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Dr. Vesna Sossi

Adjunct Professor, Professor

Physics and Astronomy, Medicine

Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science

Vesna Sossi has been a Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Adjunct Professor in Medicine at UBC since 2001; she has been leading the UBC Positron Emission Tomography (PET) brain imaging program since 2009. Most recently she has been awarded CFI funds to establish a multi-modal hybrid PET/MRI imaging Suite in the UBC Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.  She published more than 180 peer review papers, is funded by several granting agencies, and sits on several national and international review panels.

Current Research Focus

Dr. Sossi’s research interests span algorithm and instrumentation development as well as multi-modal imaging analysis with particular emphasis on application in Parkinson's disease and neurodegeneration. Novel areas of her research are further exploitations of the PET/MRI synergies to develop new markers for brain energetics and interactions between hemodynamic and metabolic networks.

Example Project

 “Hybrid PET/MRI for an Integrated Approach to the Investigation of Brain Function in Health, Disease and Populations at Risk”

Brain illnesses affect one in three people; more than cancer and heart disease combined. They are hard to manage; by the time symptoms are manifest, diseases are often fairly advanced and it may be too late for effective treatment. We are taking a leadership role to address this growing crisis by integrating research and clinical expertise in neurology, dementia, mood disorders, addiction, aging and neuroimaging. This ethos of collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and patients within UBC’s Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health, a UBC Center of Excellence, is driving new discoveries in detection and management of brain illnesses globally. Seeing inside the living human brain is essential for discovering new ways to prevent and treat illnesses. Neuroimaging provides the only window to peer inside this mysterious organ. Therefore access to the latest imaging technology is the foundation for excellence in brain research. The innovative hybrid PET/MRI will allow our team to “see” how neurochemistry overlaps with how the brain uses energy and oxygen and how neurochemistry affects brain connectivity. It is now postulated that disruptions in these central processes are at the root of most, if not all, brain illnesses. We believe that the research enabled by this instrument will help to fundamentally improve on how we detect and manage brain illnesses.

Research Keywords

Instrumentation, Algorithms, Neurodegeneration, Clinical and Preclinical Imaging