The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Imaging Physics
The overall goal of our lab is to improve early detection, diagnosis/prognosis and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases through development of: (1) methodology and devices for in vivo imaging and spectroscopy with optical contrast; (2) smart biophotonic probes for molecular imaging; (3) diagnostic assays for efficient capture, detection and analysis of rare cells in the body; and (4) engineered cells for theranostic applications. Achieving these objectives requires synergy between fundamental, exploratory and translational research. Therefore, our lab’s approach to solving challenging biomedical problems is through fundamental studies leading to future clinical applications.
In the past few years we have made significant advances in the following areas:
- Molecular specific photoacoustic imaging of lymph node micro-metastasis.
- Functional imaging of cancer cells using photoacoustic and optical imaging modalities.
- Development of biodegradable gold nanoparticles to address a crucial missing link between the enormous potential of plasmonic nanoparticles for cancer imaging and therapy and translation into clinical practice.
- Nano-engineered immunomagnetic cell carriers for highly efficient capture and detection of circulating tumor cells.
- Multimodal nanoparticles for combined MRI/photoacoustic/optical imaging and targeted cancer therapy.
- Clinical translational studies of oblique polarized reflectance spectroscopy for early detection of precancerous lesions in the oral cavity.
We are also working on exploratory projects that are aimed to develop: (1) nanodevices for delivery of RNA interference therapy under synergistic photoacoustic activation and monitoring; (2) a blueprint for design of highly efficient multivalent receptor targeting nanotherapeutics; and (3) engineered light-responsive cells for adaptive cell immunotherapy.
Education & Training
Ph.D. - Lomonosov's Moscow State University - 1992