2015 MIPS News

MIPS Research Publishes First Clinical Translatable NIR-II Fluorescent Dye

December 30, 2015
The paper entitled, "A small-molecule dye for NIR-II imaging," by Alexander L Antaris, et al. from the Cancer Molecular Imaging Chemistry Lab at MIPS and collaborators was published by Nature Materials. This work reports the first clinical translatable small molecule NIR-II fluorescent dye that can serve as a platform technology and be used in many applications, including in vivo molecular imaging, image-guided surgery and therapy, in vitro cell labelling, diagnosis, bioassays, etc.


Dr. Gambhir Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

December 15, 2015
Dr. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir has been named a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow for 2015. Dr. Gambhir is the eighth NAI Fellow from Stanford since it's inception. Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin.

Congratulations, Dr. Gambhir!


Dr. Muehe Received 2015 RSNA Trainee Research Prize

December 3, 2015
Dr. Anne Muehe, a postdoctoral fellow in the Pediatric Molecular Imaging Laboratory, received a 2015 RSNA Trainee Research Prize for her research that recently assessed the safety profile of ferumoxytol as an intravenous MRI contrast agent in pediatric patients.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that ferumoxytol is safe to use as an MR contrast agent in children, according to a presentation Wednesday. The findings are critical for the development of new ferumoxytol-based MR imaging techniques with better image quality and less toxicity, researchers said.

Congratulations, Anne!


Research Featured on the Cover of the Journal Science Translational Medicine

October 24, 2015

A new paper on imaging brain tumors from the Gambhir Lab was published in Science Translational Medicine and is also the cover article. This paper images for the first time the key enzyme PKM2 with PET.


2015 ISMRM Travel Award Recipients

October 12, 2015
Congratulations to the following 2015 ISMRM Workshop on MRI Cell Tracking for Visualizing Cellular Therapeutics & Inflammation Travel Award recipients. The workshop took place October 9-11, 2015, in La Jolla, CA.

Meghdad Garmestani, MD - "Transfection Agent-free Stem Cell Labeling for Clinical MRI"

Saeid Zanganeh, PhD - "Does the FDA approved iron oxide nanoparticle ferumoxytol affect the tumor microenvironment?"


MIPS Research Featured as the Inside Cover in the Advanced Materials

September 21, 2015
The paper entitled, "Engineering Melanin Nanoparticles as an Efficient Drug–Delivery System for Imaging-Guided Chemotherapy," by Ruiping Zhang, MD, PhD, et al. from the Cancer Molecular Imaging Chemistry Lab was highlighted by Advanced Materials as the Inside Cover.


July 8, 2015
The Robarts Research Institute has awarded the 2015 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine to Sanjiv S. Gambhir, MD, PhD.

The Taylor Prize is awarded annually by Western University’s Robarts Research Institute. The recipient is nominated by the scientific community and selected by a peer jury which focuses on research areas that are integral to Robarts’ mandate. The Taylor Prize is named after the founding Chair of the Board at Robarts. The award is generously supported by the C. H. Stiller Memorial Foundation and the family of the late J. Allyn Taylor. The award includes a medal and a cash prize of $25,000. It will be presented in London in November 2015. Prior winners over the last 25 years include Dr. Irv Weissman (Stanford), Dr. Roger Tsien (UCSD), Dr. Eric Lander (MIT/Harvard), and Dr. Craig Venter.

Congratulations, Dr. Gambhir!


Dr. de la Zerda Selected as 2015 Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research

June 13, 2015
Adam de la Zerda, PhD, has been selected by the boards of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Stewart Trusts as a 2015 Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research and will receive four years of flexible funding to pursue innovative work aimed at advancing progress toward a cure for cancer.

The goal of his research is to develop a powerful new molecular imaging technique that will allow for the characterization and monitoring individual cells in the tumors of patients with breast cancer. Cancer treatments often fail because tumors contain cells with various genetic anomalies, and a drug that targets one subset of tumor cells might leave others unharmed, a situation that can lead to recurrence. His approach couples light-deflecting particles with biological ID tags that are engineered to adhere to distinct cancer cells.

Congratulations, Dr. de la Zerda!


MIPS Research Featured on the Inside Cover of Analyst

May 18, 2015
As discussed in the paper entitled, "Parts per billion detection of uranium with a porphyrinoid-containing nanoparticle and in vivo photoacoustic imaging," by I-Ting Ho, PhD, et al., researchers have developed an in vivo imaging method to quantitate uranium. This approach uses a porphyrin-based molecular probe that is only aromatic—and thus optically active—in the presence of a uranyl cation. This approach may eventually have defense applications.


Dr's Witney and James Received SNM Alavi Mandell Award

April 15, 2015
Dr. Tim Witney and Dr. Michelle James each received the Alavi Mandell Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine for their respective publications:

"Preclinical Evaluation of 18F-Fluoro-Pivalic Acid as a Novel Imaging Agent for Tumor Detection"


"Evaluation of Sigma-1 Receptor Radioligand [18F]FTC-146 in Rats and Squirrel Monkeys using Positron Emission Tomography"

The Alavi-Mandell Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field from young scientists, fellows, or physician residents who have published (as first authors) excellent original articles in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. In 2015, SNM only gave out 4 Alavi Mandell Awards.

Congratulations to Dr. Witney and Dr. James!


Aaron Mayer and Surya Murty Awarded NSF Fellowships

March 31, 2015
Please join us in congratulating Aaron Mayer and Surya Murty who received 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. The NSF Fellowship supports individuals early in their graduate careers that have demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Aaron is a first year bioengineering PhD student whose NSF proposal include plans for the development of a molecular imaging toolkit to help better understand, monitor, and improve cancer immunotherapies. Surya is also a first year bioengineering PhD student and this fellowship will fund three years of his degree where he will investigate imaging and improving immunotherapies against brain tumors.

Congratulations, Aaron and Surya!


MIPS Research Featured on the Cover of Theranostics

March 30, 2015
The paper entitled "Theranostic Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Biodegrade after Pro-Survival Drug Delivery and Ultrasound/Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Stem Cells," by Paul Kempen, PhD, et al. from the Multimodality Molecular Imaging Lab was highlighted on the cover of the journal Theranostics.


Dr. Daldrup-Link Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)

March 18, 2015
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Heike Daldrup-Link in her election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)! She was nominated by ASCI members Dr. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir and Dr. Linda Boxer for her contributions in the field of translational cellular imaging.

Dr. Daldrup-Link introduced tumor characterizations via the enhanced permeability and retention effect and lead a first multi-center clinical trial on nanoparticle-enhanced MR imaging of breast cancer to prove this concept in patients. She discovered a new approach for MR imaging of tumor associated macrophages (TAM) with iron oxide nanoparticles in mouse models and obtained an IND to carry out the first TAM imaging trial in pediatric patients. This approach will be used in the future to monitor new anti-CD47 mAb immunotherapies in patients. In collaboration with Dr. Rao, Dr. Daldrup-Link developed tumor-enzyme activatable theranostic nanoparticles, without side effects for combined cancer imaging and therapy. She recently introduced a novel radiation-free whole body staging test for children with cancer (Lancet Oncology 2014). Dr. Daldrup-Link's cellular imaging studies also yielded several new and patented ideas for in vivo imaging of stem cell transplants, establishing immediately clinically applicable technologies for: in vivo stem cell tracking with FDA-approved nanoparticles, in vivo imaging of stem cell rejection processes with immune-cell targeted tracers, and MRI-detection of stem cell apoptosis with a caspase-activatable contrast agent. These cellular imaging tools provide a truly new way to evaluate stem cell physiology beyond simple cell detection, expanding our understanding of in vivo stem cell engraftment outcomes.

The ASCI is one of the nation's oldest and most respected medical honor societies of physician-scientists, those who translate findings in the laboratory to the advancement of clinical practice. Founded in 1908, the Society is home to more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all medical specialties elected to the Society for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research. The ASCI represents active physician-scientists who are at the bedside, at the research bench, and at the blackboard. Many of its senior members are widely recognized leaders in academic medicine.

The ASCI is dedicated to the advancement of research that extends our understanding and improves the treatment of human diseases, and members are committed to mentoring future generations of physician-scientists. The ASCI considers the nominations of several hundred physician-scientists submitted from among its members each year and elects up to 80 new members each year for their significant research accomplishments. Because members must be 50 years of age or younger at the time of their election, membership reflects accomplishments by its members relatively early in their careers.

Congratulations, Dr. Daldrup-Link!


MIPS Research Uses Tumor-activatable Minicircles for Early Detection of Cancer

March 2, 2015

New work from the Gambhir Lab published in PNAS uses a unique strategy to force tumor cells (if they exist) to produce a blood biomarker that would otherwise not be present. This approach holds significant promise as a new way to tackle the early detection of cancer because it is not dependent on molecules that cancer cells naturally shed that enter the blood.


Protein Microarrays for Studies in Biomarkers and Post Translational Modification

February 4, 2015

The paper entitled "Perylene-Diimide-Based Nanoparticles as Highly Efficient Photoacoustic Agents for Deep Brain Tumor Imaging in Living Mice," by Quli Fan, PhD, et al. from the Cancer Molecular Imaging Chemistry Lab was highlighted by Advanced Materials as the Inside Cover.