Dr. Kao is Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Physics. His research centers on developing novel detector technologies and employing them to build practical, high performant PET systems by integrating them with advanced data processing and image reconstruction.
Dr. Kao's lab pioneered the use of waveform sampling for PET detectors. His lab invents a voltage-based sampling method for PET data acquisition called MVT (multi-voltage threshold) that provides a practical solution to digitizing fast signals generated by modern time-of-flight (TOF) PET detectors. It is used in conjunction with a novel multiplexing readout method for silicon photomultipliers employing tranmission lines to produce highly compact and functionally modularized PET and TOF-PET detectors. Dr. Kao is interested in using the detectors to develop organ-specific PET imagers for humans, including both dedicated systems and inserts for simultaneous PET/MRI. He is also developing flat-panel TOF PET detectors, and the supporting software platform, to allow rapid configuration and development of human PET systems.
Dr. Kao is the faculty co-director of the PET/CT/SPECT facility of the BSD Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource, and actively collaborates with Dr. Chin-Tu Chen and other investigators in using PET for conducting basic and translational biomedical research, including the development of new drugs/treatments for cancer and neurological and cardiological diseases. Therefore, he is also interested in developing artificial-intelligence based methods for registering multi-modality and longitudinal studies, for analyzing static and dynamic data with compartmental modeling, and for making discoveries from population studies.