BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Department of Veterans Affairs Western New
York Healthcare System and the University at Buffalo today
dedicated a new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) camera at the
veterans' facility, 3495 Bailey Ave.
The camera, made possible in part through a $250,000 grant from
the James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc., replaces equipment that has
been in use since the PET Center was established in 1991 as a
collaborative effort between the VA and UB's Department of Nuclear
Medicine. Since then, thousands of patients, both veterans and
non-veterans, have been scanned at the center, and millions of
dollars of research funding have been received to support a variety
of investigative studies.
"We are very grateful to the Cummings Foundation for its support
of the PET Center, not only with this latest grant, but also for
being instrumental in establishing the center and funding
individual research projects over the years," said Michael S.
Finegan, Healthcare System director.
The Cummings Foundation provided $1 million to help establish
the PET Center and, since 1997, has given an additional $280,000 in
grants for research that makes use of center technology.
"Focused on furthering medical science, medical research and
medical education, we are delighted to support the PET Center, a
collaborative venture between UB and the VA Medical Center, which
has benefited the entire region," said John N. Walsh, Jr.,
president of the board of directors for the James H. Cummings
Jennifer A. McDonough, UB vice president for university
advancement, thanked the foundation for its long-term, generous
"We could ask for no better partner than the James H. Cummings
Foundation, whose gifts through the years have helped lead the way
in clinical research that benefits all of Western New York," she
Margaret W. Paroski, M.D., interim UB vice president for health
affairs and interim dean of the UB School of Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences, also praised the foundation. "It takes a
special donor organization to recognize that medical technology and
research are ongoing initiatives that need long-term support," she
added. "And when given, the rewards are rich for public
At the ceremony, Alan Lockwood, M.D., director of PET Center
Operations, and Hani Abdel-Nabi, M.D., chair of the Department of
Nuclear Medicine in the UB medical school, presented an overview of
PET Center activities and research accomplishments.
Lockwood, UB professor of neurology, nuclear medicine, and
communicative disorders and sciences, has won international acclaim
for PET studies he has led in recent years on the origins of
PET imaging captures basic life processes in pictorial format
utilizing radioactive tracers. The tracers come from UB's
cyclotron, located across Bailey Avenue on the South (Main Street)
Campus. A pneumatic tube under the street, a tangible link between
the VA and the university, whisks the material to the PET Center
for injection into patients. The studies are used in the diagnosis
and treatment of heart disease, cancers, and neurological
disorders. Research at the center has focused on these diseases, as
well as understanding the basic functioning of organs and
"UB and VA clinicians and researchers, equipped with this
state-of-the-art PET camera, look forward to providing the very
best health care to Western New Yorkers and expanding their
pioneering research into new areas of inquiry," noted Lockwood.
Following the ceremony, guests toured the PET Center, located
on the first floor of the veterans' facility.