Current Trainees

Fernando Soto - In Vivo Molecular Imaging; Therapeutic Applications in Cancer; Clinical Translational Imaging

Mentor: Utkan Demirci, PhD
(2/1/2020 - 1/31/2022)

Fernando began his SMIS fellowship in February 2020. He received his Ph.D. degree in Nanoengineering from the University of California, San Diego, where he worked on developing micro/nanorobots and medical devices towards biomedical applications.

He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, working in professor Utkan Demirci’s lab towards integrating molecular imaging techniques with nanotechnology-based devices as a tool for in situ rapid screening inside the body.


James Wang - Tumor Immunology/Biology

Mentor: Katherine Ferrara, PhD
(9/16/2019 - 9/15/2021)

James received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of California San Diego. During his PhD work, he worked on silica hollow particles as theranostic agents for cancer. Using perfluorocarbon filled silica hollow particles, James developed an image guided ultrasound mechanical ablation method that converts immunosuppressive glioblastoma tumors into immune active tumors, favorable for enhancing the efficacy of checkpoint blockade therapies. Additionally, James also developed gadolinium oxide nanoparticles for high sensitivity MRI imaging. The surface chemistry of these nanocrystallines are optimized to create increased MR signal at much lower gadolinium concentration, beneficial for imaging tumor vasculature structures. At Stanford, he will work with Prof. Ferrara on tumor thermal ablation with immunotherapy.


Brian Lee -  Imaging Instrumentation and Clinical Translational Imaging

Mentors: Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD
(7/16/2019 - 7/15/2022)

Brian began his SMIS fellowship in July 2019. He received his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. For his PhD research, he designed and developed a PET insert for simultaneous PET/MR in Molecular Imaging Instrumentation Lab (Radiology). During his postdoctoral training, he is currently working with Dr. Gambhir on a Smart Toilet system for continuous monitoring of human excretion for early cancer detection.


Diana Jeong - Imaging Instrumentation

Mentor: Craig Levin, PhD
(6/1/2018 - 5/31/2021)


Diana began her SMIS fellowship in June 2018. She received her PhD degree in Physics from University of California San Diego, where she developed in vivo automated craniotomy using ultrafast nonlinear optics for studying preclinical neuroscience. At Stanford, she is working with Dr. Craig Levin to develop a novel detection paradigm to enable ultrafast coincidence time resolution in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) which will drastically enhance image quality.


Guolan Lu -  In Vivo Molecular Imaging; Clinical Translational Imaging; Therapeutic Applications in Cancer

Mentors: Eben Rosenthal, MD and Garry Nolan, PhD
(1/16/2018 - 1/15/2021)

Guolan began her SMIS fellowship in January 2018. She received her PhD degree from the joint Biomedical Engineering department of Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, where she worked on quantitative cancer detection with hyperspectral imaging and machine learning in both preclinical and clinical studies. At Stanford, she is working in the Rosenthal Lab to leverage molecular imaging to quantify and predict antibody penetration in solid tumors.