Dr. Michael S. Kovacs

Dr. Mike Kovacs
Full Name
Dr. Michael S. Kovacs
Degrees and Qualifications


Contact Information

Research Overview
  • Position Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Radiochemistry
  • Radioisotope Production
  • Medicinal inorganic chemistry
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy




As Director of the Lawson Cyclotron and PET Radiochemistry Facility, I lead a self-funded, multi-faceted clinical research program by producing Positron Emitting Radiopharmaceuticals (PERs) for clinical imaging procedures and to support our clinical and pre-clinical PET imaging research programs. As a Scientist working within a hospital setting, our research program has become adept at translating PERs truly from bench to bedside. Our facility holds a Health Canada Establishment License which certifies that we are GMP compliant, and permitted to manufacture and distribute PERs throughout Southern Ontario. In addition to holding our own market authorization for [18F]FDG, we were the first site (of 2 currently) in Canada to produce Florbetapir and Flortaucapir as a contract manufacture for Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. for Alzheimer’s Disease imaging with PET. In addition, we currently support a number of clinical PET imaging studies with the PERs [18]FEPPA (neuro inflammation), [18F]sodium fluoride (bone imaging), [13N]ammonia (myocardial perfusion imaging), [15O]water (perfusion imaging). We produce a larger number of PERs for preclinical use such as [11C]HED, [11C]PHNO, [11C]DTBZ, [15O]Oxygen gas, and many more. Since opening in 2010, we have demonstrated excellent competency of developing new PERs, getting them into preclinical imaging models, and ultimately translating them into clinical studies in human subjects.


My research program is focused on radionuclide production utilizing solid phase cyclotron targets. We have developed a high current, solid phase target system for the GE PETtrace cyclotron that includes automated target transfer, dissolution, and separation chemistry in a GMP compliant manner for [99mTc]NaTcO4. With the clinical trials data we collected from a total of 60 patients on two different sites, we are in the process of submitting a New Drug Submission to Health Canada for market authorization of cyclotron produced pertechnetate. This project, along with our partners in Hamilton ON and Vancouver BC, was awarded the Brockhouse Prize by the Governor General in 2015 for the best interdisciplinary research collaboration in the Canada. Our current efforts are focused on expanding the utility of this target system, in particular the production of the PET radiometals 68Ga and 89Zr.