Current Trainees

Joanna Wang - In Vivo Molecular Imaging, Including Cell Tracking; Therapeutic Applications of Molecular Imaging, including Cancer Immunotherapy and Theranostics; Molecular Imaging Studies of Tumor Immunology/Biology

Mentors: Jianghong Rao, PhD and Juliana Idoyag, PhD
(11/1/2020 - 10/31/2021)

Joanna received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from University of California at San Diego. In Prof. Michael J. Sailor's Lab, she employed the chemical, photonic and structural properties of porous silicon to engineer particles and films for drug delivery, imaging and sensing applications.  

Joanna started her SMIS fellowship in November 2020 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Jianghong Rao's lab. She aims to use magnetic particle imaging (MPI) for in vivo cell tracking and evaluating response to combination cancer therapy.


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

Mentors: Utkan Demirci, PhD and Garry Gold, MD
(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

Mentors: Katherine Ferrara, PhD and Sylvia Plevritis, 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: Jeremy Dahl, PhD and Joe DeSimone, 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.


Andrew Groll - Imaging Instrumentation

Mentors: Craig Levin, PhD and Guillem Pratx, PhD
(7/1/2019 - 6/30/2021)


Andrew began his SMIS fellowship in 2019. He received his BS, MS, and PhD in Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At UIUC, he spent time assisting with  microbiology in the development of alternative biofuels, researching new plasma facing components for fusion applications, and engineering medical imaging instruments. His graduate worked focused on studying X-ray fluorescence imaging and semiconductor materials for PET. He is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Molecular Imaging Instrumentation Laboratory where he works on the development of a preclinical semiconductor PET system and the clinical translation of a brain dedicated PET insert.


Diana Jeong - Imaging Instrumentation

Mentors: Craig Levin, PhD and Shan Wang, 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.