Dr. Chun Li
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Cancer Systems Imaging
Research activities in my laboratory are primarily focused on two areas: 1) the development of targeted imaging probes for noninvasive characterization of molecular events associated with tumor progression and regression and 2) the development of novel drug-delivery systems for selective delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Molecular imaging probes used in nuclear, optical, and magnetic resonance imaging modalities are designed to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity of early tumor detection, tumor-marker profiling, and the monitoring of early treatment responses. Targeted drug delivery, on the other hand, uses nanometric drug carriers to selectively deliver anticancer agents to the tumor to maximize their therapeutic efficacy and minimize their toxic side effects to the normal tissues. Our long-term goal is to apply the “seek and treat” strategy in the development of targeted imaging/therapeutic agents that will eventually be translated to the clinic to improve the management of cancer through early tumor detection and individualized therapy.
List of Research Projects:
- Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) optical imaging agents, including those targeted to epidermal growth factor receptors, integrin a v b 3, and matrix metalloproteinases;
- Radiolabeled imaging probes for the detection of therapy-induced apoptosis;
- Blood-pool and necrosis–avid magnetic resonance (MR) imaging agents for monitoring treatment responses;
- Targeted drug delivery using biodegradable, water-soluble polymeric drug delivery systems;
- Multi-functional nanoparticulate carrier systems for cancer treatment using “seek and treat” strategy.