A World-Class Facility for Nuclear Imaging, Discovery and Innovation
This state-of-the-art facility at the University of Saskatchewan supports innovation in nuclear imaging and therapy in living specimens: plants, animals and humans.
An exceptional resource
This unique-in-Canada user facility, located at the heart of a growing nuclear imaging hub, features a high-energy cyclotron, radiopharmaceutical production facility, and radiochemistry laboratories.
SCCS provides organizations with access to specialized facilities and expertise to accelerate new nuclear medical technologies. It is a class II nuclear facility certified by Health Canada for production of radiopharmaceuticals.
Owned by USask and operated by the Fedoruk Centre, the SCCS is in close proximity to USask's hospital, medical school, veterinary college, International Vaccine Centre, and the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, a national research facility of USask. The latter has a linear accelerator capable of producing therapeutic medical isotopes such as Cu-67.
SCCS’s radiochemistry laboratories enable on-site synthesis, development, and production of imaging probes and radiolabelled antibodies to advance targeted radioimmunotherapy at the clinical level.
SCCS manufactures the radio-pharmaceutical FDG for medical imaging, enabling doctors to detect, visualize and monitor cancer tumors in early stages.
Leading-edge imaging research
The SCCS enables researchers to test better ways of diagnosing cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease; invent new detectors and targeted therapies; and apply nuclear imaging to advance agricultural sciences. Key goals are to:
Advance cutting-edge life sciences research in plants, animals and humans;
Improve medical diagnoses and treatments through nuclear medicine; and
Produce clinical-quality radiopharmaceuticals for regional hospitals. Since 2016, SCCS has provided medical isotopes for nuclear imaging scans of more than 5,000 Saskatchewan patients at Royal University Hospital, as well as for diagnosing and treating cancer in Alberta and Manitoba.
Collaboration with industry, government and academia
The Fedoruk Centre welcomes partnerships for cyclotron-based research. By 2023, SCCS plans to double the number of facility users.
SCCS collaborates with Ron Geyer and Humphrey Fonge who co-founded the USask Centre for Biologic Imaging Research & Development (C-BIRD), which is developing the next generation of molecular imaging agents for cancer diagnostics. C-BIRD collaborates with industry, government, and academic researchers to advance molecular imaging agents and therapeutics—from basic research to use in patients.
"We will be able to produce novel radiopharmaceuticals using state-of-the-art facilities at the SCCS. This cutting-edge work, which allows us to diagnose and treat even resistant tumors, is very exciting.”
--Humphrey Fonge, Assistant Professor, USask College of Medicine.
Uniquely positioned to bring benefits to patients fasterSCCS researchers are at the forefront of developing new targeted smart drugs to fight cancer and antibiotic-resistant infections.
Elaheh Khozeimeh Sarbisheh develops antibodies for targeted site-specific imaging of early-stage tumors.
“Having the SCCS on campus means we can produce radioisotopes right here for new cancer therapy agents that can improve early detection. That’s why several successful and talented researchers from around the world have come here—it’s like a gold mine for these types of scientists.”
-- Elaheh Khozeimeh Sarbisheh, USask radiochemistry post-doctoral fellow
Ekaterina Dadachova’s research group uses radioimmunotherapy to treat melanoma, pancreatic cancer and osteosarcoma. Her group pioneered its application for treatment of fungal and bacterial infections and HIV.
“I came to USask from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine for the outstanding imaging facilities. I’ve never seen a place where you have in one location a research hospital, a veterinary hospital and a cyclotron, plus a synchrotron. This unique combination of facilities enables both basic research and clinical trials to improve healthcare.”
-- Ekaterina Dadachova, USask professor and Fedoruk Centre Chair in Radiopharmacy
Unique cluster of research tools
Steve Siciliano uses the SCCS to image microbial and root activity in soil ecosystems to help sustain the environment. He says that access to a cyclotron, synchrotron, and phytotron on campus, along with the BioPETx real-time imaging detector (shown left), provides plant and soil researchers with a combination of technology platforms that is unique in the world.
“There is no other place where soil scientists can use a cyclotron because they need an imaging instrument like the BioPETx. The SCCS is in a unique position to support a revolution in remediation technologies to sustain fertilizer, food and fuel production. I believe the SCCS will catapult my work to the frontier of soil science research.”
--Steve Siciliano, USask soil scientist
Building on a proud history of nuclear medicine excellence
Saskatchewan’s contributions in nuclear medicine include development of the world’s first successful cobalt-60 radiation therapy unit.
Back in 1951, the innovative technology developed by USask researcher Harold Johns and his graduate student Sylvia Fedoruk revolutionized cancer treatment and has since saved millions of lives.
Cobalt-60 at 60: The Legacy of Saskatchewan's Innovative Cancer Treatment
By 2021, the SCCS expects to bring 10 new products, services or technologies to the marketplace, generate at least 60 patents or publications, and train at least 50 new highly qualified people.
“With provincial, federal and private sector support, we are operating a unique nuclear facility that is strengthening Saskatchewan’s position as a global leader in nuclear research, development, and training,” said John Root, Fedoruk Centre Executive Director.
What the SCCS can do for you
with various imaging modalities such as PET or SPECT imaging. SCCS has the capability to produce and process a wide range of isotopes of medical interest, and plans to broaden its portfolio in response to user needs.
for validation of new probes through ‘in vitro’ experiments and through small-animal molecular imaging using microPET and microSPECT scanners
with the BioPETx detector—first of its kind in Canada—to study plants under various conditions and detect responses to stressors such as drought, infections, and insect infestations. In collaboration with the University of Regina, detection systems for studying root-soil microbial interaction are also being developed.
such as Positron-Emitting Radiopharmaceuticals, optimize their chemistry, and prepare them in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices.
on a clinical PET/CT, SPECT/CT or PET/MRI scanner
at the nearby Canadian Light Source synchrotron
by accelerating the process of moving research into clinical practice. Highly qualified technologists and scientists assist users in advancing projects from concept to clinical trial.