Our Team

PET Center Team

  • Akiva Mintz, MD, PhD

    Director

  • Mark Soffing, PharmD, MBA, MS, BCNP 

    Associate Director, Patient Safety and Regulatory Affairs 

  • Mikhail Doubrovin, MD

    Associate Professor of Radiology at CUMC

  • Pat Carberry, PhD

    Manager, Quality Assurance Unit; Radiochemist

  • Shunichi Oyo, PhD

    Radiochemist   

     
     

  • Nikunj Bhatt, PhD 

    Radiochemist

    Dr. Nikunj Bhatt received his PhD in chemistry from The M. S. University of Baroda, India. He received his postdoctoral research experience under the guidance of Professor Yoo, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine (2012-2014), South Korea, and Professor Wadas, Wake Forest University School of Medicine (2015-2018), USA. He joined Kreitchman PET Center at Columbia University Medical Center in 2018 as Postdoctoral Research Scientist. He has experience in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, catalysis, pharmaceuticals, and radiopharmaceuticals.  

    Dr. Bhatt was involved in the synthesis and development of several new and promising chelating agents for metal-based radio isotopes. His main expertise with the radiolabeling of proteins with metal-based diagnostics and therapeutics radioisotopes—especially with 89Zr, 64Cu, 68Ga, 225Ac and 177Lu. This includes conjugation of bifunctional chelator to proteins (peptide, antibody, nanoparticles, etc.) purification, characterization, radiolabeling, and ex vivo/in vivo stability study. He also has hands-on experience with the radiolabeling of proteins with 131/124I and Al-18F. Dr. Bhatt is currently leading the Columbia University radio metal program and is an active team member of production and quality control. He is also actively engaged with the development of a new quality control method for selective radio tracers and the development of new preclinical PET imaging agents.

  • Martin Dolan

    Radiochemist

  • Andre Molotkov, MD, PhD

    Lead Scientist, Molecular Biology and Preclinical Imaging

  • Alessandra Ali, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Biology and Preclinical Imaging

  • John Castrillin

    Preclinical Technician, Molecular Biology and Preclinical Imaging; Production Technician

     John completed his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and biochemistry at Rutgers University. He began working with radioactive antibodies at the Garden State Cancer Center before moving on to the radioligand development labs at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Here, John conducted radiopharmaceutical binding studies in the brain cells of rodents and primates to characterize and determine the radioligand’s pharmacokinetic potential. When he first came to the Kreitchman PET Center, John worked on radiolabeling tracers and the development of metabolite analysis for research and human use. 

  • Simon K. Joseph 

    Chief Production Engineer 

    Simon K. Joseph began his career studying electrical and electrical engineering at Temple University. He was an electrician mate second class petty officer for the United States Navy, controlling the ship’s power throughout the vessel. After receiving his honorable discharge from the navy, he worked for a vast engineering company, supporting financial data firms including ADP and the Stock Exchange with filtered grid electrical power, uninterrupted power systems, and logic control back-up generators. In 2003 Simon left this field to be introduced to the PET imaging industry of cancer research. He joined the Kreitchman PET Center by way of Siemens Medical Solutions as the cyclotron engineer and production technician. Simon maintains the particle accelerator and produces radioisotopes F18, N13, O15, and C11. He works closely with the pharmacist and chemistry to help with production of all isotopes. In 2012 he started the development of C11 and F18 compounds for human and animal research. By 2014 he started designing his own chemistry synthesis modules for C11 PHNO and C11 glutamine which were presented at SNMMI in 2016 and 2018. Simon also developed and runs a program which brings youth to the PET Center for educational tours. He loves his job because it reminds him of being in the navy, to serve and protect. 

  • Sidney Idumonya 

    Production Technician

    Sidney began his career in PET with Siemens Molecular Imaging (2011) where he received training in performing complex production and quality control functions. His experience includes the setup, operation, routine checks and maintenance of all manufacturing equipment, which includes cyclotrons, chemistry modules and quality control apparatuses. His core competency encompasses all stages of biomarker production including biomarker dispensing, chemistry unit synthesis, cyclotron bombardment, QC product testing, equipment maintenance, and reagents preparation. After joining the Kreitchman PET Center in 2014, Sidney has played an active role in all routine logistical functions in both the production and research of PET tracers. 

  • Kathleen Capaccione, MD, PhD 

    Kathleen M. Capaccione completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, where she began research on genetics of the visual system using a cave fish model, later studying the human visual system using functional neuroradiology at New Jersey Medical School. She completed her MD at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and her PhD at The Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Her PhD work was performed at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey where she characterized a novel targetable signaling pathway promoting non-small-cell lung cancer metastases. She is now a PGY-IV resident and B. Leonard Holman Scholar in the Department of Radiology where her work focuses on molecular imaging and targeted irradiation of melanoma. She hopes to complete a fellowship in nuclear medicine and continue her work on molecular targeted radiotherapies.