Olivia J. Kelada, Ph.D.
Dr. Kelada is an expert in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and has interests in developing new theranostics agents for human cancers.
Both Dr. Kelada’s life and scientific pursuits have taken her all over the globe. After spending much of her formative years in the Middle East, she has since lived in Ireland (where she considers home), Australia, England, Germany and finally the U.S. With a keen interest in the applications of physics in medicine, Dr. Kelada received her B.Sc. in Radiation Therapy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. With a desire to follow her passion for the biological interactions of radiation, she pursued an M.Sc. in Radiation Biology at Oxford University, United Kingdom. It was there she started to work with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging for tumor hypoxia and consequently decided to obtain a Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Heidelberg and DKFZ (German Cancer research Center) in Germany. Her thesis work brought her to the U.S., where she concurrently completed a postgraduate research fellowship at Yale University to study the effect of high-dose radiation treatment on tumor hypoxia in lung cancer patients. She went on to do her postdoctoral research at Harvard University, as part of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, working on the effect of radiation-induced vascular disrupting agents on tumor oxygenation. In keeping with her flare for the international, this experience led her to join PerkinElmer Inc., where she is currently a global PET Imaging Applications Scientist and supporting PET research within the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. However, Dr. Kelada’s drive to harness the full potential of PET imaging for oncology patients continues. As a researcher in the group of Dr. Freddy Escorcia, within the Molecular Imaging Program at the NCI, she will work on developing novel PET tracers for diagnostic and theranostic use. Dr. Kelada plans to use PET imaging to advance the field of personalized medicine for cancer patients with the hope that the current use of PET imaging in the clinic can be changed on a global scale.