Lawson Imaging

St. Joseph's Health Care London, London, Ontario
What the facility does

Develops innovative emerging and new biomedical diagnostic imaging capabilities

Areas of expertise

Lawson Imaging is a recognized leader in non-invasive biomedical imaging where new developments in hybrid imaging platforms (i.e. PET/MRI and PET/CT) are currently being applied to cardiology, neurology (including mental health), metabolic disease and cancer. Our GMP-compliant Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Facility provides key resources for this research. Emerging technologies of photoacoustic/optical imaging and optical spectroscopy, as well as the investigation and therapeutic application of bioelectromagnetics are at the forefront of biomedical imaging. As a world leader with state-of-the-art imaging facilities, our research is focused on the development of new non-invasive diagnostic imaging capabilities to better enable the understanding of fundamental mechanisms of human biology and improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease.

Research services

Oncology imaging, Cardiovascular imaging, Neurology imaging, Mental health Imaging, MSK imaging, Large animal Imaging, Small animal Imaging, Molecular imaging, Nuclear medicine Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Sectors of application
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab



Hybrid Imaging Facility

PET/MR Hybrid Scanner
(Siemens Biograph mMR)

Installed in 2012, Canada’s first hybrid PET/MR provides many advantages:

  • High resolution and sensitivity of PET/MRI captures anatomy and function in co-registered 3D images
  • Simultaneous image capture of PET and MRI scans helps minimize potential imaging problems caused by involuntary patient movement (breathing, beating of the heart, muscle relaxation)
  • 3T MRI scanner provides superb soft tissue imaging with all standard MRI techniques available
  • Significantly less ionizing radiation dose for patients vs. PET/CT when used for anatomical imaging
  • Patients can be diagnosed more quickly and accurately since imaging and overall data available from the scan is superior and more detailed vs. other methods
  • Earlier detection of specific markers of disease through PET/MRI can open the door to more treatment options for patients


PET/CT Hybrid Scanner
(GE Discovery CVT)

Positron emission tomography (PET) is the most advanced medical diagnostic imaging technology available today. The co-registration of the PET and CT X-ray scans provide both anatomic and metabolic information (i.e. describing what the structure is and what it is doing biochemically).

Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Facility

GE PETtrace 880 Cyclotron

The Lawson Cyclotron & Radiochemistry Facility holds a Health Canada Drug Establishment License and is fully GMP compliant. We are capable of producing PET probes labeled with F-18, C-11 and other positron emitters for clinical and preclinical PET imaging. With our high power solid target station, we are also able to produce radiometals such as Tc-99m.


Comecer Hot Cell Chambers (11)



GE FASTlab Synthesizer Units (3)



GE TRACERlab Synthesizer Units (3)



GMP Facilities

Production area, clean room, QC area, shipping room


Waters HPLC (2)



Research Lab

Solid targetry work, fume hoods, future hot cell expansion

Near Infrared Imaging

Diode Laser System

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a light-based method for assessing tissue function and viability. The ability of light, in the near-infrared range (700-1000nm), to penetrate tissue makes it possible to interrogate deep tissues non-invasively via NIRS probes placed on the skin. The advantage of NIRS is the ability to perform bedside monitoring of cerebral blood flow, including tissue oxygenation, perfusion and energy metabolism.


Detection System


Optical Imaging

Tunable Pulse Laser System

Manufacturer: Continuum

High energy pulsed laser system is used for photoacoustic imaging. The system is mounted to an optical table and dedicated to lab use. The tunable laser in the near infrared region of the optical spectrum enables detection of blood and imaging of blood vessels.


Imaging Spectrometer

Manufacturer: P&P Optica

Imaging spectrometer is used to measure the optical spectrum emitted by a specimen at a series of surface locations. It is dedicated to high precision optical measurements typically made on an optical table and can record the light intensity across all the colours in the near-infrared region of the optical spectrum.


High Speed Multi-Channel Data Acquisition System

Manufacturer: MultiMagnetics Inc.

A 128-channel data acquisition system dedicated to photoacoustic imaging that works in conjunction with the tunable pulsed laser system and is mounted on the optical table. It records pressure signals emitted from specimens in response to the light from the pulsed laser and has the capability to record on all 128 channels simultaneously for several hundred microseconds.


Digital Imaging System

Manufacturer: LaVision

This system provides the capability to acquire stop-action snapshot images of a scene, analogous to a camera with a flash. However, the shutter speed of the digital imaging system can be as short as 1/10th of a billionth of a second, enabling the imaging of fluorescence decay, which can be used to monitor a variety of biological processes.

Bioelectromagnetics (BEMS)

Magnetic Field Shielded Facility

The Lawson BEMS group has expertise in research regarding the biological effects of static and time-varying magnetic field (MF) exposures and stimulations. BEMS is the study of the interaction of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields with biological systems. The equipment aims to assess brain function and its modulation by exposure to electromagnetic fields


Magnetic Field Shielded Enclosure

Manufacturer: Amuneal Manufacturing Corp.

1 active and 1 sham. This facility includes a human size enclosure that shields from earth MF and also from environmental low frequency MFs.


128 Channel EEG System (MRI compatible amplifiers, caps, acquisition analysis software) (2)

Manufacturer: Neuroscan-Compumedics Inc.

These 2 systems allow the study of human brain electrical activity both in an MRI environment and in a lab setting. They are used to test for the impact of specific MF stimuli on the physiological electrical brain activity in human.


32 Channel EEG Wireless System (2)

Manufacturer: Neuroscan-Compumedics Inc.

These 2 systems allow the study of human brain electrical activity in a lab setting and in ambulatory conditions (up to 24 hours continuously). They are used to test for the impact of specific MF stimuli on the physiological electric brain activity in humans.


Neurosensory Testing Unit (Pathway)

Manufacturer: Medoc, Israel

Medoc's PATHWAY Pain & Sensory Evaluation System is a technology that enables you to evaluate pain potential and advanced stimulator protocols. These solutions have been used to study the impact of specific magnetic stimuli on pain perception in humans, and associated brain activation, as measured with functional MRI.

  • GE Healthcare
  • Siemens Medical Solutions
  • MultiMagnetics Inc.
  • Hybrid MR Inc.



CTV clip: Electromagnetic fields may have benefits

Preventing a Shortage of Medical Isotopes

Lawson Health Research Institute Receives Funding to Develop Non-Reactor Based Isotopes