Short Courses


Saturday (Oct 21)
SC1 (NSS): Radiation Detection and Measurement, Part I  2 day
Organizer: David Wehe
SC2 (NSS): Integrated Circuits for Detector Signal Processing  1 day
Organizer: Paul O’Connor
Sunday (Oct 22)
SC1 (NSS): Radiation Detection and Measurement, Part II  2 day
Organizer: David Wehe
SC3 (JOINT): Advanced Photodetectors 1 day
Organizer: Samo Korpar
Monday (Oct 23)
SC4 (JOINT) GATE, a GEANT4 Based Simulation Toolkit 1 day
Organizer: Uwe Pietrzyk
SC5 (MIC): Image Quality & Statistical Analysis 1 day
Organizer: Matthew Kupinski
Tuesday (Oct 24)
SC6 (MIC): Biomedical Imaging Fundamentals 1 day
Organizer: Todd Peterson
SC7 (MIC): Medical Image Reconstruction: Theory & Practice 1 day
Organizer: Harry Tsoumpas & Kris Thielemans


SC1: Radiation Detection and Measurement

Organizer: David K. Wehe, University of Michigan, USA

Kanai Shah, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc., USA
Robert Redus, Amptek, Inc., USA
David Wehe, University of Michigan, USA
Sara Pozzi, University of Michigan, USA
Graham Smith, Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA
Lothar Strueder, PNSensor GmbH, Germany
Course Description

This 2-day course provides an overall review of the basic principles that underlie the operation of all major types of instruments used in the detection and spectroscopy of charged particles, gamma rays, and other forms of ionizing radiation. Examples of both established applications and recent developments are drawn from areas including particle physics, nuclear medicine, homeland security, and general radiation spectroscopy. Emphasis is on understanding the fundamental processes that govern the operation of radiation detectors, rather than on operational details that are unique to specific commercial instruments. This course does not cover radiation dosimetry or health physics instrumentation. The level of presentation is best suited to those with some prior background in ionizing radiation interaction mechanisms.  Those with prior experience in radiation measurements may benefit by discovering concepts and applications from outside their experience base. A complete set of course notes is provided to registrants, and a recent copy of the textbook “Radiation Detection and Measurement”, by G. Knoll is highly recommended.
Course Outline
I.  Gas-Filled Detectors
II. Scintillation Detectors
III. Semiconductor Detectors
IV. Front-end Electronics for Radiation Detectors
V.  Pulse Shape Discrimination for Multi-modality Sensing
VI.  Recent Detector Developments and Summary
Instructors' Biographies
SARA POZZI is a Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at University of Michigan. She previously worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and currently serves as the Director of the Consortium for Verification Technology. She and her group have developed new methods for digital pulse shape discrimination using organic scintillators read out by photomultiplier tubes and silicon photomultipliers for applications in nuclear nonproliferation and homeland security.
ROBERT REDUS is a Member of the IEEE and is the Chief Scientist and Director of Engineering at Amptek, an Ametek company in Bedford, MA.  He has spent over thirty years designing instruments for radiation detection and measurement, for many applications and many customers.  These include X-ray spectroscopy, gamma-ray spectroscopy using compound semiconductors, scintillators, and HPGe detectors, and space radiation measurements. 
PATRICIA SCHUSTER is a Presidential Fellow at the University of Michigan.  She completed her PhD in 2016 at the University of California, Berkeley, in radiation detection materials and instrumentation.  Her research at Sandia National Laboratory investigated directional effects in organic crystal scintillator detectors. Her current focus is on basic detector physics and applications in arms control and emergency response. Dr. Schuster is the recipient of the 2017 IEEE Glenn F. Knoll Post Doctoral Education Grant. 
Kanai Shah is the President of Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. His research areas of interest include novel scintillation materials for high resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy including CeBr3, LuI3:Ce and SrI2:Eu and dual mode scintillators such as Cs2LiYCl6:Ce, Cs2LiLaBr 6:Ce and Cs2LiLa(Br,Cl)6:Ce for combined detection of gamma-rays and neutrons. He has also worked in the areas of ceramic scintillators including garnets and silicates, and organic crystalline and plastic scintillators for neutron detection. 
GRAHAM SMITH is Senior Physicist and Head of Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from Durham University, England. He has worked for the last thirty years at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA, on development of advanced radiation instrumentation for experimental studies using neutrons, X-rays and charged particles, specializing in gas-filled detectors. He is an IEEE Fellow.
LOTHAR STRUEDER is the scientific director of PNSensor GmbH and professor at the University of Siegen. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Physics at the TU Munich in 1988. His interests include position-, energy-, and time-resolving detectors for photons and particles. He is author or co-author of more than 300 technical and scientific publications. He has been issued 13 worldwide patents in scientific instrumentation.
DAVID WEHE is Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at University of Michigan. He worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Wigner Fellow, and served as Director of the Michigan Phoenix Memorial Project, which included the 2-MW Ford Nuclear Reactor. His teaching and research have focused on applied radiation measurements, and is an editor for Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. 

SC2: Integrated Circuits for Detector Signal Processing

Organizer: Paul O’Connor, Brookhaven National Lab, USA

Course Description

This one-day course is intended to introduce physicists and detector specialists to the fundamentals of integrated circuit front end design. The class begins with a discussion of low-noise signal processing and semiconductor devices and then delves into the details of implementing practical circuits in modern CMOS technology. A basic knowledge of detectors and electronics is assumed.

Course Outline:

  1. Pulse Processing Fundamentals
    • Signal formation in detectors
    • Noise and gain mechanisms
    • Pulse processing for amplitude and timing extraction
  2. Semiconductor Technology for Integrated Circuit Front Ends
    • Operation and characteristics of MOS and bipolar transistors
    • Sub-micron CMOS and BICMOS technology
    • Feature size scaling
    • Radiation effects and reliability
    • Mixed-signal circuits
  3. Brief introduction to design methodology, CAD tools and foundry access for research-scale projects
  4. Analog circuit design
    • Elementary amplifier configurations
    • Building blocks for the analog channel: charge-sensitive and pulse-shaping amplifiers, baseline stabilizers, peak detectors, track/hold, multiplexers, output stages
    • Feature extraction: event occurrence, position, time, energy
    • Analog-to-digital and time-to-digital converters (ADC and TDC)
  5. Application examples from particle physics, astrophysics, photon science, and medical imaging

Paul O'Connor is associate Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After receiving the Ph.D. degree in solid-state physics from Brown University he worked from 1980-1990 at AT&T Bell Laboratories prior to joining BNL. His research interests are in the field of instrumentation systems for radiation detection, particularly those involving low noise front-end electronics. He is author and co-author of about 130 publications and has been an IEEE member since 1980.

Christophe de La Taille is Director of OMEGA microelectronics lab at Ecole Polytechnique and CNRS/IN2P3 (France). After receiving engineering and Ph.D. degree from Ecole Polytechnique, he joined LAL Orsay and worked on the readout of the ATLAS calorimeter at CERN/LHC and other high energy physics experiments. He was subsequently CTO of IN2P3and recently founded a design lab at Ecole Polytechnique. He is now coordinator of CMS HGCAL electronics. His research interests are in the field of detectors and mixed signal ASIC design. He is author and co-author of about 168 publications and has been an IEEE member since 2003.

Sergio Rescia is a scientist at the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He received an engineering degree from University of Pavia, Italy and a Ph.D. degree from University of Pennsylvania, Philadephia, USA. After joining Brookhaven National Laboratory he has worked on the readout of liquid argon calorimeters (Helios-NA48, Atlas), silicon detectors, time projection chambers (MicroBoone, SBND, Dune, nEXO) and medical electronics. His research interests center in the field of instrumentation for particle and radiation detectors, particularly optimizing the detector - low noise front end interface. He is author or co-author of over 130 publications and has been an IEEE member since 2002.

SC3: Advanced Photodetectors

Organizer: Samo Korpar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Course Description:

Basic principles of photo detection and characteristics of photodetectors (S. Korpar):

  • Light detection by solid state, vacuum based and gaseous detectors (photoconductive effect and photoelectric effect); photosensitive materials and different types of photocathodes; photodetector window materials (reflection and transmission).
  • Quick review of typical applications and their requirements (Calorimeters, PET scanners, Cherenkov detectors), light sources for photodetector characterization and calibration.
  • General characteristics of photodetectors: quantum efficiency (QE), photo detection efficiency (PDE), linearity of response, signal fluctuations (ENF - excess noise factor), time response (TTS – transit time spread), rate capability and aging, dark counts and after-pulsing, thermal stability, operation in magnetic field, radiation tolerance.

Solid state photodetectors (G. Collazuol):

  • Optical properties of silicon, quantum efficiency of silicon photodetectors.
  • Photo diode (PD), p-n and p-i-n structures, light detection by photo diode, typical applications.
  • Avalanche photodiode (APD), internal structure of APD, impact ionization rates of electrons and holes, amplification and excess noise factor, thermal stability, p on n and n on p differences, typical applications.
  • Silicon photomultiplier (SiPM), Geiger-mode operation of APD, active and passive quenching, typical SiPM internal structure, break-down voltage and gain, output signal, thermal stability, dark noise, after-pulsing, optical cross-talk (internal, external), signal linearity and saturation, excess noise factor, timing properties, photon detection efficiency, p on n and n on p difference, radiation tolerance, other SiPM types (digital SiPM, bulk integrated quench resistor, Silicon Carbide based …), typical applications.

Vacuum based photodetectors (S. Korpar):

  • Photomultiplier tube (PMT), photon detection efficiency, different dynode structures, secondary emission coefficient and gain, excess noise factor, voltage divider and optimisation, multi-anode photomultiplier (MA-PMT), position sensitivity and cross talk, timing properties, magnetic field operation, typical applications, typical applications.
  • Microchannel-plate photomultiplier (MCP-PMT), internal structure, photon detection efficiency, gain and excess noise factor, photoelectron backscattering, timing properties, position sensitivity and cross-talk in multi-anode type, magnetic field operation, high rate capability, ion feed-back and aging, typical applications.

Hybrid photodetectors (S. Korpar):

  • Hybrid photodetector (HPD), hybrid avalanche photodetector (HAPD), internal structures, photon detection efficiency, gain and excess noise factor, photoelectron back-scattering, timing properties, magnetic field operation, ion feed-back, typical applications.

Gaseous photodetectors – quick overview (S. Korpar):

  • Multi-wire proportional counters with photosensitive gas admixture (TEA or TMAE) or CsI photocathode, micro pattern gas detectors with CsI photocathode, sealed gas photodetectors with semi-transparent bialkali photocathode.

Instructors’ Biographies:

GIANMARIA COLLAZUOL is Associate Professor of Electronics and Advanced Laboratory at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Padova. His fields of interest and current activities include experimental sub nuclear, neutrino and cosmic-ray physics and the development of innovative detectors and related electronics for experimental studies using gamma rays, neutrons and charged particles. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of solid state photo-detectors.
SAMO KORPAR is Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Maribor and senior researcher at the Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana. He is an experimental particle physicist, and is one of the leading experts on ring imaging Cherenkov detectors, with a particular emphasis on single photon detection and the corresponding read-out electronics. He has made important contribution to the understanding of properties of multi-anode photomultiplier tubes, micro-channel plate photomultiplier tubes, hybrid photon detectors and solid state based sensors.  He worked on the HERA-B and Belle experiments, and is currently leading the construction of the forward RICH of the Belle II experiment. He is also investigating possible applications of very fast low level light sensors in medical imaging.


SC4: GATE, a GEANT4 Based Simulation Toolkit

Organizer: Uwe Pietrzyk, Research Center Juelich & University of Wuppertal, Germany

Course description:

GATE is a GEANT4-based advanced open source software developed by the international OpenGATE collaboration It is dedicated to numerical simulations in medical imaging and radiotherapy. It currently supports simulations of Emission Tomography (Positron Emission Tomography - PET and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography - SPECT), Computed Tomography (CT), Optical Imaging (Bioluminescence and Fluorescence) and Radiotherapy experiments. Using an easy-to-learn macro mechanism to configure simple or highly sophisticated experimental settings, GATE plays a key role in the design of new medical imaging devices, in the optimization of acquisition protocols and in the development and assessment of image reconstruction algorithms and correction techniques. It can also be used for dose calculation in radiotherapy experiments.

Lectures will include:

  • Introduction to the GEANT4 / GATE framework
  • Application specific usage of GATE: Radiation Therapy and Imaging in Nuclear Medicine
  • Linking GATE to further analysis packages: data analysis with ROOT and tools-kits for image reconstruction
  • Integrating GATE in teaching basic aspects of physics in medical Imaging

Course Outline

  • General introduction to the GEANT4 / GATE framework: Albertine Dubois
    • Brief history of GATE
    • Opensource and Github distribution
    • The general technical GATE framework
    • How to define a complete simulation set-up?
  • Usage of GATE: Radiation Therapy & Molecular Imaging: Sébastien Jan
    • Radiation Therapy applications
      • Generic approaches
      • Beam specificities (gamma, electron, hadron…)
    • Ionization Imaging modalities
      • Generic approaches
      • SPECT and PET specificities
    • Optical Imaging
      •  Bioluminescence & Fluorescence
      • Optical tracking model
  • Linking GATE to further analysis packages: data analysis with ROOT and image reconstruction with (CASToR): Thibaut Merlin

    • Data production from a realistic PET scanner model
    • How to use ROOT to analyze these data?
    • How to perform a complete PET image reconstruction?
  • EduGATE - integrating GATE in teaching basic aspects of physics in medical Imaging: (Uwe Pietrzyk)
    • Step-by-step introduction into the idea of EduGATE
    • Selection of suitable topics for educational examples
    • Conceptual issues constructing a new example
    • Selected aspects of a development pipeline for imaging systems
  • It is also planned to have a hands-on/demo session with GATE installed on some computers and direct interaction with the attendees: all instructors + supporters.
    For the practical sessions, students are encouraged to bring their own laptop and install GATE ( as well as CASToR ( before attending the course. Necessary guidelines are available here:
    GATE: (please make sure to install the ROOT library)
    CASToR: (section 3).


Uwe Pietrzyk is a Professor of Experimental Physics at the University
of Wuppertal, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
and holds an appointment as group leader in the Institute of Neurosciences
and Medicine (INM-4) at the Research Center Juelich, Germany, since 1999.
He received his education in particle physics at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland,
since 1977, got his PhD in 1984, and  moved to medical imaging physics in
1987, working at the Max-Planck Institute of Neurological Research.
The main research topics are multimodal / hybrid imaging, image registration, image fusion. The current focus is on simulating medical imaging devices with GATE. He is member of the OpenGATE Collaboration and the current spokesperson (since Nov. 2016). He has co-authored more then 80 peer reviewed papers in the field medical imaging.

Sébastien Jan is a physicist at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA – Orsay – France). After a Master degree in fundamental physics, in 2002 he obtained his PhD degree in nuclear physics (Grenoble University – France) where his work was oriented on gamma detection by using liquid Xenon for PET imaging and also on the Geant4 validations for medical applications. He is involved in the OpenGATE collaboration since 2002 and has been elected in 2003 as the technical coordinator of the collaboration (in association with Albertine Dubois since 2012). Since 2010, he is the team leader of the Biomedical Physics Group at the In Vivo Molecular Imaging Laboratory (IMIV – CEA/CNRS/University Paris Saclay/Inserm UI023 – Orsay – France), where research topics are focused on simulation, PET image reconstruction and data/image analysis.

Albertine Dubois has worked as Ingénieure de recherche at IMNC-CNRS since may 2012. She is one of the two OpenGATE technical coordinators whose tasks consist in organizing and providing support to the OpenGATE collaboration (e.g. managing the collaboration source code and documentation wiki, coordinating the preparation of new public release versions of GATE, conducting technical meetings). From 2009 to 2011, she worked as Ingénieur de recherche at CEA-Inserm U1023, Orsay, where she developed image registration and segmentation techniques to merge and correlate information derived from different in vivo small-animal imaging modalities (MRI, PET, CT and Optical tomography). Prior to this (2004-2008), she did her PhD thesis at CEA-SHFJ, Orsay, and had a one-year postdoctoral position at CEA-NeuroSpin, Saclay. She worked at improving the analysis of post mortem information derived from autoradiography and histological data for small animals brain studies by developing robust, automated procedures for the 3D reconstruction of the whole specimens.

Thibaut Merlin is a researcher at the Laboratoire de Traitement de l'Information Médicale (LaTIM – INSERM UMR 1101). He received his education from the ISEN engineering school and Université de Bretagne Occidentale (France) and got his PhD degree in 2013 from the University of Bordeaux. The main research topics are multi-dimensionnal and multi-modal tomographic reconstruction, respiratory motion correction and resolution modelling in PET. On-going research projects focus on the development of an open source multi-modal reconstruction platform within the CASToR collaboration.


SC5: Image Quality and Statistical Analysis

Organizer:  Matthew A. Kupinski, University of Arizona, USA

Matthew A. Kupinski, University of Arizona, USA
Lars Furenlid, University of Arizona, USA
Eric Clarkson, University of Arizona, USA

Course Description:

This one-day course will cover probability and statistics as applied in a variety of imaging applications.  We will start with a review of fundamental material needed for this course, including the basic definitions of probability and the many random factors in imaging.  We will then cover advanced estimation methods, detector statistics, and statistical image reconstruction at a level that will enable attendees to better understand the state-of-the-art presented in the literature.  Special attention will be given to Bayesian estimation and reconstruction methods and comparisons of these methods to non-Bayesian approaches.  The very basics of Monte Carlo methods will be presented to introduce the attendees to the terminology.  These discussions will culminate in lectures on the statistical nature of image quality and how to define image quality using task performance.  ROC analysis and ROC variants will be discussed.  Finally, we will end by covering some common pitfalls that arise when computing image quality measures and also discuss the limitations and utility of traditional hypothesis testing methods.

Course Outline

  • Review of probability and statistics and their application to imaging
  •  Estimation methods
    • Maximum-likelihood estimation
    • Bayesian estimation
    • Uses of Fisher Information
  • Signal-detection methods
    • ROC analysis and ROC variants
    • Observer models
  • Detector statistics
    • Estimation of position and energy
    •  Scaled Poisson likelihoods
  • Statistical image reconstruction
    •  Maximum-likelihood expectation maximization (MLEM)
    •  Bayesian reconstruction
    •  Choice of prior (L2 vs L1)
  • Image quality
    •  Common pitfalls
    •  Tasks, observers, and figures of merit
    •  Relationship to and limitations of traditional hypothesis testing


MATTHEW A KUPINSKI is a Professor at The University of Arizona with appointments in the College of Optical Sciences, the Department of Medical Imaging, and is an affiliate member of the Program in Applied Mathematics.  He received a BS degree in physics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 1995, and received his PhD in 2000 from the University of Chicago.  In 2000 he became a post-doctoral researcher under Dr. Harry Barrett at the University of Arizona and became a faculty member in Optical Sciences in 2002.  He is the recipient of the 2007 Mark Tetalman Award given out by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and the 2012 recipient of the Graduate and Professional Student Council Outstanding Mentor Award.  He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Imaging, and currently the conference chair for the SPIE Image Perception Conference.  He has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, and has edited a book.  His current and past research funding spans the NIH, corporate projects on Medical Imaging, small-company projects on biometrics, and Department of Energy funding through collaborations with Sandia National Labs and Pacific Northwest National Labs.  He has worked in diverse areas of imaging including x-ray, gamma-ray, diffuse optical, magnetic resonance, and neutron imaging.

LARS FURENLID was educated at the University of Arizona and the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He is currently a Professor at the University of Arizona and Co-Director of the Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging, with appointments in the Department of Medical Imaging (Radiology) and the College of Optical Sciences.  He is also a member of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering and the Arizona Cancer Center.  Before moving to the University of Arizona, he was a physicist at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  He is a member of the IEEE and the recipient of 2013 IEEE Radiation Instrumentation Outstanding Achievement Award.  His major research area is the development and application of detectors, electronics, data-processing algorithms, and systems for biomedical imaging.

ERIC CLARKSON received his BA in Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy from Rice University, an MS in Physics and a PhD in Mathematics from Arizona State University, and an MS in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona. He is currently a Professor at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in Medical Imaging and Optical Sciences, and is also a faculty member in the Applied Mathematics program.  He works primarily in the Center for Gamma Ray Imaging, but also pursues interests in other imaging applications, and in connecting areas of modern mathematics, such as information theory, group theory and operator theory, with image science.


SC6: Biomedical Imaging Fundamentals

Organizer: Todd E. Peterson, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA


Jiang Hsieh, GE Healthcare, USA
Robert Miyaoka, University of Washington, USA
C. Chad Quarles, Barrow Neurological Institute, USA
Todd Peterson, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA

Course Description:  

This one-day course is intended to introduce the fundamentals of medical imaging to engineers and physicists that have little or no experience in this field. The class begins with a brief overview of the various technologies used to obtain medical images and the fundamentals of tomographic reconstruction. The focus then shifts to in-depth descriptions of the major in vivo imaging modalities – X-ray CT, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission mammography (PET), and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Emphasis will be placed on the underlying physical principles, instrument design, factors affecting performance, the current state of the art, and applications in both the clinical and preclinical realms.

No prior knowledge of medical imaging techniques or computed tomography is assumed. However, the course does assume an understanding of physics, elementary radiation detection and measurement techniques, and a basic understanding of Fourier analysis. The registration fee includes refreshments and lunch, a copy of the lecture notes, and a certificate of completion.

Instructors’ Biographies

JIANG HSIEH is a Chief Scientist of GEHC and an adjunct professor of UW-Madison.  He received his PhD from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1989. He joined Siemens Gammasonics Inc. in 1984 and later GE Medical Systems in 1989.  He holds over 250 US patents, and has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles, book chapters, and textbooks. He has taught short courses at AAPM, RSNA, IEEE NSS/MIC, and SPIE MIC.  He is a fellow of IEEE, AIMBE, AAPM, and SPIE.

ROBERT MIYAOKA is a Research Professor of Radiology and Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1992. He is Director of the UW Small Animal PET/CT Imaging Resource, the UW-Fred Hutch Translational BioImaging Core, and Nuclear Medicine SPECT/CT Physics. His primary research interests are high resolution PET detector and system development for preclinical and organ specific imaging systems, preclinical PET/CT imaging and quantitative SPECT/CT.

C. CHAD QUARLES is Associate Professor of Imaging Research at the Barrow Neurological Institute and leads the Translational Bioimaging Group.  He completed his PhD in Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin followed by a cancer imaging postdoctoral fellowship at the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science.  His research focuses on the development, application and translation of multi-modality imaging methods capable of integrating tissue hemodynamics, metabolism, cytoarchitecture and molecular composition.

TODD PETERSON is Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Director of Nuclear Imaging for the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science. He completed a PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics at Indiana University and was a postdoc in the University of Arizona’s Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2003. His primary research interest is the application of semiconductor detectors to high-resolution SPECT. He also has contributed to the development of preclinical imaging methodologies and their applications.


SC7: Medical Image Reconstruction: Theory & Practice

Organizers: Harry Tsoumpas, University of Leeds, United Kingdom & Kris Thielemans, UCL, United Kingdom

Course Description:

The growing success of PET and SPECT imaging combined with CT or MR has led to the evolution of molecular imaging modalities that assist in improving diagnosis and staging of diseases. Emerging PET and SPECT imaging is used to drive patient therapy, therefore reliable image quantification and high image quality are important factors. Image reconstruction methods have a key role in converting the measurement to a meaningful image, and along with new hardware developments offer a stimulating research environment for the advancements of PET and SPECT imaging.

This course will provide an overview of analytical and iterative tomographic image reconstruction methods used in computerized tomography, primarily focusing on SPECT and PET. It will start with the fundamental mathematics of image reconstruction for PET, SPECT and CT. It will then describe the current algorithmic design to account for a variety of physical phenomena of the acquisition process and other factors such as motion. The third part of the course will cover demonstrations and practical exercises with STIR, an open source software library for PET and SPECT image reconstruction. The attendees will have the opportunity to simulate and reconstruct data, perform scatter correction, preform motion correction and other tasks. Prerequisite knowledge includes the basic principles of the physics of x-rays and γ-rays, statistics, calculus, elementary linear algebra and optimization theory. For the practical sessions, students are encouraged to bring their own laptop and install STIR before attending the course. Necessary guidelines are available via the software package website: Basic knowledge of Python and Linux bash terminal commands are recommended.

Course Outline

  • Tomographic medical image reconstruction introduction
  • Mathematical foundations of analytical and iterative reconstruction for CT, PET and SPECT
  • Mathematical foundations of fully 3D iterative reconstruction for both SPECT and PET
  • Basics of model-based SPECT and PET reconstruction (e.g. Attenuation, Scatter, Motion, Resolution Modeling)
  • Advanced iterative SPECT and PET reconstruction (e.g. MLAA, Kinetic Modelling, Anatomical priors)
  • Demos and practical exercises with open source software for both SPECT and PET


Johan Nuyts is a professor of the Faculty of Medicine at KU Leuven, Belgium. He is with the Department of Nuclear Medicine and with the Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC). He is also Honorary Professor in Medical Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney and IEEE senior member. He received his Ph.D. in applied sciences from KU Leuven in 1991 on the subject of image reconstruction and quantification in SPECT. He co-authored about 140 scientific journal papers and 4 patents. His main research interest is in iterative reconstruction in PET, SPECT and CT. Ongoing research projects focus on maximum-a-posteriori reconstruction in emission tomography, iterative reconstruction in CT, attenuation correction in PET/CT, PET/MRI and TOF-PET, and motion correction in PET and CT.

Kris Thielemans is a Reader at University College London (UCL) and is an IEEE senior member. He received his PhD degree in String Theory from KU Leuven in 1994. Prior to UCL, he has been working as a Researcher at Hammersmith (London, UK) for the Medical Research Council and General Electric, and at King’s College London (KCL). His research interests encompass all aspects of quantitative PET image reconstruction with emphasis on the development of advanced reconstruction techniques for PET and SPECT including motion correction. He developed along with others an open source software for tomographic image reconstruction (STIR) which has been cited more than 250 times.

Charalampos Tsoumpas is a Lecturer of Medical Imaging at the Division of Biomedical Imaging, University of Leeds in the UK since 2013 and Visiting Assistant Professor with the Translational Molecular Imaging Institute at Mount Sinai, New York since 2014. He received his Ph.D. degree in Parametric Image Reconstruction from Imperial College London in 2008 and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at KCL on PET-MR. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and Fellow of Higher Education Academy. He has contributions in more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, 85 conference records and abstracts and two patents with GE Healthcare. His research interests include statistical image reconstruction and acquisition process modelling for more accurate and precise PET imaging.