Dr. Wu received his MD from Yale University School of Medicine. He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at UCLA followed by a PhD in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology. His clinical interests involve cardiovascular imaging and adult congenital heart disease. Dr. Wu has published >300 manuscripts. His lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The main goals are for (i) understanding basic cardiovascular disease mechanisms, (ii) accelerate drug discovery and screening, and (iii) develop personalized medicine and ìclinical trial in a dishî platforms. His lab uses a combination of genomics, stem cells, cellular & molecular biology, physiological testing, and molecular imaging technologies to better understand molecular and pathophysiological processes.
This laboratory effort focuses on development and clinical translation of technologies that will improve the success of surgeons to efficiently remove cancer with negative margins. The lab focuses on integrating novel optical dye technology, open field and closed system optical imaging hardware systems, and new probe development to allow for safe and successful translation to the operating room and pathology suite. We are investigating the utility of fluorescently labeled therapeutic antibodies to image subclinical disease in real time during surgery resections in a range of cancer types including head and neck, brain, and pancreatic cancer.Furthermore, we exploring barriers to drug delivery and molecular imaging of tumor response during targeted therapy in preclinical and clinical studies.
We focus on molecular and translational imaging of the brain especially in neuro-oncology. We develop novel experimental and molecular imaging techniques for theranostic applications in glioblastoma, both to interrogate fundamental biological events, and to use in new anticancer therapeutic strategies. Generally, this includes the in vivo imaging of gene expression and protein-protein interactions using reporter assays, as well as cellular and nano-imaging. Other emerging research interests include new glioma radiotracer development, studying the p53 transcriptional network in glioblastoma, imaging protein folding and misfolding in cancer, and developing novel nanoparticle-based drug and microRNA formulations for ultra-targeted treatments in endovascular neuro-oncology applications.
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.
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.
The research interest of the Mari Aparici Lab resides in translational Molecular Imaging from preclinical to bed side. We are particularly interested in the field of Theranostics, with a focus in the development and clinical translation of diagnostic and therapeutic pared molecular-probes that allow for specific internal radio-treatments at the cellular level. The goal is to bring to the clinical arena promising alpha and beta emitter-molecular probes that may allow for more precise, effective and efficient systemic therapies with maximum sparing of benign tissues and minimal side effects.
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.
Dr. Nieman is a cardiologist and associate professor in the departments of Cardiovascular Medicine and Radiology. He investigates advanced cardiac imaging techniques, and current projects include the development and technical validation of functional CT applications for ischemic heart disease, and the clinical validation of cardiac CT in the form of clinical effectiveness trials.
Our NIH-funded team of basic science researchers and physician scientists develops novel imaging solutions for pediatric patients with the goal to tackle significant problems encountered in clinical practice. We have extensive expertise in pre-clinical development and clinical translation of novel imaging technologies at the intersection of cell biology, nanomedicine and medical imaging: We developed “one stop” imaging tests for pediatric cancer staging, theranostic nanoparticles for cancer therapy without side effects, and patented techniques for stem cell tracking in patients. We recently initiated a collaborative program with 20 faculty from 9 Departments, who develop an imaging test for prediction and early treatment of tissue injuries after chemotherapy (PREDICT). Over the past 10 years, our team members received 77 honors and awards.
This laboratory focuses on advancing radiopharmaceutical sciences for the expanding field of molecular imaging. We design and synthesize novel radioligands/radiotracers that bind to molecular targets related to specific nervous system (central and peripheral) disorders and cancer biology. In addition, new radiolabeling techniques and methodologies will be created in our lab for emerging radiopharmaceutical development as well as for the general radiochemistry community. These radiochemistry approaches will be coupled with innovative chemical engineering to further investigate new molecular imaging strategies. Successful imaging agents will also be extended towards future human clinical applications.