Stony Brook is one of the first sites in the world to offer the PET/MRI for both clinical and research use, and is just the 10th site in North America with this technology. Located in the Lisa and Robert Lourie Imaging Suite, this groundbreaking device, which can take simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, is used to diagnose a variety of conditions including cancer, cardiac conditions, neurodegenerative disease and psychological disorders.
The suite has been named for its benefactors, Lisa and Robert Lourie, whose extraordinary $2.5 million investment in Stony Brook Medicine (matched by a Simons Challenge Grant, bringing a total impact of $5 million) helped fund the purchase of this Siemens Biograph mMR hybrid imaging system. Their gift has also helped to fund the facility where this diagnostic tool is housed.
The Lisa and Robert Lourie Imaging Suite, located at the Imaging Center, is as efficient and as state-of-the-art as the equipment it accommodates. The facility has been designed for patient comfort and convenience, with a soothing environment, a comfortable waiting area and private changing rooms. During the exam, which typically lasts 40 minutes to an hour depending on the individual, patients have a choice of background music. There is valet parking at the entrance to facilitate easy parking. In the near future, a radionuclide laboratory will be added for compounding patient-specific radio-pharmaceuticals in order to deliver even more precise results.
The Louries' longtime involvement in medicine — he’s a physicist who works with accelerators and served as Head of Futures Research at Renaissance Technologies, she’s a former ICU/CCU nurse who later worked with patients with AIDS — inspired their philanthropy. They are committed not just to clinical advancement, but also to the research that forms the foundation of new treatment. The PET/MRI scanner will also be used to conduct research studies and advance protocols in such key areas as cancer treatment, neurological causes of psychiatric diseases and the underlying mechanisms of multiple sclerosis, another of the Louries' major interests.