Lars R Furenlid, PhD

Professor, Medical Imaging
Professor, Optical Sciences
Associate Director of the Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-4256
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Furenlid is a tenured Professor with appointments in the Department of Radiology and the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.  He is a member of the Arizona Cancer Center and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Engineering.  He is a physical chemist with 24 years of experience in molecular imaging and the development and application of advanced instrumentation for x-ray and gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy, optical imaging and spectroscopy, and related methods for biomedical research.  He is a founding member and Associate Director of the NIH-funded Center for Gamma-ray Imaging, and has been a project leader for the Center since its inception in 1999.   

Dr. Furenlid has served as principal investigator, project leader, or co-investigator on federally- and industry-funded research projects including grants from the NCRR, NCI, and NIBIB institutes, and mentors graduate students working towards Masters and PhD degrees.  He has a broad physics, chemistry, and structural biology background, and teaches graduate courses in the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences on the physics and mathematics of imaging and spectroscopy.  He also co-teaches a graduate course in the Biomedical Engineering/Cancer Biology programs on radiochemistry and molecular imaging methods in drug discovery. 

Dr. Furenlid currently serves as co-chair of the NIH SBMIT(10) study section which handles SBIR proposals in the biomedical imaging field.

Dr. Furenlid has special expertise in the techniques required to develop and apply advanced x-ray and gamma-ray detectors, and commissioned SPECT and PET imaging systems.  This includes the physics of scintillation and solid-state detectors, methods of optics, pulse-processing electronics, digital data acquisition, and data inversion/assessment/reconstruction with a variety of computational methods.   He works closely with and advises Masters and PhD students to carry out fundamental research and develop hardware technologies as part of their thesis/disseration projects.

As Co-PI responsible for hardware development in the Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging, Dr. Furenlid will work closely with members of the Cancer Center and the Cancer Imaging Program on cancer-related projects, making sure they have access to CGRI’s state-of-the-art-advancing PET, SPECT, and CT systems.  They will support Cancer Center users by supplying experimental assistance, including radiotracer injection, image acquisition, and quantitative data extraction.  They will assist with experimental protocol designs and preparation of grant proposals.  They will also be working to translate techniques developed in the pre-clinical setting to commercial systems and the clinic.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging
Selected Publications: 

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2013 Radiation Instrumentation Outstanding Achievement Award (IEEE RISC)
2013 University of Arizona Leading Edge Award for Innovative Research
2009 Election as Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
2007 Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield Award for Best Paper in Medical Physics in 2006
2003 The Journal of Nuclear Medicine’s 2nd Place Award for Basic Science Investigations in 2002
1988 Sigma Xi Best Dissertation Award: Physical Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
1987 Texaco Philanthropic Foundation Graduate Fellowship
1983 Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key, and Phi Sigma Upsilon Honor Societies
1980-1983 Baird Foundation Fellow, University of Arizona
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
IEEE, Member
Society of Nuclear Medicine, Member

Academic Information

Doctorate: 
Physical Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA
Undergraduate School: 
BS, Chemistry, University of Arizona