PET and drug research and development

Joanna S. Fowler, Nora D. Volkow, Gene Jack Wang, Yu Shin Ding, Stephen L. Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


The use of PET to examine the behavioral, therapeutic and toxic properties of drugs and substances of abuse is emerging as a powerful new scientific tool. PET provides a new perspective on drug research by virtue of its ability to directly assess both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic events in humans and in animals. These parameters can be assessed directly in the human body both in healthy volunteers and in patients. Moreover, the new generation of high-resolution, small-animal cameras hold the promise of introducing imaging in the early stages of drug development and make it possible to carry out longitudinal studies in animals and to study genetically altered animals. This places PET in a unique position to contribute significantly to the process of drug development through understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying drug action while addressing some very practical questions such as determining effective drug doses for clinical trials for new drugs, determining the duration of drug action and examining potential drug interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug development
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose
  • PET imaging


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