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$17M supports installation of advanced research cyclotron


Saskatoon, SK – The University of Saskatchewan will soon be ordering and installing an advanced research cyclotron, and has received $17 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments. Saskatchewan’s provincial government is providing $10 million of the total, while the federal government is providing $7 million.

The cyclotron will generate short-lived radioactive isotopes used in Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scans, which will support the development of a new provincial PET-CT medical imaging program, and it  will support research into the production of Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) isotopes which are used in the majority of medical imaging procedures in the province.

According to University of Saskatchewan spokesperson Michael Robin, the cyclotron is currently in the process of being ordered, and the operational date is expected to be in the second half of 2012. It will be located near the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the Canadian Light Source, the new International Vaccine Centre (InterVac), and the Royal University Hospital, which will enhance the research and development capacity of these facilities.

“These strategic investments offer direct and immediate benefits for the nearly 300 Saskatchewan people per year who must leave the province to obtain the medical imaging they need,” said Peter MacKinnon, the University of Saskatchewan’s president. “As well, the cyclotron and PET/CT scanner are critical components for our vision to lead the country in nuclear medicine. This includes research into the potential of medical isotopes that offer new windows into the body, as well as providing teaching and training of specialized skills that are much sought-after around the world.”