Dr. Greg Piefer is the CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies and founder of Phoenix. He started Phoenix in 2005 with a long-term goal of achieving clean, fusion energy. Greg’s inspiration came from a professor at UW-Madison who suggested that using nuclear fusion to produce medical isotopes would be a worthwhile endeavor for his post-graduate students.

Greg took this message to heart, forming Phoenix and constructing a state-of-the-art neutron generator after receiving his PhD in nuclear engineering. However, soon after finishing his first neutron generator, Greg began to realize the vast array of applications for such innovative technology. While the generator could be used to produce Moly-99, a much-needed medical isotope, it could also take neutron images, implant ions, detect explosives, and perform radiation survivability tests. Greg believed the technology to be too powerful to fall under one category, and decided to create SHINE Medical Technologies in 2010.

While SHINE focused on Moly-99 production, Phoenix Nuclear Labs began to experiment with further R&D and neutron generator production. Currently, SHINE and Phoenix are sister companies.

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Moly-99 decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium-99m (tech-99m), which is used in over 40 million medical imaging procedures each year—primarily in stress tests to detect heart disease and in bone scans to determine the stage of cancer progression.

Despite constituting approximately half of the world’s demand for moly-99, the US does not produce any moly-99 domestically and currently imports its entire supply from foreign nuclear reactors.  Many of these reactors are beyond their original design life and scheduled to be shut down in the coming years.

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