under Joel Karp, Ph.D. doing PET scanner design, front end electronics, performance measurements, and scintillator investigations. In 2000 he split his time between instrumentation and work in Penn’s Cyclotron Facility. In 2002, he moved permanently to the Cyclotron and became the Facility Manager of the Cyclotron until his retirement from Penn in 2014. During that time, he supported 10 IND drugs, supervised a staff of 10 employees, and managed 4 different construction projects – including an $8.5M expansion of the facility from 5,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet. That 2008-2010 project included the installation of two additional vaults, a second cyclotron, four ISO Class 8 cleanrooms, and auxiliary space. At the completion of that project, he installed 6 hot cells and filed an ANDA for the clinical production of 18F-FDG. The filing was approved with no 483 deficiencies. Prior to his coming to Penn, Dr. Freifelder spent 5 years working at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt Germany on heavy-ion and relativistic heavy-ion research. His focus was on detectors and electronics. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics from Stony Brook University in 1985.
Mohammed Parvez Bhuiyan, Ph.D.
Facility Staff Radiochemist
Mohammed Parvez Bhuiyan, Ph.D. is the Facility’s staff radiochemist. Dr. Bhuiyan received his Master’s Degree at the University of Rajshahi in Bangladesh. He then continued his education and received a Ph.D. at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. After that, he worked and collaborated at a number of institutes: the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh; the Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan; the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Germany. He came to the United States and worked for two years in the Department of Radiology and Molecular Imaging at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit Michigan. He continued his research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Utah State University in Logan Utah working with Liaohai Chen, Ph.D. He joined the University of Chicago in 2016. Dr. Bhuiyan’s research interests are wide-ranging. He has done work in nanoparticle fabrication and labeling, colorimetric assay development, synthetic and organic chemistry, MRI and fluorescence imaging contrast agents, and finally small molecule labeling with PET and SPECT radionuclides.
Anna Kucharski comes to the Cyclotron Facility after spending over nine years in radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, and quality control/assurance. She worked for four years as a radiochemistry technologist at the Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa Canada. She then moved to IBA Molecular/Zevacor in Romeoville, Illinois where she continued her radiochemistry and QA/QC work. Ms. Kucharski has operated both Siemens Eclipse®and IBA Cyclone® cyclotrons. She is familiar with a number of synthesis platforms and has produced and tested a number radiopharmaceuticals. She brings to our Facility a deep knowledge of cGMP, radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, technology, basic chemistry and unbridled enthusiasm. Ms. Kucharski joined the University of Chicago in 2016.
Other Facility Members:
CHIN-TU CHEN, PH.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
Chin-Tu Chen, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology. Dr. Chen has been a long-time advocate and spokesperson for the Cyclotron Facility. Dr. Chen bridges the time period from the CS-15 in the 1980s and 1990s to the IBA Cyclone® now. He has been key in re-establishing a working, modern, Cyclotron Facility at the University of Chicago and putting together a PET radiochemistry program. His research interests are wide ranging and include: image analysis, image corrections, PET/SPECT instrumentation, small animal imaging, radiochemistry, biochemistry and microbiology, and finally clinical trials. Without Chin-Tu Chen’s enthusiasm, constant support, and endless energy, the new Cyclotron Facility at the University of Chicago would not have been possible.
Aytekin Oto, M.D., M.B.A.
Interim Chairman, Department of Radiology
Aytekin Oto, M.D., M.B.A. is the Interim Chair of the Department of Radiology. Since taking over the Chairmanship, he has become integrally involved in the operations, budgeting, management and the programmatic goals of the Facility. His research interests in MRI imaging of the prostate, liver, and bowel are excellent adjuncts to many of the Cyclotron Facility’s programmatic goals.
DAVID PAUSHTER, M.D., FACR
Past Chair, Department of Radiology
David Paushter, M.D., FACR, is the past Chair of the Department of Radiology. His support was critical to re-establishing the Facility. Dr. Paushter worked to establish internal and external advisory committees and helped to make not only the UChicago medical community aware of the Cyclotron Facility but also the medical community in the greater Chicago area.