Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Will Foundation (10/2012 - 09/2013)
  • Scholarship for extraordinary Attainment, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (06/2002 - 11/2006)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, World Molecular Imaging Society (2013 - Present)
  • Member, European Society of Molecular Imaging (2014 - Present)
  • Member, ASCO (2014 - Present)
  • Member, AACR (2014 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Residency, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, Gastroenterology, Oncology (2010)
  • Residency, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, Gerneral, Visceral, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery (2007)

Research & Scholarship


  • Development of new Imaging Tools in Neoplasia of the GI-Tract, Stanford University (October 1, 2012 - Present)

    Modern anti-cancer therapies have extended the survival times for many cancer patients but there is still improvements to be made as cancer mortality rates have, except for a few types of cancer, remained consistently high over the last five decades. By identifying highly sensitive imaging probes for the detection of cancer and its pre-steps we will improve outcomes for patients with the cancer through early detection, guided resection and thereby contribute to the reduction of the morbidity and mortality due to this malignant disease. In future those tools could work as well a therapeutics, which would open a new field - THERANOSTIC.


    350 Campus Drive, Stanford, USA

  • Anti-Angiogenic Drugs in the Treatment of Colon Cancer and Osteosarcoma, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany (February 1, 2007 - September 30, 2012)

    Anti-angiogenic drugs opened a new field in anti-cancer therapy. There mechanism is unique and in contrast to classic chemotherapeutic drugs well-tolerated. The well known anti-septic drug Taurolidine as well Emodin were tested on several completely different cancer entities such as colon cancer, melanoma and osteosarcoma in vitro and in vivo.


    Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin, Germany

  • Guided resection of medulloblastoma using integrated optical tools for multimodality imaging, Stanford University


    318 Campus Drive, Stanford, Ca 94305



All Publications

  • A Clinical Wide-Field Fluorescence Endoscopic Device for Molecular Imaging Demonstrating Cathepsin Protease Activity in Colon Cancer. Molecular imaging and biology Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Segal, E., Rogalla, S., Lee, W., Gambhir, S. S., Bogyo, M., Contag, C. H. 2016; 18 (6): 820-829


    Early and effective detection of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract will require novel molecular probes and advances in instrumentation that can reveal functional changes in dysplastic and malignant tissues. Here, we describe adaptation of a wide-field clinical fiberscope to perform wide-field fluorescence imaging while preserving its white-light capability for the purpose of providing wide-field fluorescence imaging capability to point-of-care microscopes.We developed and used a fluorescent fiberscope to detect signals from a quenched probe, BMV109, that becomes fluorescent when cleaved by, and covalently bound to, active cathepsin proteases. Cathepsins are expressed in inflammation- and tumor-associated macrophages as well as directly from tumor cells and are a promising target for cancer imaging. The fiberscope has a 1-mm outer diameter enabling validation via endoscopic exams in mice, and therefore we evaluated topically applied BMV109 for the ability to detect colon polyps in an azoxymethane-induced colon tumor model in mice.This wide-field endoscopic imaging device revealed consistent and clear fluorescence signals from BMV109 that specifically localized to the polypoid regions as opposed to the normal adjacent colon tissue (p < 0.004) in the murine colon carcinoma model.The sensitivity of detection of BMV109 with the fluorescence fiberscope suggested utility of these tools for early detection at hard-to-reach sites. The fiberscope was designed to be used in conjunction with miniature, endoscope-compatible fluorescence microscopes for dual wide-field and microscopic cancer detection.

    View details for PubMedID 27154508

  • SU-E-J-274: Responses of Medulloblastoma Cells to Radiation Dosimetric Parameters in Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy. Medical physics Park, J., Park, J., Rogalla, S., Woo, D., Lee, D., Park, H., Contag, C., Suh, T. 2015; 42 (6): 3330-?


    To evaluate radiation responses of the medulloblastoma cell line Daoy in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), quantitative variations to variable radiation dosimetic parameters were tracked by bioluminescent images (BLIs).The luciferase and green fluorescent protein positive Daoy cells were cultured on dishes. The medulloblastoma cells irradiated to different dose rate, interval of fractionated doses, field margin and misalignment, and dose uniformity in IMRT were monitored using bioluminescent images. The cultured cells were placed into a dedicated acrylic phantom to deliver intensity-modulated fluences and calculate accurate predicted dose distribution. The radiation with dose rate from 0.5 Gy/min to 15 Gy/min was irradiated by adjusting monitor unit per minute and source-to-surface distances. The intervals of fractionated dose delivery were changed considering the repair time of double strand breaks (DSB) revealed by straining of gamma-H2AX.The effect of non-uniform doses on the cells were visualized by registering dose distributions and BLIs. The viability according to dosimetric parameters was correlated with bioluminescent intensities for cross-check of radiation responses.The DSB and cell responses due to the first fractionated dose delivery significantly affected final tumor control rather than other parameters. The missing tumor volumes due to the smaller field margin than the tumor periphery or field misalignment caused relapse of cell responses on BLIs. The dose rate and gradient had effect on initial responses but could not bring out the distinguishable killing effect on cancer cells.Visualized and quantified bioluminescent images were useful to correlate the dose distributions with spatial radiation effects on cells. This would derive the effective combination of dose delivery parameters and fractionation. Radiation responses in particular IMRT configuration could be reflected to image based-dose re-optimization.

    View details for DOI 10.1118/1.4924360

    View details for PubMedID 26127667

  • Early Cancer Detection at the Epithelial Surface CANCER JOURNAL Rogalla, S., Contag, C. H. 2015; 21 (3): 179-187


    Malignant neoplastic lesions derived from epithelial tissue, carcinomas, account for 80% to 100% of all human cancers including some of the most deadly diseases such as cervical and non-small cell lung cancer. Many of these carcinomas present at readily accessible epithelial surfaces offering unique detection opportunities. Effective clinical management of carcinomas is enabled by early detection, at a time when full surgical resection is possible and before invasion of adjacent tissue or significant intravasation into blood vessels leading to metastasis. Good prognosis with long-term disease-free survival is more likely after early detection when progression is limited. At present, detection of carcinomas at epithelial surfaces largely relies on routine inspection with the naked eye (e.g., skin and oropharynx) or simple white light tools (e.g., cervix and colon). Emerging optical tools based on differential refraction, absorption, reflection, scattering, or fluorescence of carcinomas relative to normal tissues enable label-free visualization of neoplasia. However, the differences in intrinsic optical properties of normal and malignant tissues can be subtle, and relying on these may lead to high miss rates. Enhanced optical contrast offered by molecularly targeted agents can be used to improve early detection; and given that optical imaging and sensing tools can be readily combined, integrated systems that image over a range of scales, or detect multiple parameters, can be developed to aid in early detection. Diagnosis is, at present, made by histologic examination of tissue biopsies after identification of suspicious lesions. Miniature and handheld microscopic imaging tools have recently been developed, and integration of these tools with wide-field optical surveillance devices offers both rapid detection and confirmatory histologic examination at the point-of-care, that can provide guidance for biopsy and/or resection. A wide variety of targeted probe strategies have been described with demonstrated benefit in preclinical models and in a limited number of human studies. Here, we present examples of integrated multimodality optical imaging and sensing tools that use combinations of intrinsic and extrinsic optical contrast for early detection or margin delineation for carcinomas at epithelial surfaces. We will discuss several new technologies that have use in detecting the most common carcinomas that derive from the epithelium of the skin, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts, and bronchoalveoli.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000122

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355658000008

  • A Real-Time Clinical Endoscopic System for Intraluminal, Multiplexed Imaging of Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles PLOS ONE Garai, E., Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Loewke, N. O., Rogalla, S., Mandella, M. J., Felt, S. A., Friedland, S., Liu, J. T., Gambhir, S. S., Contag, C. H. 2015; 10 (4)
  • Atherosclerotic Plaque Targeting Mechanism of Long-Circulating Nanoparticles Established by Multimodal Imaging ACS NANO Lobatto, M. E., Calcagno, C., Millon, A., Senders, M. L., Fay, F., Robson, P. M., Ramachandran, S., Binderup, T., Paridaans, M. P., Sensarn, S., Rogalla, S., Gordon, R. E., Cardoso, L., Storm, G., Metselaar, J. M., Contag, C. H., Stroes, E. S., Fayad, Z. A., Mulder, W. J. 2015; 9 (2): 1837-1847


    Atherosclerosis is a major cause of global morbidity and mortality that could benefit from novel targeted therapeutics. Recent studies have shown efficient and local drug delivery with nanoparticles, although the nanoparticle targeting mechanism for atherosclerosis has not yet been fully elucidated. Here we used in vivo and ex vivo multimodal imaging to examine permeability of the vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaque accumulation of fluorescently labeled liposomal nanoparticles in a rabbit model. We found a strong correlation between permeability as established by in vivo dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and nanoparticle plaque accumulation with subsequent nanoparticle distribution throughout the vessel wall. These key observations will enable the development of nanotherapeutic strategies for atherosclerosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn506750r

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349940500080

  • A real-time clinical endoscopic system for intraluminal, multiplexed imaging of surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanoparticles. PloS one Garai, E., Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Loewke, N. O., Rogalla, S., Mandella, M. J., Felt, S. A., Friedland, S., Liu, J. T., Gambhir, S. S., Contag, C. H. 2015; 10 (4)


    The detection of biomarker-targeting surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles (NPs) in the human gastrointestinal tract has the potential to improve early cancer detection; however, a clinically relevant device with rapid Raman-imaging capability has not been described. Here we report the design and in vivo demonstration of a miniature, non-contact, opto-electro-mechanical Raman device as an accessory to clinical endoscopes that can provide multiplexed molecular data via a panel of SERS NPs. This device enables rapid circumferential scanning of topologically complex luminal surfaces of hollow organs (e.g., colon and esophagus) and produces quantitative images of the relative concentrations of SERS NPs that are present. Human and swine studies have demonstrated the speed and simplicity of this technique. This approach also offers unparalleled multiplexing capabilities by simultaneously detecting the unique spectral fingerprints of multiple SERS NPs. Therefore, this new screening strategy has the potential to improve diagnosis and to guide therapy by enabling sensitive quantitative molecular detection of small and otherwise hard-to-detect lesions in the context of white-light endoscopy.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0123185

    View details for PubMedID 25923788

  • The tumor suppressive reagent taurolidine inhibits growth of malignant melanoma - a mouse model JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH Braumann, C., Jacobi, C. A., Rogalla, S., Menenakos, C., Fuehrer, K., Trefzer, U., Hofmann, M. 2007; 143 (2): 372-378


    The tumor suppressive agent taurolidine (TRD) inhibits tumor growth of more than 30 cell lines in vitro and reduces tumor load in early and advanced stages of neoplastic disease in animals. TRD has been shown to induce apoptosis of melanoma cells in vitro. Therefore, the effects of TRD on disseminated melanoma were evaluated in a mice model.After general anesthesia, a midline laparotomy was performed and 1.5 million malignant melanoma cells (B78-D14) were applied in the spleen and 1 million cells at the back (C57BL/6). Animals were randomized and either treated intraperitoneally (i.p., n = 40, 7 days, 12 hourly) or intravenously (i.v., n = 40, 2 days, 12 hourly) with 1%, 2%, or 3% TRD or with Ringer's solution (control group). On day 28, all animals were sacrificed and the total tumor weight and the number of metastatic lesions were determined by two investigators blinded for randomization.The i.p. therapy caused a dose-dependent inhibition of total tumor growth (P = 0.003) and i.p. tumor growth (P = < 0.001), whereas subcutaneous (s.c.) tumor growth was not affected (P = 0.132) compared with the i.p. control group. The i.v. therapy reduced the total tumor growth (P = 0.013) and the s.c. tumor growth (P = 0.016), whereas the i.p. tumor load was not reduced (P = 0.122) compared with the control group. Both i.p. and i.v. therapy with 3% TRD significantly decreased the total number of metastatic lesions. The animal weight was not affected.The i.p. and i.v. therapies reduce total tumor weight and number of metastatic lesions of disseminated malignant melanoma in a dose-dependent fashion in mice. Our encouraging findings should be further confirmed in clinical studies examining the influence of TRD in patients with disseminated malignant melanoma for whom prognosis still remains dismal.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2007.01.041

    View details for Web of Science ID 000251281200027

    View details for PubMedID 17612567

  • High doses of taurolidine inhibit advanced intraperitoneal tumor growth in rats JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH Braumann, C., Stuhldreier, B., Bobrich, E., Menenakos, C., Rogalla, S., Jacobi, C. A. 2005; 129 (1): 129-135


    The antitumor agent taurolidine (TRD) affects tumor growth in animals. Thus far, no animal studies have been published concerning the systemic or local toxicity and the effectiveness of long-term intraperitoneal (i.p.) and intravenous (i.v.) administration on advanced tumor growths.In a first experiment (A) the systemic toxicity of the liver and kidneys was examined only after i.v. treatment in 40 rats (BD IX). For local toxicity the superior vena cava (SVC) was histologically analyzed. In a second study (B) 20,000 colon adenocarcinoma cells (DHD/K12/TRb) were initially applied i.p. after laparotomy in 80 rats (BD IX). After 28 days a port catheter system was placed in the SVC and left for 1 week. The animals were randomized into eight groups (n = 10) and received a 7-day treatment (eight hourly, 1 ml): 1, 2, 3% TRD or Ringer's solution (control group) either i.p. or i.v. Total i.p. tumor weight was measured 4 weeks after the end of the therapy. Side effects on differential blood counts and animal weight changes were examined.No organ lesions were detected in liver, kidneys, and SVC in experiment A. The i.v. administration of 2% TRD (P = 0.034) and 3% TRD (P = 0.05) as well the i.p. application of 2% TRD (P = 0.05) decreased the development of advanced i.p. tumor lesions. No changes of differential blood count nor relevant animal weight changes resulted. Three port catheter-related infections were examined.TRD does not impair the liver tissue, kidneys, SVC, and leucopoiesis. The intravenous therapy of 2% TRD is safe and anti-tumorigenic in advanced local tumor growth in rats.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2005.03.012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233206500020

    View details for PubMedID 15916768