Faculty Profile: Don Yoo, MD

Don Yoo
Don Yoo, MD
Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging (Clinical)
Diagnostic Imaging
Work: +1 401-444-5184
General oncologic applications with positron emission tomography (PET), especially using PET to evaluate the response to chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and image-guided techniques such as radiofrequency ablation.


Dr. Yoo is the Director of Nuclear Medicine at the Miriam Hospital and an Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging (clinical) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Yoo is co-director of the General Radiology Elective Biomed 629 and is involved in teaching radiology residents and medical students.

Dr. Yoo is a general radiologist with specialized training in nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography (PET). His main area of interest is in oncologic applications of PET. He is involved in researching the role of PET in radiofrequency ablation of lung cancers.

Dr. Yoo is heavily involved in the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society where he is the section head of all of the instructional courses in Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT.

Dr. Yoo is involved with the American College of Radiology where he is a regular faculty member for the American College of Radiology - Dartmouth PET/CT Course and the annual American College of Radiology PET/CT Symposium.

Research Description

Positron emission tomography (PET) utilizes positron-emitting radioactive tracer elements to produce images of physiologic function at a molecular level. The most commonly used radiopharmaceutical in PET is 18-F Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG). Many cancer cells are hypermetabolic and use glucose as a fuel. 18-F FDG is a glucose analog, which allows the detection of many cancers. PET is being used increasingly in oncology to diagnose, stage, and restage cancers after therapy. Rhode Island Hospital is participating in a national study using PET to predict long-term survival in patients with locally advanced lung cancer who undergo combined chemoradiotherapy. Rhode Island Hospital is a leading center for radiofrequency ablation of many tumors, and PET is often being used to evaluate the response of tumors to radiofrequency ablation. PET/CT is now available at Rhode Island Hospital. PET/CT combines physiologic and anatomic information in one study by fusing or overlaying the PET images and CT images together. PET/CT opens up new avenues for research at Rhode Island Hospital.

Grants and Awards

1990-1994 Foundation Scholarship. Tuition merit scholarship, Brooklyn College.

1993 Merck Research Fellowship. Best science research project and academic achievement, Brooklyn College.

1994 Jack and Mae Rimmer Chemistry Award. Excellence in chemistry, Brooklyn College.

2007 Teacher of the Year, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

2009 Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University


2003-Present American College of Radiology
2007-Present Continuous Professional Improvement Nuclear Radiology
2011-Present CME Review Subcommittee,
2011 Secretary of Rhode Island Radiological Society,
2012-Present Treasurer of Rhode Island Radiological Society,

2000-Present Radiological Society of North America

2000-Present Society of Nuclear Medicine
2008-Present Northeast Regional Meeting Planning Committee
2010-Present Chair of Bylaws Committee New England Chapter
2012-Present President Elect England Chapter
2009-Present Councilor of Rhode Island

2006-Present American Roentgen Ray Society
2007-Present Instructional Courses Committee
2006-2010 Case-based Course Committee
2007-2011 Scientific Program Subcommittee
2008-Present Continuing Medical Education
2011-Present Education Evaluation Subcommittee

Funded Research

ACRIN 6668/ RTOG 0235
"Positron Emission Tomography Pre- and Post-Treatment Assessment for Locally Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Carcinoma"
Principle Investigator at Rhode Island Hospital
Funded by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)
Funded for one year at $45,000
Dates of grant: 1/1/2006–12/31/2007

Teaching Experience

Co-Director of Biomed 629: General Introduction to Radiology
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Four week elective serving as a general introduction to Diagnostic Imaging for third and fourth year medical students. Includes both clinical observation and didactic education sections

Biomed 392: Clinical Nuclear Medicine
Brown University School of Medicine
One to four week elective in all aspects of clinical Nuclear Medicine for third and fourth year medical students.

RI Hospital School of Nuclear Medicine Technology
Two hours of lecture covering various topics in Nuclear Medicine as they pertain to the Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

Selected Publications

  • Consultant and author of the Nuclear Medicine Section. Reference Levels and Achievable Doses in Medical and Dental Imaging: Recommendation for the United States. National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. NCRP Report No. 172. Bethesda MD Sept. 30, 2012 (2012)
  • Yoo DC, Dupuy DE, Hillman SL, Fernando HC, Rilling WS, Shepard JA, Siegel BA. Radiofrequency ablation of medically inoperable stage IA non-small cell lung cancer: are early posttreatment PET findings predictive of treatment outcome? American Journal of Roentgenology 2011 Aug;197(2):334-40. (2011)