Current Role at Stanford

Research Process Manager, Clinical Trials (Industry Sponsored)

Honors & Awards

  • Moncada Award, Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance (SCBT-MR) (2008)
  • Student Travel Award, World Molecular Imaging Congress (2008)
  • Trainee Research Prize (co-author), Radiological Society of North America (2008)
  • Trainee Research Prize (co-author), Radiological Society of North America (2009)
  • Wiley award (co-author), International Symposium on Radiopharmaceutical Sciences (2011)
  • Travel Award for Young Investigators in Molecular Imaging, Radiological Society of North America (2011)
  • Travel Award, World Molecular Imaging Congress (2012)

Education & Certifications

  • Diplomate of National Board, National Board of Examinations, Nuclear Medicine (2005)
  • MBBS, Berhampur University, Medicine (2001)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Volunteer Teacher, Science Is Elementary (9/2012 - Present)


    Mountain View, CA


Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Lab Manager, Molecular Imaging of Nociception and Inflammation Laboratory (2007 - 2015)
  • Peer-reviewer, Multiple Journals (2011 - Present)
  • Advisor, Mendeley Ltd. (2012 - Present)
  • Lead Faculty, Radiology, Webmed Central (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Radiological Society of North America (2011 - 2014)
  • Member, World Molecular Imaging Society (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Center for Biomedical Imaging at Stanford (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (2007 - Present)
  • Member, Society of Nuclear Medicine, India (2005 - Present)
  • Member, Indian Thyroid Society (2003 - Present)


All Publications

  • Neuropathic Pain Mechanisms and Imaging SEMINARS IN MUSCULOSKELETAL RADIOLOGY Tung, K., Behera, D., Biswal, S. 2015; 19 (2): 103-111


    Molecular and cellular imaging of neuropathic pain, utilizing the myriad of receptors and inflammatory mediators involved in nociceptive activity, is a promising approach toward objectively identifying peripheral pain generators. Neuropathic conditions arise from injured and inflamed nerves, which have been shown to elaborate several molecular and cellular elements that give rise to the neuropathic phenotype and can be exploited for imaging purposes. As such, in vivo approaches to image neuropathic pain mechanisms include imaging voltage-gated sodium channels with radiolabeled saxitoxin, calcium signaling with manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, and inflammatory changes and nerve metabolism with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose. Imaging approaches exploiting other mediators of nociceptive activity, such as substance P (neurokinin-1) receptor, sigma-1 receptor, and macrophages, have shown promising early advances in animal models. By combining the sensitivity and specificity of molecular imaging with the high anatomical, spatial and contrast resolution afforded by computed tomography and MRI, radiologists can potentially identify sites of nerve injury or neuroinflammation that are implicated as peripheral pain drivers with greater accuracy and confidence. In addition to guiding therapy, these approaches will aid in new drug designs for analgesia and more individualized treatment options.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0035-1547371

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350977600005

    View details for PubMedID 25764234

  • Evaluation of s-1 receptor radioligand 18F-FTC-146 in rats and squirrel monkeys using PET. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine James, M. L., Shen, B., Nielsen, C. H., Behera, D., Buckmaster, C. L., Mesangeau, C., Zavaleta, C., Vuppala, P. K., Jamalapuram, S., Avery, B. A., Lyons, D. M., McCurdy, C. R., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T. 2014; 55 (1): 147-153


    The noninvasive imaging of ?-1 receptors (S1Rs) could provide insight into their role in different diseases and lead to novel diagnostic/treatment strategies. The main objective of this study was to assess the S1R radiotracer (18)F-FTC-146 in rats. Preliminary squirrel monkey imaging and human serum/liver microsome studies were performed to gain information about the potential of (18)F-FTC-146 for eventual clinical translation.The distribution and stability of (18)F-FTC-146 in rats were assessed via PET/CT, autoradiography, ? counting, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Preliminary PET/MRI of squirrel monkey brain was conducted along with HPLC assessment of (18)F-FTC-146 stability in monkey plasma and human serum.Biodistribution studies showed that (18)F-FTC-146 accumulated in S1R-rich rat organs, including the lungs, pancreas, spleen, and brain. Pretreatment with known S1R compounds, haloperidol, or BD1047, before radioligand administration, significantly attenuated (18)F-FTC-146 accumulation in all rat brain regions by approximately 85% (P < 0.001), suggesting radiotracer specificity for S1Rs. Similarly, PET/CT and autoradiography results demonstrated accumulation of (18)F-FTC-146 in rat brain regions known to contain S1Rs and that this uptake could be blocked by BD1047 pretreatment. Ex vivo analysis of (18)F-FTC-146 in the brain showed that only intact radiotracer was present at 15, 30, and 60 min, whereas rapid metabolism of residual (18)F-FTC-146 was observed in rat plasma. Preliminary monkey PET/MRI studies demonstrated specific accumulation of (18)F-FTC-146 in the brain (mainly in cortical structures, cerebellum, and vermis) that could be attenuated by pretreatment with haloperidol. HPLC of monkey plasma suggested radioligand metabolism, whereas (18)F-FTC-146 appeared to be stable in human serum. Finally, liver microsome studies revealed that (18)F-FTC-146 has a longer half-life in human microsomes, compared with rodents.Together, these results indicate that (18)F-FTC-146 is a promising tool for visualizing S1Rs in preclinical studies and that it has potential for mapping these sites in the human brain.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.113.120261

    View details for PubMedID 24337599

  • A F-18-Labeled Saxitoxin Derivative for in Vivo PET-MR Imaging of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Expression Following Nerve Injury JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Hoehne, A., Behera, D., Parsons, W. H., James, M. L., Shen, B., Borgohain, P., Bodapati, D., Prabhakar, A., Gambhir, S. S., Yeomans, D. C., Biswal, S., Chin, F. T., Du Bois, J. 2013; 135 (48): 18012-18015


    Both chronic and neuropathic pain conditions are associated with increased expression of certain voltage-gated sodium ion channel (NaV) isoforms in peripheral sensory neurons. A method for noninvasive imaging of these channels could represent a powerful tool for investigating aberrant expression of NaV and its role in pain pathogenesis. Herein, we describe the synthesis and evaluation of a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer targeting NaVs, the design of which is based on the potent, NaV-selective inhibitor saxitoxin. Both autoradiography analysis of sciatic nerves excised from injured rats as well as whole animal PET-MR imaging demonstrate that a systemically administered [(18)F]-labeled saxitoxin derivative concentrates at the site of nerve injury, consistent with upregulated sodium channel expression following axotomy. This type of PET agent has potential use for serial monitoring of channel expression levels at injured nerves throughout wound healing and/or following drug treatment. Such information may be correlated with pain behavioral analyses to help shed light on the complex molecular processes that underlie pain sensation.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja408300e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328100000002

  • Molecular Imaging: An Innovative Force in Musculoskeletal Radiology AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Wilmot, A., Gieschler, S., Behera, D., Gade, T. P., Reumann, M. K., Biswal, S., Mayer-Kuckuk, P. 2013; 201 (2): 264-277


    OBJECTIVE. A review of the innovative role molecular imaging plays in musculoskeletal radiology is provided. Musculoskeletal molecular imaging is under development in four key areas: imaging the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, imaging of molecular and cellular biomarkers of arthritic joint destruction, cellular imaging of osteomyelitis, and imaging generators of musculoskeletal pain. CONCLUSION. Together, these applications suggest that next-generation musculoskeletal radiology will facilitate quantitative visualization of molecular and cellular biomarkers, an advancement that appeared futuristic just a decade ago.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.13.10713

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322225400040

    View details for PubMedID 23795682

  • Synthesis of ligand-functionalized water-soluble [F-18]YF3 nanoparticles for PET imaging NANOSCALE Xiong, L., Shen, B., Behera, D., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T., Rao, J. 2013; 5 (8): 3253-3256


    We report a simple, efficient synthesis of novel (18)F-labeled imaging agents based on YF3 nanoparticles. Targeting ligands and antitumor drug molecules can be introduced onto the YF3 nanoparticles in a one-pot synthesis. The (18)F-labeling reaction proceeds in aqueous solutions at room temperature with excellent radiolabeling yields (>80%) in a very short time (5-10 min). (18)F-labeled YF3 nanoparticles displayed high stability in mouse and human serum, and their application for mapping lymph nodes in live rats after local injection has also been demonstrated.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3nr00335c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316959500019

    View details for PubMedID 23508229

  • Bilateral peripheral neural activity observed in vivo following unilateral nerve injury. American journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Behera, D., Behera, S., Jacobs, K. E., Biswal, S. 2013; 3 (3): 282-290


    Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a surrogate method to measure calcium content in nervous system since manganese physiologically follows calcium. Manganese is detectable in MRI and therefore visualizes structures and cell populations that actively regulate calcium. Since calcium is actively recruited for the transmission of action potentials, our purpose is to validate manganese-enhanced MRI for detection of changes in lumbar nerves related to nociception. A neuropathic pain model was created by chronic constrictive injury of the left sciatic nerve of Sprague-Dawley rats. Behavioral measurements, using von Frey's tests, confirmed the presence of significant allodynia in the left hind limb of animals in the injured group. T1-weighted fast spin echo images were obtained of the lumbar cord and plexus of animals with injured left sciatic nerve and uninjured animals (control) scanned in a 7 Tesla magnet after intraperitoneal manganese chloride administration four weeks after surgery. Lumbar nerve roots and sciatic nerves in the injured group show increased normalized manganese-enhanced MRI signal, representing manganese enhancement, compared to the control group. In conclusion, animals with neuropathic pain in the left hind limb show increased manganese uptake in not only the injured sciatic nerve but also in the contralateral uninjured sciatic nerve on manganese-enhanced MRI in vivo. Although poorly understood, this finding corroborates ex vivo finding of bilateral nociceptive-related molecular changes in the nervous system of unilateral pain models.

    View details for PubMedID 23638339

  • In vivo USPIO magnetic resonance imaging shows that minocycline mitigates macrophage recruitment to a peripheral nerve injury MOLECULAR PAIN Ghanouni, P., Behera, D., Xie, J., Chen, X., Moseley, M., Biswal, S. 2012; 8


    Minocycline has proven anti-nociceptive effects, but the mechanism by which minocycline delays the development of allodynia and hyperalgesia after peripheral nerve injury remains unclear. Inflammatory cells, in particular macrophages, are critical components of the response to nerve injury. Using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide-magnetic resonance imaging (USPIO-MRI) to monitor macrophage trafficking, the purpose of this project is to determine whether minocycline modulates macrophage trafficking to the site of nerve injury in vivo and, in turn, results in altered pain thresholds.Animal experiments were approved by Stanford IACUC. A model of neuropathic pain was created using the Spared Nerve Injury (SNI) model that involves ligation of the left sciatic nerve in the left thigh of adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals with SNI and uninjured animals were then injected with/without USPIOs (300??mol/kg i.v.) and with/without minocycline (50?mg/kg i.p.). Bilateral sciatic nerves were scanned with a volume coil in a 7?T magnet 7?days after USPIO administration. Fluid-sensitive MR images were obtained, and ROIs were placed on bilateral sciatic nerves to quantify signal intensity. Pain behavior modulation by minocycline was measured using the Von Frey filament test. Sciatic nerves were ultimately harvested at day 7, fixed in 10% buffered formalin and stained for the presence of iron oxide-laden macrophages. Behavioral measurements confirmed the presence of allodynia in the neuropathic pain model while the uninjured and minocycline-treated injured group had significantly higher paw withdrawal thresholds (p?

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1744-8069-8-49

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309839300001

    View details for PubMedID 22742763

  • Oral manganese as an MRI contrast agent for the detection of nociceptive activity NMR IN BIOMEDICINE Jacobs, K. E., Behera, D., Rosenberg, J., Gold, G., Moseley, M., Yeomans, D., Biswal, S. 2012; 25 (4): 563-569


    The ability of divalent manganese to enter neurons via calcium channels makes manganese an excellent MRI contrast agent for the imaging of nociception, the afferent neuronal encoding of pain perception. There is growing evidence that nociceptive neurons possess increased expression and activity of calcium channels, which would allow for the selective accumulation of manganese at these sites. In this study, we show that oral manganese chloride leads to increased enhancement of peripheral nerves involved in nociception on T(1)-weighted MRI. Oral rather than intravenous administration was chosen for its potentially better safety profile, making it a better candidate for clinical translation with important applications, such as pain diagnosis, therapy and research. The spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain was used for the purposes of this study. SNI rats were given, sequentially, increasing amounts of manganese chloride (lowest, 2.29 mg/100 g weight; highest, 20.6 mg/100 g weight) with alanine and vitamin D(3) by oral gavage. Compared with controls, SNI rats demonstrated increased signal-to-background ratios on T(1)-weighted fast spin echo MRI, which was confirmed by and correlated strongly with spectrometry measurements of nerve manganese concentration. We also found the difference between SNI and control rats to be greater at 48 h than at 24 h after dosing, indicating increased manganese retention in addition to increased manganese uptake in nociceptive nerves. This study demonstrates that oral manganese is a viable method for the imaging of nerves associated with increased nociceptive activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/nbm.1773

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302015500011

    View details for PubMedID 22447731

  • F-18-FDG PET/MRI Can Be Used to Identify Injured Peripheral Nerves in a Model of Neuropathic Pain JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Behera, D., Jacobs, K. E., Behera, S., Rosenberg, J., Biswal, S. 2011; 52 (8): 1308-1312


    We demonstrated increased (18)F-FDG uptake in injured peripheral nerves in a model of neuropathic pain using small-animal PET/MRI.A neuropathic pain model in rats was created by spared-nerve injury of the left sciatic nerve. Sham-operated rats without nerve injury were used as a control. The presence of pain was confirmed by testing for allodynia. Sequential small-animal (18)F-FDG PET and MRI scans of the thighs were obtained and coregistered. Autoradiography was performed on harvested nerves and muscle.The group with spared-nerve injury showed the development of allodynia in the operated limb (P < 0.001). Increased (18)F-FDG uptake was observed on both PET/MRI (P < 0.001) and autoradiography (P < 0.005) in the operated nerve in this group. (18)F-FDG uptake in the nerves correlated well with allodynia (? = -0.59; P < 0.024).Animals with neuropathic pain show increased (18)F-FDG uptake in the affected nerve. Small-animal PET/MRI can be effectively used to localize (18)F-FDG uptake in peripheral nerves.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.110.084731

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293336000047

    View details for PubMedID 21764788

  • Antinociceptive sodium channel inhibitors having extended duration of action The Journal of Pain John V. Mulcahy, Deepak Behera, Brian Andresen, George Miljanich, David Yeomans, Sandip Biswal, Justin Du Bois 2011; 12 (4): 55
  • Postpartum ovarian vein thrombosis presenting as ureteral obstruction BMJ Case Reports Kolluru A, Lattupalli R, Kanwar M, Behera D, Kamalakannan D, Beeai MK 2010
  • Triblock copolymer coated iron oxide nanoparticle conjugate for tumor integrin targeting BIOMATERIALS Chen, K., Xie, J., Xu, H., Behera, D., Michalski, M. H., Biswal, S., Wang, A., Chen, X. 2009; 30 (36): 6912-6919


    A key challenge in developing nanoplatform-based molecular imaging is to achieve an optimal pharmacokinetic profile to allow sufficient targeting and to avoid rapid clearance by the reticuloendothelial system (RES). In the present study, iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) were coated with a PEGylated amphiphilic triblock copolymer, making them water soluble and function-extendable. These particles were then conjugated with a near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dye IRDye800 and cyclic Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic acid (RGD) containing peptide c(RGDyK) for integrin alpha(v)beta(3) targeting. In vitro binding assays confirmed the integrin-specific association between the RGD-particle adducts and U87MG glioblastoma cells. Successful tumor homing in vivo was perceived in a subcutaneous U87MG glioblastoma xenograft model by both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and NIRF imaging. Ex vivo histopathological studies also revealed low particle accumulation in the liver, which was attributed to their compact hydrodynamic size and PEGylated coating. In conclusion, we have developed a novel RGD-IONP conjugate with excellent tumor integrin targeting efficiency and specificity as well as limited RES uptake for molecular MRI.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.08.045

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272071400012

    View details for PubMedID 19773081

  • 18F-FDG Uptake within the Spinal Canal Follows a Predictable Pattern BCATS 2008 Abstract Book Harpreet Dhatt, Brian Kim, Jarrett Rosenberg, Edward Graves, Deepak Behera, Sandip Biswal 2008: 46

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