Honors & Awards

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Intern Research Contest Winner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (August 2008)
  • IEEE Travel Award to attend IEEE NSS/MIC 2008 Dresden, Germany, IEEE NPSS (2008)
  • IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Graduate Scholarship Award, IEEE NPSS (March 2013)
  • University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Award for Extraordinary Professional Promise, University of Tennessee (April 2013)
  • Nuclear Engineering PhD Graduate Research Excellence Award, University of Tennessee (April 2013)
  • Outstanding PhD Student, UT NE Magazine, University of Tennessee (September 2013)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, University of Tennessee Knoxville (2009)
  • Master of Science, University of Tennessee Knoxville (2011)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Tennessee Knoxville (2013)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship


All Publications

  • Analytical calculation of the lower bound on timing resolution for PET scintillation detectors comprising high-aspect-ratio crystal elements PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Cates, J. W., Vinke, R., Levin, C. S. 2015; 60 (13): 5141-5161


    Excellent timing resolution is required to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) gain available from the incorporation of time-of-flight (ToF) information in image reconstruction for positron emission tomography (PET). As the detector's timing resolution improves, so does SNR, reconstructed image quality, and accuracy. This directly impacts the challenging detection and quantification tasks in the clinic. The recognition of these benefits has spurred efforts within the molecular imaging community to determine to what extent the timing resolution of scintillation detectors can be improved and develop near-term solutions for advancing ToF-PET. Presented in this work, is a method for calculating the Cramér-Rao lower bound (CRLB) on timing resolution for scintillation detectors with long crystal elements, where the influence of the variation in optical path length of scintillation light on achievable timing resolution is non-negligible. The presented formalism incorporates an accurate, analytical probability density function (PDF) of optical transit time within the crystal to obtain a purely mathematical expression of the CRLB with high-aspect-ratio (HAR) scintillation detectors. This approach enables the statistical limit on timing resolution performance to be analytically expressed for clinically-relevant PET scintillation detectors without requiring Monte Carlo simulation-generated photon transport time distributions. The analytically calculated optical transport PDF was compared with detailed light transport simulations, and excellent agreement was found between the two. The coincidence timing resolution (CTR) between two [Formula: see text] mm[Formula: see text] LYSO:Ce crystals coupled to analogue SiPMs was experimentally measured to be [Formula: see text] ps FWHM, approaching the analytically calculated lower bound within 6.5%.

    View details for DOI 10.1088/0031-9155/60/13/5141

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356872000014

  • Direct conversion semiconductor detectors in positron emission tomography MODERN PHYSICS LETTERS A Cates, J. W., Gu, Y., Levin, C. S. 2015; 30 (14)
  • The lower timing resolution bound for scintillators with non-negligible optical photon transport time in time-of-flight PET PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Vinke, R., Olcott, P. D., Cates, J. W., Levin, C. S. 2014; 59 (20): 6215-6229
  • Achievable Position Resolution of an Alpha Detector with Continuous Spatial Response for Use in Associated Particle Imaging 2013 IEEE NUCLEAR SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM AND MEDICAL IMAGING CONFERENCE (NSS/MIC) Cates, J. W., HAYWARD, J. P., Zhang, X. 2013