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GS21 1321 Seminar in Molecular Imaging: Design and Application of Targeted Agents

  • Course Director(s): Ali Azhdarinia
  • Semester: Fall
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Credit Hours: 1
  • Grading System: Pass/Fail
  • Prerequisites: None


Molecular imaging is a multidisciplinary field that uses noninvasive methods to monitor the biochemistry in human diseases at the cellular level. Molecular imaging continues to grow as a field due in large part to advances in contrast agent development. Drug discovery techniques such as phage-display libraries and protein engineering have provided researchers with an abundance of unique, disease-specific molecules that can be converted into diagnostic analogs for imaging. The objective of the proposed course is to introduce the fundamentals of molecular imaging and provide an in-depth description of how the design of an imaging agent can improve how diseases such as cancer are detected, managed, and treated. Each lecture will be given by a leading expert in the field and focus on 1) a clinically relevant class of imaging agents, 2) a description of the impact on patient care, and 3) presentation of emerging preclinical concepts with translational value. Topics will include the development of conventional imaging agents as well as novel approaches such as nanoparticle imaging, fluorescence-guided surgery, and multimodality imaging. The goal of the course will be to 1) give students a unique perspective of how chemical, biological, and pharmacological sciences impact cancer imaging, and 2) provide them with knowledge about the molecular imaging field which may be useful in their research and encourage future collaborations. Students will present an oral report at the end of the course.