Sabrina Ronen, PhD and Spencer Behr, MD, Appointed Director and Associate Director of UCSF’s Precision Imaging of Cancer and Therapy (PICT) Program

The UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging is pleased to announce Sabrina Ronen, PhD and Spencer Behr, MD as the new Director and Associate Director of the Precision Imaging of Cancer and Therapy (PICT) Program at UCSF.

The PICT Program brings together basic, translational and clinical scientists to integrate cutting edge, multi-modality imaging into patient care and research in oncology. Using innovative imaging technology and data analysis tools, PICT aims to elucidate the mechanisms of malignant transformation and drug resistance and to achieve a more precise understanding of disease progression and response to therapy.

An expert in MRI, MR spectroscopy and cancer, Dr. Ronen has been a faculty member at UCSF since 2007. Her lab focuses on developing and validating non-invasive MR-based biomarkers to detect and monitor oncogenic transformation and assess response to therapy. She has ongoing research studying PI3K signaling, mutational status of isocitrate dehydrogenase and TERT, and brain tumor metabolism.  

Dr. Behr completed his fellowship training in abdominal imaging and nuclear medicine at UCSF and joined the clinical faculty in 2012. His primary research interests focus on molecular and hybrid imaging translational research. He has developed multiple interdepartmental projects applying molecular imaging to prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and characterizing molecular phenotypes using PET and MRI.

The appointment of Drs. Ronen and Behr coincides with the development of a new Cancer Imaging Research (CIR) shared campus resource through the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC). In their new roles, Dr. Ronen and Dr. Behr will also serve as the Scientific Director and Clinical Director of the CIR.

As Dr. Ronen and Dr. Behr step into their new roles, the department would also like to express our gratitude to the outgoing PICT Director, Sarah Nelson, PhD, and Associate Director Benjamin Franc, MD. Dr. Nelson recently retired after a distinguished career at UCSF serving as the Margaret Hart Surbeck Distinguished Professor of Advanced Imaging, Director of the Surbeck Laboratory and Director of the Brain Research Interest Group at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Franc will continue his research on applying and enhancing value for molecular imaging in cancer care.

Please join the department in congratulating Dr. Ronen and Dr. Behr on their new leadership roles in PICT and CIR.


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