Dr. Mathis is Distinguished Professor of Radiology, Pharmacology, and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Facility, and the inaugural holder of the UPMC PET Research Endowed Chair. Dr. Mathis has a long standing interest in applying synthetic radiochemistry techniques to develop PET radiopharmaceuticals to study brain function in vivo.
Over the past 30 years, he has focused primarily on the development of radiotracers to image neuroreceptor systems using PET imaging methodology. Approximately 15 years ago, Dr. Mathis joined efforts with Dr. William E. Klunk of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh to devise a PET radiotracer capable of imaging amyloid-beta plaques in living human brain. This work led to the development of Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) to non-invasively assess amyloid-beta plaque load in the brains of humans using PET imaging.