In 1972 a new research group, headed by Prof. W. Vaalburg, was started exploiting the potential of cyclotron produced radionuclides in research and clinical medicine using the then recently available cyclotron of the nuclear physics research institute KVI.
This combined research of the Organic Chemistry Department, the KVI and the hospital also led to the development of dual headed gamma camera systems operating in coincidence: “Poor men’s PET”. All together this research was rather successful and led to the design of a complete new PET Center in the new hospital.
In the beginning of 1991 the PET Center started its work as an independent entity. In 2005 a new professorship in Nuclear Medicine was created for a combined new department and Prof. Rudi Dierckx was appointed as the new head of the combined Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. Funding for a µPET, µCT and a µSPECT was acquired. And new clinical equipment (SPECT, SPECT/CT, PET/CT) was installed in 2009/2010. Also a GMP facility was built for the production of positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals In 2013 the renewal programme was completed with the acceptance of a new 18 MeV proton cyclotron.