IMPROVING SURGICAL OUTCOMES WITH PHOTOACOUSTIC IMAGE GUIDANCE
We aim to develop and translate targeted, cancer-specific photoacoustic imaging agents that can noninvasively visualize deep-seated (~ cm) tumor tissues or metastases that are not visible to the naked eye during surgery, and therefore assist surgeons in improved resection of primary tumor regions.
IMMUNOTHERAPY RESPONSE EVALUATION WITH NONINVASIVE MRI ASSESSMENT OF
Tumor acidosis is a well known biomarker of cancer, caused due to upregulated glycolysis in cancer cells (Warburg effect).
This extracellular acidosis of tumor microenvironment is one of the primary causes that renders immunotherapy ineffective in a subset of cancer patients.
We propose to use CEST MRI to differentiate tumor types based on pH difference. Following pH-neutralization of these tumor types, we propose to evaluate the therapeutic window where extracellular tumor pH is sufficiently neutralized to make immunotherapy effective.
MOLECULAR IMAGING PROBES TO IMPROVE EARLY CANCER DIAGNOSIS
One of the focus areas of our lab is to design molecular imaging probes and imaging methods that can detect early stages of specific cancer types. This will involve evaluating early-disease biomarkers and targeting these biomarkers with molecular imaging methods or probes. In vitro validation and preclinical translation will follow design and development of these probes.
DEVELOPMENT OF THERANOSTIC PROBES FOR IMPROVED CANCER THERAPY
Another focus area of our lab is the development and application of theranostics towards personalized healthcare in cancer.