An interview with Dr. Naz Chaudary, Manager of the STTARR
(Spatio-Temporal Targeting and Amplification of Radiation
Response) core facility at UHN:
How does your professional experience support your current
As a postdoctoral research fellow at Princess Margaret Hospital,
I have been an avid user of STTARR imaging modalities for over
10 years—from PET-CT to ultrasound and image-guided
radiotherapy. My professional experiences with preclinical
radiation biology, imaging and surgical tumour model development
have highlighted the vital services that STTARR has to offer.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
Through my role, I ensure that STTARR continues to support
preclinical and translational applications—enabling projects to
advance towards clinical impact. The research projects that we
work on often involve the evaluation of new agents for cancer
detection and therapy. These studies are intended to set the
stage for developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents.
The most rewarding aspect of my work is being able to share,
learn and expand my knowledge and experiences with the team and
the scientific community.
What do you see as some of the big opportunities and goals
The goal for STTARR is to stay one step ahead of preclinical
imaging and histopathology platforms. This fall, STTARR
installed a state-of-the-art
Small Animal Radiation Therapy (SmART+) system,
allowing researchers to precisely acquire and deliver targeted
radiation under CT image guidance. Also new to STTARR is the
LabLogic® Logi-CHROME ONE, an integrated
all-in-one radio-HPLC system specifically developed for
PET/SPECT quality control. It provides a footprint and
simple-to-use solution for radiochemical purity testing.
Among other recent technological advances at STTARR, the
CT high-resolution clinical scanner will allow
the development of intraoperative imaging capabilities and the
testing of new medical devices in large animals. Being in close
proximity to two fully equipped operating rooms and our
clinical 1.5T MRI, the new CT scanner will
complement and provide additional infrastructure to support
translational research throughout UHN and beyond.