Sep. 2009-Jun. 2015 Ph.D.
Wuhan University, School of Pharmaceutical sciences, Wuhan, China

Sep. 2005-Jun. 2009 B.S.
Wuhan University, School of Pharmaceutical sciences, Wuhan, China

Honors & Awards

  • Young Investigator Award (3rd place), CMIIT, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) (2017)
  • Student Travel Stipend, World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) (2017)
  • Young Investigator Award (2nd place), Chinese American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (CASNMMI) (2017)
  • Young Investigator Award (3rd place), CMIIT, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) (2016)
  • Young Investigator Award (1st place), Chinese American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (CASNMMI) (2016)
  • Academic Innovation Award of Wuhan University (1st place), Wuhan University (2016)
  • Academic Award for Excellent Ph.D. Candidates, Ministry of Education of China (2012)
  • Academic Innovation Award of Wuhan University (2nd place), Wuhan University (2012)
  • National Award for Postgraduate Students, China (2012)
  • Zhu Yubi Medical Award, Wuhan University (2012)
  • Testing Program for the Training of the Top-notch and Innovative Interdisciplinary Ph.D., Wuhan University (2011)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Wuhan University (2015)
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Wuhan University (2009)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Cu(I) for PET Imaging of Melanoma. Scientific reports Jiang, L., Tu, Y., Hu, X., Bao, A., Chen, H., Ma, X., Doyle, T., Shi, H., Cheng, Z. 2017; 7 (1): 2574-?


    At present, (64)Cu(II) labeled tracers including (64)CuCl2 have been widely applied in the research of molecular imaging and therapy. Human copper transporter 1 (hCTR1) is the major high affinity copper influx transporter in mammalian cells, and specially responsible for the transportation of Cu(I) not Cu(II). Thus, we investigated the feasible application of (64)Cu(I) for PET imaging. (64)Cu(II) was reduced to (64)Cu(I) with the existence of sodium L-ascorbate, DL-Dithiothreitol or cysteine. Cell uptake and efflux assay was investigated using B16F10 and A375 cell lines, respectively. Small animal PET and biodistribution studies were performed in both B16F10 and A375 tumor-bearing mice. Compared with (64)Cu(II), (64)Cu(I) exhibited higher cellular uptake by melanoma, which testified CTR1 specially influx of Cu(I). However, due to oxidation reaction in vivo, no significant difference between (64)Cu(I) and (64)Cu(II) was observed through PET images and biodistribution. Additionally, radiation absorbed doses for major tissues of human were calculated based on the mouse biodistribution. Radiodosimetry calculations for (64/67)Cu(I) and (64/67)Cu(II) were similar, which suggested that although melanoma were with high radiation absorbed doses, high radioactivity accumulation by liver and kidney should be noticed for the further application. Thus, (64)Cu(I) should be further studied to evaluate it as a PET imaging radiotracer.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-02691-3

    View details for PubMedID 28566692

  • A high quantum yield molecule-protein complex fluorophore for near-infrared II imaging NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Antaris, A. L., Chen, H., Diao, S., Ma, Z., Zhang, Z., Zhu, S., Wang, J., Lozano, A. X., Fan, Q., Chew, L., Zhu, M., Cheng, K., Hong, X., Dai, H., Cheng, Z. 2017; 8


    Fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) allows visualization of deep anatomical features with an unprecedented degree of clarity. NIR-II fluorophores draw from a broad spectrum of materials spanning semiconducting nanomaterials to organic molecular dyes, yet unfortunately all water-soluble organic molecules with >1,000?nm emission suffer from low quantum yields that have limited temporal resolution and penetration depth. Here, we report tailoring the supramolecular assemblies of protein complexes with a sulfonated NIR-II organic dye (CH-4T) to produce a brilliant 110-fold increase in fluorescence, resulting in the highest quantum yield molecular fluorophore thus far. The bright molecular complex allowed for the fastest video-rate imaging in the second NIR window with ?50-fold reduced exposure times at a fast 50 frames-per-second (FPS) capable of resolving mouse cardiac cycles. In addition, we demonstrate that the NIR-II molecular complexes are superior to clinically approved ICG for lymph node imaging deep within the mouse body.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms15269

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401626200001

    View details for PubMedID 28524850

  • A small-molecule dye for NIR-II imaging NATURE MATERIALS Antaris, A. L., Chen, H., Cheng, K., Sun, Y., Hong, G., Qu, C., Diao, S., Deng, Z., Hu, X., Zhang, B., Zhang, X., Yaghi, O. K., Alamparambil, Z. R., Hong, X., Cheng, Z., Dai, H. 2016; 15 (2): 235-?


    Fluorescent imaging of biological systems in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) can probe tissue at centimetre depths and achieve micrometre-scale resolution at depths of millimetres. Unfortunately, all current NIR-II fluorophores are excreted slowly and are largely retained within the reticuloendothelial system, making clinical translation nearly impossible. Here, we report a rapidly excreted NIR-II fluorophore (?90% excreted through the kidneys within 24?h) based on a synthetic 970-Da organic molecule (CH1055). The fluorophore outperformed indocyanine green (ICG)-a clinically approved NIR-I dye-in resolving mouse lymphatic vasculature and sentinel lymphatic mapping near a tumour. High levels of uptake of PEGylated-CH1055 dye were observed in brain tumours in mice, suggesting that the dye was detected at a depth of ?4?mm. The CH1055 dye also allowed targeted molecular imaging of tumours in vivo when conjugated with anti-EGFR Affibody. Moreover, a superior tumour-to-background signal ratio allowed precise image-guided tumour-removal surgery.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/NMAT4476

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368766100030

  • Novel benzo-bis(1,2,5-thiadiazole) fluorophores for in vivo NIR-II imaging of cancer CHEMICAL SCIENCE Sun, Y., Qu, C., Chen, H., He, M., Tang, C., Shou, K., Hong, S., Yang, M., Jiang, Y., Ding, B., Xiao, Y., Xing, L., Hong, X., Cheng, Z. 2016; 7 (9): 6203-6207

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c6sc01561a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000382488500072

  • Cu-64-Labeled Divalent Cystine Knot Peptide for Imaging Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Jiang, L., Tu, Y., Kimura, R. H., Habte, F., Chen, H., Cheng, K., Shi, H., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2015; 56 (6): 939-944


    The rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques that lead to stroke and myocardial infarction may be induced by macrophage infiltration and augmented by the expression of integrin ?v?3. Indeed, atherosclerotic angiogenesis may be a promising marker of inflammation. In this study, an engineered integrin ?v?3-targeting PET probe, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A, derived from a divalent knottin miniprotein was evaluated in a mouse model for carotid atherosclerotic plaques.Atherosclerotic plaques in BALB/C mice, maintained on a high-fat diet, were induced with streptozotocin injection and carotid artery ligation and verified by MR imaging. Knottin 3-4A was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis chemistry and coupled to 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA) before radiolabeling with (64)Cu. PET probe stability in mouse serum was evaluated. Mice with carotid atherosclerotic plaques were injected via the tail vein with (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A or (18)F-FDG, followed by small-animal PET/CT imaging at different time points. Receptor targeting specificity of the probe was verified by coinjection of c(RGDyK) administered in molar excess. Subsequently, carotid artery dissection and immunofluorescence staining were performed to evaluate target expression.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A was synthesized in high radiochemical purity and yield and demonstrated molecular stability in both phosphate-buffered saline and mouse serum at 4 h. Small-animal PET/CT showed that (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A accumulated at significantly higher levels in the neovasculature of carotid atherosclerotic plaques (7.41 1.44 vs. 0.67 0.23 percentage injected dose/gram, P < 0.05) than healthy or normal vessels at 1 h after injection. (18)F-FDG also accumulated in atherosclerotic lesions at 0.5 and 1 h after injection but at lower plaque-to-normal tissue ratios than (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A. For example, plaque-to-normal carotid artery ratios for (18)F-FDG and (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A at 1 h after injection were 3.75 and 14.71 (P < 0.05), respectively. Furthermore, uptake of (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A in atherosclerotic plaques was effectively blocked (?90% at 1 h after injection) by coinjection of c(RGDyK). Immunostaining confirmed integrin ?v?3 expression in both the infiltrating macrophages and the neovasculature of atherosclerotic plaques.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A demonstrates specific accumulation in carotid atherosclerotic plaques in which macrophage infiltration and angiogenesis are responsible for elevated integrin ?v?3 levels. Therefore, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A may demonstrate clinical utility as a PET probe for atherosclerosis imaging or for the evaluation of therapies used to treat atherosclerosis.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.155176

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355570300026

    View details for PubMedID 25908832

  • Strained Cyclooctyne as a Molecular Platform for Construction of Multimodal Imaging Probes ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION Sun, Y., Ma, X., Cheng, K., Wu, B., Duan, J., Chen, H., Bu, L., Zhang, R., Hu, X., Deng, Z., Xing, L., Hong, X., Cheng, Z. 2015; 54 (20): 5981-5984


    Small-molecule-based multimodal and multifunctional imaging probes play prominent roles in biomedical research and have high clinical translation ability. A novel multimodal imaging platform using base-catalyzed double addition of thiols to a strained internal alkyne such as bicyclo[6.1.0]nonyne has been established in this study, thus allowing highly selective assembly of various functional units in a protecting-group-free manner. Using this molecular platform, novel dual-modality (PET and NIRF) uPAR-targeted imaging probe: (64)Cu-CHS1 was prepared and evaluated in U87MG cells and tumor-bearing mice models. The excellent PET/NIRF imaging characteristics such as good tumor uptake (3.69%ID/g at 2?h post-injection), high tumor contrast, and specificity were achieved in the small-animal models. These attractive imaging properties make (64)Cu-CHS1 a promising probe for clinical use.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/anie.201500941

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354255400031

    View details for PubMedID 25800807

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