The main aim of COBRA is to connect interdisciplinary researchers in the Bay Area in order to boost collaborative projects and strengthen our close networks. COBRA provides an incubator for groundbreaking ideas and pushes the boundaries of nuclear imaging by facilitating networking and promoting discussion about the current frontiers in the field.

The Origin Story

The Community Of Bay area RAdionuclide imagers (COBRA), originally conceived by Bruce Hasegawa and Ling Shao in 2006 at UCSF, has provided a collaborative networking and educational venue for Bay Area researchers in nuclear imaging for several years. This section will grow as more history is recovered.

About Bruce Hasegawa, PhD (1951-2008): Bruce was born on June 21, 1951 and grew up on an almond farm on the outskirts of Fresno, California. He had a diverse educational background in basic sciences with multiple degrees in Mathematics, Physics, Radiology Sciences, and Medical Physics. He earned his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1984 under the mentorship of Charles Mistretta. Bruce joined the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Radiology in 1986 and rose through the academic ranks to the position of Professor in Residence and Director of the Physics Research laboratory. Bruce was dedicated to improving the Medical Physics curriculum at UCSF to better prepare students for the biomedical imaging field. In 1997, he joined the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and was deeply involved through his teaching and research with the joint UCSF/UCB Graduate Program in Bioengineering, serving as Co-Chair for several years.


The 2022 COBRA Organizing Committee

BIO: Gerard Ariño-Estrada is an Assistant Researcher in the department of Biomedical Engineering of UC Davis who focuses on the study of semiconductor detectors for nuclear medicine applications. As a junior PI, he spearheads the development of Cherenkov Charge Induction (CCI) detectors for ultra-high gamma-ray detection accuracy in time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET) and proton range verification in proton radiotherapy. He is also leading the effort on using light-trapping photonic structures in silicon photodetectors for TOF-PET, which is carried out in collaboration with the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at UCD. Besides, he has contributed to imaging studies in equine medicine, with the School of Veterinary Medicine, and crop analysis, with the Department of Plant Sciences.

BIO: Joshua Cates is a Staff Applied Physicist in the Applied Nuclear Physics Program. His research is focused on instrumentation for medical and molecular imaging, radiation detection and mapping systems, and nuclear security and nonproliferation applications. The major goal of his research is to develop detectors and imaging systems which enable new capabilities and advance imaging sensitivity and resolution. His active projects include development and demonstration of real-time, 3D simultaneous mapping of gamma-ray and neutron sources, channel-dense readout electronics that perform real-time digital signal processing on FPGA, detectors and imaging systems with ultra-precise time resolution, and imaging detectors that maintain or advance state-of-the-art performance at greatly reduced cost.

BIO: Javier Caravaca is an Assistant Professional Researcher in the department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging of UCSF and an experimental physicists by training. With his background in radiation detection technologies in nuclear and particle physics, his primary research goal is to develop cutting-edge radiation detectors to improve current diagnosis and therapy techniques for a number of diseases, including cancer. His main interests are to explore novel designs for SPECT and PET systems to improve their performance and expand their range of application to other pathologies. In particular, he is developing new SPECT detectors for alpha and beta theranostics, exploring new avenues of exploiting Cherenkov light in TOF-PET, and spearheading Monte Carlo techniques to improve dosimetry in preclinical radiation therapy.

BIO: Shiva Abbaszadeh is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She established the Radiological Instrumentation Laboratory that  is dedicated to the development of state-of-the-art imaging technology by combining expertise in physics, materials science, engineering, and life sciences. Over the past 18 years, she has been working on different medical imaging modalities such as mammography and positron emission tomography. Her projects have been funded by NIH, DOD, and DOE.

BIO: Andrew Groll is a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University. He earned his BS, MS and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering with a concentration in Radiological and Medical Instrumentation which he completed in 2017. Andrew additionally held affiliate status in U of I’s NSF funded neuro-engineering pilot program intended for cross-disciplinary education between engineering and biologically focused students. His research interests focus on developing novel detector technologies and full preclinical/clinical systems with intended application in neuro-oncological and neuro-degenerative studies. Andrew is an experimentalist with direct experience in semiconductor PET, and X-ray Fluorescence Emission Tomography, and exposure to developing spatially capable EEG through integration with fMRI.