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Cancer Molecular Imaging Program



Anna Wu

Johannes Czernin

Anna Wu, Ph.D.
Director

Johannes Czernin, M.D.
Co-Director

Overview:

The Cancer Molecular Imaging Program seeks to use molecular imaging to study cancer in living organisms, first in laboratory models and ultimately, in people. Molecular imaging allows non-invasive visualization of key molecules, processes, and events and allows a window into the changes that occur when cancer develops. Molecular imaging can be useful at many points along the cancer continuum: for disease detection and identification, for selecting the most appropriate targeted therapy and for monitoring response to treatment with targeted therapeutics. This allows doctors to treat cancers more effectively while sparing patients the toxicities from treatments that aren’t working. This research program brings together researchers from diverse specialties, including: mathematical modeling, imaging physics, chemistry and radiochemistry. It also brings together cellular and molecular biologists with clinicians.

Goals:

  • Develop instrumentation and analytical tools such as PET technologies
  • Develop novel molecular imaging approaches to monitor tumor progression, response to therapy, etc. and development of new delivery techniques for viral and cell based therapies
  • Develop imaging of immune responses and response to immunotherapy to understand the relationship between inflammation, the immune response and cancer for both basic and applied oncology studies
  • Translate imaging technologies to clinical contexts for cancer patients via translation of reporter genes, imaging probes and imaging strategies

Meetings and Events:

  • Weekly Cancer Molecular Imaging Program meeting
  • Quarterly presentations featuring SOMI (Scholars in Oncologic Molecular Imaging) postdoctoral fellows and faculty discussions
  • Cancer Molecular Imaging Seminar Series with external speakers (in collaboration with Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging and California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA)

Leadership:

Director Dr. Anna Wu's research interests center around understanding and using molecular recognition to distinguish tumor cells from normal cells and to develop practical applications in oncology, diagnostic or therapeutic. Her recent work has focused on genetic engineering of antibodies to allow imaging cancers based on the surface fingerprint of tumor cells and tissues.

Co-Director Dr. Johannes Czernin's research interests are focused on the development of molecular imaging techniques for planning and monitoring of anti-cancer therapy. His goals are to individualize tumor therapy by better evaluation of tumor stage and earlier assessment of response to therapy.
Last updated: 10/17/2014 11:37:48 AM