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Novel Molecular Imaging Probes and Contrast Agents

Author: Hui Mao, PhD

Our research in this area is an integrated part of Emory Translational Molecular Imaging Center, a team science program funded by National Cancer Institution (NCI) for developing in vivo cellular and molecular imaging (ICMIC).  The research project (Project 3) of this program is carried out in our laboratory in collaboration with Dr. Lily Yang at Department of Surgery and Emory Winship Cancer Institution, with the focus on “developing uPAR targeted MR Probe for Imaging of Breast Cancer”.  In another NIH funded project, we are collaborating with Dr. Anthony Chan’s laboratory at Department of Human Genetics and Yerkes National Primate Research Center to develop transgenic MR reporter – which uses genetic engineering approach to enable endogenous accumulation of magnetic sensitive iron in therapeutic cells – such as stem cells for non-invasive cell tracking with MRI.     

Fig 1

Magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with biomarker targeted peptide ligands (ATF) and near infrared (NIR) light emitting molecules are developed by our research team for biomarker specific MR and optical imaging of breast cancer in the preclinical models.  The work was featured in the cover of Clinical Cancer Research in 2009. 

Project Team

Hui Mao, PhD (PI), Jing Huang (PhD), Liya Wang, MD, Qiqi Yu (MS), Diana Tiwari (BS)