This laboratory is interested in developing and using in-vivo ultra-high field (e.g. 7 Tesla) Magnetic Resonance techniques to study human diseases. The increased sensitivity and enhanced contrast mechanisms at these high field strengths should provide insight to unsolved problems, especially in neuroscience and cancer. Projects involve iron-loaded cell tracking, down to the single cell level, as well as the development and application of novel MR probes (contrast agents) for improved visualization and quantification of specific physiological as well as cellular and molecular processes.
This laboratory aims to build imaging instrumentation and chemical tools that can visualize the complex behavior of biomolecules in living subjects. The expression patterns of many biomolecules (e.g.: signaling factors and posttranslational modifications) changes in time, space and local environments. Understanding these changes in the context of living tissues may give rise to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, and can further reveal new molecular mechanisms not otherwise visible in traditional biochemical studies. We have pioneered Photoacoustic molecular imaging and are actively developing new optical imaging instrumentation to visualize these complex behaviors in cancer and ophthalmic disease animal models. Our research efforts span both basic science and clinically translatable work.
This laboratory is focused on image instrumentation, X-ray molecular imaging, image reconstruction, image processing, radiation therapy treatment planning, and image guided intervention. The group is developing novel solutions to advance various clinical imaging modalities such as CT, cone beam CT (CBCT), MRI, and PET, and investigating new strategies for molecular imaging and molecular image-guided therapeutics and treatment response assessment. We are also working on applications of big data in radiation oncology and data-driven image analysis and treatment planning techniques.
This laboratory is focused on understanding tumor and normal tissue radiation response through the development and application of molecular imaging techniques. This goal is pursued through work spanning technique development, basic research, and clinical translation. We are a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in engineering, biology, chemistry, medicine, and computer science, and have developed a variety of methods of noninvasively detecting and quantifying molecular and physiologic aspects of radiation and tumor biology, including oxygen concentrations, hypoxia-regulated gene expression, metabolism, and cell migration. In addition, in order to evaluate the relevance of these molecular factors to clinical radiation therapy, we have developed a system for the delivery of clinically-similar image-guided conformal radiotherapy to small animals. This myriad of tools is being applied to elucidate the molecular, cellular, and clinical consequences of radiation exposure and cancer therapy.
The lab focuses on expanding the capability of MR and PET/MR as it relates to applications in body imaging. This includes evaluating new MR sequences, contrast mechanisms, and contrast agents, as well as combining PET molecular imaging agents with MRI. Particular research focuses within body imaging include detection of cancer within the prostate, identifying metastatic disease involvement of lymph nodes, and MR protocol optimization for robustness and diagnostic capability.
The mission of this laboratory is to understand both the mechanisms of disease (cancer, infection and genetic diseases), and the complex genetic programs of mammalian development and stem cell biology. We monitor these processes noninvasively as they occur in living animals. The methods developed and used by our group can simultaneously reveal the nuances and the overall picture of cellular and molecular processes in animal models. Using these approaches, we can rapidly assess the effects of antineoplastic therapies, antibiotics or antiviral drugs, revealing possible modes of action. These strategies result in significantly more information than can be obtained using a vivisectionist approach in that the animals are living and the data is obtained in real-time. One of our scientific goals is to develop tools that make the body essentially transparent for scientific discovery, and to use these tools to understand how pathogens cause disease and how the host organism responds to these pathogens, as well as how the immune system monitors cell transformation in cancer, and the regulatory networks that control cell migration and development.
This laboratory is interested in the development of novel instrumentation and software algorithms for in vivo imaging of molecular signals in humans and small laboratory animals. The goals of the instrumentation projects are to push the sensitivity and spatial, spectral, and/or temporal resolutions as far as physically possible. The algorithm goals are to understand the physical system comprising the subject tissues, radiation transport, and imaging system, and to provide the best available image quality and quantitative accuracy. The work involves computer modeling, position sensitive sensors, readout electronics, data acquisition, image formation, image processing, and data/image analysis algorithms, and incorporating these innovations into practical imaging devices. The ultimate goal is to introduce these new imaging tools into studies of molecular mecha- nisms and treatments of disease within living subjects.
My laboratory is developing imaging assays to monitor fundamental cellular/molecular events in living subjects including patients. Technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET), optical (fluorescence, bioluminescence, Raman), ultrasound, and photoacoustic imaging are all under active investigation.
Imaging agents for multiple modalities including small molecules, engineered proteins, and nanoparticles are under development and being clinically translated. Our goals are to detect cancer early and to better manage cancer through the use of both in vitro diagnostics and molecular imaging. Strategies are being tested in small animal models and are also being clinically translated.
The goal of the Radiation Biophysics laboratory to create entirely new technologies that address unanswered needs in the lab or the clinic. Our major focus is on ionizing radiation and how it can be used for imaging and therapeutic applications. Combining a variety of physical approaches such as biomedical optics, radiation sensing, computing, nanotechnology, and microfabrication, our work spans a wide breadth of application, from answering biological questions at the single cell level to improving the accuracy of radiation treatments. The lab is part of the Medical Physics division, in Radiation Oncology.
Interests involve novel MR research for a new thinking in the diagnosis of disease. MRI of tissue water is best depiction of disease; mapping brain water diffusion has revolutionized our knowledge of the onset and evolution of cerebral stroke, making the MR scanner the Gold Standard eyes and ears of choice for early and effective treatment of a variety of vascular diseases, trauma, cognition, and brain organization. MR tissue oxygenation allows us to ascertain oxygen utilization and metabolism. Up-to-date functional mapping can monitor neural networks while they work. Even minute physiological motions can be amplified with MR for a critical look at cellular density, pressures, and motions.