Current Research and Scholarly Interests
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 clinically translated.
In the early detection setting we are exploring multiple strategies that are pushing the limits of the fewest numbers of detectable cancer cells. The goal is to intercept cancer early so that patient outcomes can be markedly improved.
For the management of cancer we are focused on using imaging to optimize stratification of cancer patients, predicting response to therapy, and monitoring response to therapy and recurrence. We are particularly interested in cell based therapies and immunotherapies where molecular imaging can help optimize these therapies.
When we are successful the role of cost-effective diagnostics in cancer will be markedly enhanced with better patient outcomes.