The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Cancer Systems Imaging
The Contrast Agent Molecular Engineering Laboratory (CAMEL) develops molecular imaging methods that evaluate biomarkers of the tumor microenvironment, including extracellular acidosis, hypoxia, and enzyme activity. We specialize in the synthesis and characterization of chemical contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), PET/MRI, and Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography. We develop advanced acquisition and analysis methods that are tailored for each contrast agent and tumor biomarker. We apply our imaging methods to evaluate the early response to treatment in tumor models, and to improve molecular imaging assessments of patients who have cancer or who are undergoing cancer treatment. CAMEL is a highly multidisciplinary research environment that encourages collaborations with colleagues from many backgrounds, and invites students from a variety of educational programs to joining our research training environment. Past members of our research group have earned MS and PhD degrees in cancer biology, pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical engineering.
Current projects include:
- Detecting enzyme activities within the tumor microenvironment in mouse tumor models using catalyCEST MRI.
- Measuring tumor acidosis in mouse tumor models and in cancer patients using acidoCEST MRI.
- Evaluating tumor angiogenesis in tumor mouse models and cancer patients using MRI and Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT).
- Assessing tumor oxygen saturation in tumor mouse models and cancer patients using MSOT.
- Interrogations of the glycolysis pathway in tumor mouse models using simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and MRI. In addition, we evaluate tumor acidosis, enzyme activity, and oxygenation using PET/MRI.
Education & Training
PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1993