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In-vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC)




Imaging and Probes Resource

The Imaging and Probes Resource will provide a seamless translational approach that will integrate multi-modality MR, PET, SPECT, and optical imaging and probe development to understand and effectively treat cancer.  The research studies in this JHU ICMIC application require a wide range of imaging methods and imaging probe development that span the imaging of microscopic structures such as collagen 1 fibers, to preclinical imaging of human cancer xenografts and transgenic models, to imaging cancer patients.  This resource will provide the requisite infrastructure and act as a central resource for JHU ICMIC investigators to obtain expertise and assistance for multi-modality imaging, image visualization and analyses, and imaging probe development.  This resource will also perform research and development in imaging and probe development in the JHU ICMIC.  The resource will play a valuable role in identifying and developing novel imaging technologies and probes as individual research projects evolve within the program.  The aims of this resource are to: (i) Guide and assist investigators in the use of imaging technologies, and to identify the most appropriate imaging technology for the research studies.  (ii) Develop and provide state-of-the-art image analyses and visualization necessary for multi-modality imaging data.  (iii) Identify, develop, and provide novel contrast agents for MR, radionuclide, and optical imaging applications. (iv) Develop agents against critical targets identified during the course of the research programs in the center.  (v) Identify the most promising preclinical imaging techniques and agents for future clinical use.  Members of this resource are versatile in imaging and probe development and can function interchangeably in this resource resulting in a commonality of effort.


Skills and Expertise

Richard Wahl, M.D., Resource Co-Director – Nuclear Imaging. Dr. Wahl is Henry Wagner Professor of Radiology and Oncology, Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, and Associate Director of the JHU ICMIC.  Dr. Wahl is a world authority on FDG imaging not only from a clinical standpoint, but also regarding its molecular mechanism of action. His research interests include the use of radiolabeled antibodies and antibody fragments in oncologic imaging and therapy.  Dr. Wahl provides leadership and oversight for nuclear imaging in this Resource.  His long experience in nuclear medicine as it applies to cancer imaging and therapy is invaluable to the JHU ICMIC.

Dmitri Artemov, Ph.D., Resource Co-Director – MR Imaging. Dr. Artemov is Associate Professor of Radiology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Artemov is a Fellow of the ISMRM.  He is an expert in MR pulse sequence design, coil design, and image analysis.  Dr. Artemov is a well-respected MR molecular imaging scientist who has been part of the JHU ICMIC Program since its inception, and has provided valuable assistance to all of the investigators in MR experiments.  In this resource, he assists JHU ICMIC investigators in designing and implementing MR imaging protocols on preclinical MR systems, and develops dedicated software for analysis of imaging data.

Martin G. Pomper, M.D., Ph.D., Resource Co-Director – Probes. Dr. Pomper is Professor of Radiology, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, and Oncology with other joint appointments at Johns Hopkins.  He is Director of the Johns Hopkins SAIR, Associate Director of the ICMIC and Co-Director, with Dr. Wahl, of the PET program.  He is also the Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, where he directs the probe Validation Core.  Dr. Pomper also co-directs this resource and oversees the Probe Development in the resource. Dr. Pomper holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and is board-certified in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.  He has actively pursued his interest in chemistry applied to medical imaging dating back over 20 years, with extensive publication in probe development, with a focus on radiopharmaceuticals.

Vadappuram Chacko, Ph.D., BRB Molecular Imaging Service Center, MR Manager. Dr. Chacko is Assistant Professor of Radiology at Johns Hopkins, and Facilities Manager of the preclinical MR spectrometer facilities.  Dr. Chacko oversees routine maintenance and repairs of spectrometers, construction and modification of MR probes and gradient coils, training and supervision of researchers in the use of MR spectrometers, discussing and conducting MR research with investigators.  Dr. Chacko continues in his role of day-to-day maintenance and supervision of operation of the 9.4T spectrometer for JHU ICMIC investigators.
Dr. Chacko trains and assist all the users as required.

Michael A. Jacobs, Ph.D.  Dr. Jacobs is Associate Professor of Radiology and Oncology and Co-PI of the Imaging Response Assessment Team (IRAT) of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Dr. Jacobs assists in clinical MR and facilitates the transfer of MR discoveries made in the JHU ICMIC Program to the clinic.

Yoshinori Kato, Ph.D.  Dr. Kato is Assistant Professor of Radiology and Oncology. Dr. Kato is an expert in synthesizing novel liposomes for image–guided drug delivery, and has developed a novel dual MR contrast technique to visualize the delivery and release of agents from nanocarriers noninvasively with MRI.  Dr. Kato’s expertise will be useful in delivering siRNA and therapeutic agents under image-guidance within the JHU ICMIC Program.

Samata Kakkad, Ph.D.  Ms Kakkad is a talented research technologist within the JHU ICMIC Program who has been trained in MRI, optical, and confocal imaging.  Ms. Kakkad obtained her MS in biomedical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Her thesis project required extensive imaging and image analyses.  Ms. Kakkad joined the JHU ICMIC Program in 2008 and is a highly competent MR, optical imaging, and confocal imaging technologist, and an expert in image analysis.  Ms. Kakkad is also an expert in the acquisition and analysis of second harmonic generation microscopy data.  Ms. Kakkad is the primary person running the imaging studies for the Developmental Projects and will assist the Career Development Trainee.  She will, in addition, assist investigators across the JHU ICMIC for imaging and image analyses.

Sridhar Nimmagadda, Ph.D. Dr. Nimmagadda is Assistant Professor of Radiology. Dr. Nimmagadda is a talented young chemist synthesizing novel radiotracer probes for cancer imaging.  Dr. Nimmagadda obtained his Ph.D. from Wayne State University under the preceptorship of Dr. Anthony Shields.  Dr. Nimmagadda will assist JHU ICMIC investigators in probe development and SPECT imaging studies.

Arvind P. Pathak, Ph.D.  Dr. Pathak is currently Assistant Professor of Radiology and Oncology.  Dr. Pathak is an expert in MRI and optical imaging of tumors and in co-registration and image data analysis.  Dr. Pathak will assist JHU ICMIC investigators in MR and optical imaging.

Meiyappan Solaiyappan, BE.  Meiyappan Solaiyappan is Research Associate in the Department of Radiology.  His unique specialization is in scientific visualization of information.  He has many years of interdisciplinary experience in computer graphics, biomedical visualization, and is highly creative in using high performance computer systems for scientific applications.  His notable contributions in the visualization field include dynamic volume visualization, navigational visualization, volume morphing, and virtual microscopy.  Mr. Solaiyappan assists members of the JHU ICMIC in image analysis and visualization.

Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D.  Dr. Kobayashi is Chief Scientist of the Molecular Imaging Program at the Center for Cancer Research of the NCI.  Dr. Kobayashi is internationally recognized for his work with activatable contrast agents for studying different aspects of cancer.  Dr. Kobayashi acts as a consultant and collaborator for members of the JHU ICMIC Program in providing and developing novel contrast agents for imaging.

Ron Heeren, Ph.D.  Dr. Heeren’s laboratory at the AMOLF, the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands has state-of-the-art facilities for mass spectrometry imaging using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging of biological samples. These facilities are available for molecular and protein analysis of tissues.

Scot Kuo, Ph.D.  Dr. Kuo is Director of the Microscope Facility at the School of Medicine.  As a consultant on the Imaging Resource, Dr. Kuo will provide assistance and expertise with the microscopy requirements of the JHU ICMIC investigators.



The Imaging and Probes Resource is a cornerstone of our JHU ICMIC as it is the centralized resource that assists investigators in imaging and probe development.  It will also lead advances in imaging and probes, and interact with the Molecular Oncology Resource in advancing our purpose of applying molecular imaging to advance cancer discovery and treatment.


Figure 1: Scope of the Imaging and Probes Resource.  We envision a flexible and interactive infrastructure that facilitates a seamless mouse-to-man integration of multi-modality imaging and probe development within the JHU ICMIC.