MIPS Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford

Overview - Research Project and Core Leaders

Research Project 1: Next Generation Smart Nanoparticles

Photo of Brian Rutt

Brian Rutt, PhD (P1 Investigator and P1B Co-Leader). Dr. Rutt joined the Stanford faculty as Professor of Radiology in 2009. Dr. Rutt, who is the author of more than 120 peer reviewed journal articles, is an internationally recognized expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Prior to coming to Stanford, Dr. Rutt was Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario and the recipient of the Barnett-Ivey Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario Endowed Research Chair. Dr. Rutt has made important contributions in both the basic technology of MRI (e.g., leading-edge work in insertable gradient coils and RF components), biophysical measurements using MR (e.g., combined T1 and T2 mapping using gradient imaging sequences), basic science applications of MR (e.g., the first demonstrations of in vivo detection of a single mammalian cell using MRI and the use of MR to longitudinally monitor tumor growth deep within tissue starting from a single cell), and clinical applications, especially in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Rutt is especially interested in developing and using in vivo ultra-high field (e.g., 7 Tesla) MR techniques to study important human diseases. The increased sensitivity and enhanced contrast mechanisms at these high field strengths should provide insight to unsolved problems, especially in neuroscience and cancer.

Photo of Jianghong Rao

Jianghong Rao, PhD (P1 Investigator and P1B Co-Leader). Dr. Rao is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and, by courtesy, of Chemistry. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University. He received the 1999-2001 Damon Runyon Cancer Fund Merck Fellowship and 2002-2007 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface. His Cellular and Molecular Imaging Lab’s (CMIL) general interest focuses on the development of molecular probes that are able to monitor specific biological processes under physiological settings. They are combining Synthetic and Physical Organic Chemistry, Radiochemistry, and Molecular Biology together with imaging techniques such as fluorescence microscopy and positron emission tomography (PET). His current projects include: development of a multimodality (optical and microPET) reporter gene for imaging gene expression; visualization of RNA splicing activity in vivo; imaging endogenous gene expression; nanoparticle based imaging, and imaging kinase function in vivo.

Research Project 2: Magneto-Nano Diagnostic and Analytical Devices for Cancer

Photo of Shan Wang

Shan X. Wang, PhD (P2 Leader and co-PI). Dr. Wang is Director, Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology and Director, Stanford Center for Research on Information Storage Materials (CRISM). His international reputation as an expert in Nanotechnology has provided a critical link between Medicine and the field of Materials Science Engineering to the benefit and success of the CCNE-TR. Dr. Wang’s scanning and analytical devices will be exploited and further explored in P2, which he will lead. Dr. Wang will continue as co-PI of the proposed CCNE-T.

Photo of Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson, PhD (P2 Investigator). As the Manager of the Nanomagnetics Facility, Dr. Robert Wilson leads the daily operation of the Facility and interacts with the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows regularly. He also directly participates in the research projects on magnetic nanopartices, nano-imprinting, biosensing, and biochips. Dr. Robert Wilson is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University. His current research focuses on magneto-nano sensors and the use of nanoimprint lithography based fabrication for the creation and chemical functionalization of nanostructures and nanoparticles made from a variety of materials, including multilayer magnetic films. Dr. Wilson has been involved in nanotechnology research since his pioneering efforts at IBM Research used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to first reveal the atomic corrugation and structure of close packed metal surfaces and the internal structure of individual molecules. He has also contributed and retains interests in diverse areas including magnetic resonance, positron annihilation, various microscopies, surface analysis methods, and thin film deposition and patterning techniques. Dr. Wilson has published over 60 papers, holds 9 issued patents, and received many IBM awards for his research and patents. Dr. Wilson received his BS and PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley in 1972 and 1982, respectively, and his MS in Physics from University of Chicago in 1974.

Photo of Irving Weissman

Irving Weissman, MD (P2 Clinician and Cancer/Stem Cell Expert). Dr. Weissman is the former Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center and the current Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and of the Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research at Stanford. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He received the Pasarow Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Biology, the Joslin Medal for Diabetes Research, the California Scientist of the Year, the Kovalenko Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, the Irvington Prize for Immunologist of the Year, the Robert Koch Prize, and the Rosensteil Prize. He has honorary doctorates from Montana State University, Columbia University, and Mt Sinai School of Medicine. He was the President of the American Association of Immunologists, and is President-elect of the International Society of Stem Cell Research. He received several awards including the New York Academy of Medicine Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Biomedical Research, the Jeffrey Modell "Dare to Dream" award, the American- Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine. He led or co-led 3 studies for the National Academies on Immunology, on Pluripotent stem cells and human reproductive cloning, and also training of postdoctoral fellows. He has a significant knowledge base in Cancer Biology and Immunology including Cancer-Stem Cell Biology. He co-founded and is a Director of SyStemix,Inc, Stem Cells.

Research Project 3: Nanotechnologies for Comprehensive Single-Cell Nano Analysis

Photo of Stephen Quake

Steve Quake, PhD (P3 Leader). Dr. Quake is Lee Otterson Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford, where he co-chairs the Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Quake’s interests lie at the nexus of Physics, Biology and Biotechnology. Over the course of his career, he has sought to use the principles of Physics to investigate questions in Biology and human health. He pioneered the development of Microfluidic Large Scale Integration (LSI), demonstrating the first integrated microfluidic devices with thousands of mechanical valves. This technology is helping to pave the way for large scale automation of Biology at the nanoliter scale, and in recent years Dr. Quake and his collaborators have used it for applications as diverse as discovering a new drug for hepatitis C, mapping the genomes of un-culturable environmental microbes, and measuring gene expression in individual cancer stem cells. Commercial versions of microfludic LSI are now used in hundreds of laboratories around the world for diverse purposes. Dr. Quake demonstrated the first successful single molecule DNA sequencing technology, which has been commercially developed and is a leading candidate to deliver the first $1,000 genome. His contributions to genomics also include the first clinical application of next generation sequencing (for non-invasive prenatal diagnostics) and the first measurement of the immune repertoire of an organism. Dr. Quake received “Career” and “First” awards from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health in 1997, was named a Packard Fellow in 1999, was in the inaugural class of NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards in 2004, and in 2005 was selected as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His contributions to the development of new biotechnology at the interface between Physics and Biology have been recognized by recent awards from the MIT Technology Review Magazine, Forbes, and Popular Science. He is a Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chair of Fluidigm, Inc. and Helicos Biosciences, Inc.

Photo of Luke Lee

Luke Lee, PhD (P3 Co-Leader). Dr. Luke P. Lee is Lester and Lynn Lloyd Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He is also Director of the Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center and Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center. He was Chair Professor in Systems Nanobiology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zurich). He received both his BA in Biophysics and PhD in Applied Physics (major)/Bioengineering(minor) from UC Berkeley. He has more than ten years of industrial experience in integrated optoelectronics, Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs), and magnetic bioassays. He has authored and co-authored over 220 papers on bionanophotonics, label-free biosensors, molecular diagnostics, single cell biology, dynamic cell culture array, optical microfluidics, Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), SQUIDs, and nanogap biosensors. His lab has developed many biologically inspired optical systems and physiologically relevant microfluidics for quantitative cell biology (http://biopoets.berkeley.edu). Dr. Lee currently has an active laboratory with over 22 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students that focuses on developing satellite nanoscopes for spectroscopic imaging of living cells, molecular optogenetics, Optofluidic Application Specific Integrated Systems (OASIS) for cell reprogramming, systematic quantitative biology and high-speed drug screening, and molecular diagnostics. He serves on the Editorial Board of 4 Journals and on the Advisory Boards of 2 companies. He has received numerous honors including the NSF career award, National Academies Keck Future Initiative Award, and SFI Research Professorship. Dr. Lee will work enthusiastically together with team members in this center by providing nanobiophotonics and microfluidics, molecular spectroscopic imaging expertise to P3.

Photo of Scott Manalis

Scott Manalis, PhD (P3 investigator)).  Dr. Manalis leads the Nanoscale Sensing group of the Center for Bits and Atoms. His research interests are in the development of nanofabrication technologies for building molecular-scale devices, the use of MEMS for novel detection schemes, and the application of such devices to biomolecular recognition. The group's current work includes projects that focus on using electrical detection schemes for analyzing DNA, proteins, and cells. He received a BS in Physics with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1994, and an MS and PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1996 and 1998, respectively. In addition to his work at MIT, Dr. Manalis is also a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He has been selected by Technology Review magazine as one of the 100 innovators under the age of 35 whose work and ideas "will have a deep impact on how we live, work and think in the century to come.

Photo of Parag Mallick

Parag Mallick, PhD (P3 investigator)). Dr. Mallick received his BS from Washington University, St. Louis and his PhD in Chemistry & Biochemistry from UCLA. His research is focused on Molecularly-targeted therapy which holds great promise as a new paradigm for treatment. The primary research interests of his lab center on developing and applying systems approaches to quantitatively describe organisms' physiologic states towards the goal of enabling personalized, predictive medicine. They are currently developing experimental techniques and computational methods for quantitative proteomic profiling and pattern discovery in order to identify prognostic fingerprints. To validate fingerprints, rapidly classify samples, and better understand the chemical processes underlying proteomic technologies, computational and experimental tools are being developed in his lab for the discovery and application of proteotypic peptides. In addition, they are developing tools to integrate genomic information with proteomic information so as to better elucidate the genome and to develop more detailed models of regulation. The general hope of these studies is to apply systems biology's complementary computational and experimental methods in hopes that experimental results motivate large-scale computational studies, which initiate new experimental explorations. They hope that this synergistic combination will provide insight into the relationship between molecular phenomena and organismic phenomena. Dr. Mallick is also a Key Investigator in University of Southern California’s recently funded PSOC grant.

Research Project 4: Integration of Nano-molecular Imaging and Nanosensors

Photo of Sanjiv Sam Gambhir

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD (PI, Project Director, P4 Leader and Clinician). Dr. Gambhir is Director of the Molecular Imaging Program (MIPS) at Stanford University, Professor in the Department of Radiology and Bio-X Program, and Head of Nuclear Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Internationally regarded as a leader in the field of Molecular Imaging, Dr. Gambhir's research and clinical development has transformed the field of Nuclear Medicine, PET, and Optical imaging. Dr. Gambhir has led the CCNE-TR since its inception, and has developed a highly productive program that is linked with many other programs both at Stanford and elsewhere in the country and even internationally. His leadership talent and scientific expertise is a key element to the success of the proposed CCNE-T. In the proposed program, Dr. Gambhir will continue as PI, and will lead the Administrative Core and P4.

Photo of Jonathan Berek

Jonathan Berek, MD (P1 Clinician and Ovarian Cancer Oncologist). Dr Berek is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Director of the Women's Cancer Program at the Stanford Cancer Center. He is also the President of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society. He has a long-standing interest in ovarian cancer and is involved in novel therapeutics for ovarian cancer. He has also been working with CCNE faculty members and the Canary network to start to apply nanotechnologies towards ovarian cancer detection.

Core 1: Nanoinformatics Core - Discontinued

Core 2: Nanocharacterization and Nanofabrication Core

Photo of Robert Sinclair

Robert Sinclair, PhD (C2 Leader). Dr. Sinclair received his BS and PhD degrees from Cambridge University in Materials Science. After holding research positions at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the faculty of Stanford University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, in 1977. Dr. Sinclair has received a number of awards for his research, including the Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal of the Metallurgical Society of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, the Eli Franklin Burton Award of the Electron Microscopy Society of America, an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, and the Marcus E. Grossman Award of the American Society for Metals. He has also received two awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching at Stanford. He is very active in several professional societies and in the organization of symposia and workshops on electron microscopy. He has published approximately 160 refereed technical articles and contributed chapters to six books. Dr. Sinclair’s research centers on the application of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), including in situ heating, to a wide range of materials problems.

Core 3: Clinical and Translational and Integration Core

Photo of Mark Stolowitz

Dr. Stolowitz (C3 Leader) serves as the Director of the Proteomics Core Facility at the Canary Center. Dr. Stolowitz is a seasoned technical professional with over 20 years experience involving conceptualization and development of life sciences research tools. Recently, his efforts have focused on the development of an immunoaffinity mass spectrometry platform that employs MALDI biochips. This technology will be exploited by the Canary Center at Stanford in support of biomarker verification studies. A prolific innovator, Dr. Stolowitz has been issued 42 United States Patents related to: Protein biochips; SPR biosensors; Bioconjugation; Protein and nucleic acid immobilization; Protein chromatography; and Protein sequencing. Additionally, he was responsible for the development of surface chemistry platforms that provided the technical basis for three startup ventures.

Photo of Anna Wu

Anna Wu, PhD (C3 Investigator). Anna Wu is a Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and also of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Wu is also the Associate Director of the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging at UCLA and the Director of the JCCC Cancer Molecular Imaging Program Area. Dr. Wu's research focuses on understanding and using molecular recognition (protein-protein, nucleic acid-nucleic acid and protein-nucleic acid) to distinguish tumor cells from normal cells and to develop practical applications in oncology - diagnostic or therapeutic. Her recent work has focused on genetic engineering of antibodies to provide optimal agents for delivery of radionuclides to tumor cells. Monoclonal antibodies specific for human tumor antigens have been re-engineered to reduce immunogenicity (by chimerization or humanization), and engineered fragments with improved pharmacokinetic properties have been produced. Biological therapies based on engineered antibodies are also under investigation, including retargeting T-cells using antibody-T-cell receptor fusion proteins, and intracellular expression of single-chain antibodies. New biological probes for imaging are being developed. Antibodies, peptides and oligonucleotides tagged with positron-emitting isotopes can provide highly specific tools for examining gene expression and function in cells and tissues, and ultimately, patients.

Core 4: Administration Core

Photo of Sanjiv Sam Gambhirz

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD (PI, Project Director, P4 Leader and Clinician, C4 Leader). Dr. Gambhir is Director of the Molecular Imaging Program (MIPS) at Stanford University, Professor in the Department of Radiology and Bio-X Program, and Head of Nuclear Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Internationally regarded as a leader in the field of Molecular Imaging, Dr. Gambhir's research and clinical development has transformed the field of Nuclear Medicine, PET, and Optical imaging. Dr. Gambhir has led the CCNE-TR since its inception, and has developed a highly productive program that is linked with many other programs both at Stanford and elsewhere in the country and even internationally. His leadership talent and scientific expertise is a key element to the success of the proposed CCNE-T. In the proposed program, Dr. Gambhir will continue as PI, and will lead the Administrative Core and P4.

Photo of Shan X. Wang

Shan X. Wang, PhD (P2 Leader, C4 co-Leader, and co-PI). Dr. Wang is Director, Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology and Director, Stanford Center for Research on Information Storage Materials (CRISM). His international reputation as an expert in Nanotechnology has provided a critical link between Medicine and the field of Materials Science Engineering to the benefit and success of the CCNE-TR. Dr. Wang’s scanning and analytical devices will be exploited and further explored in P2, which he will lead. Dr. Wang will continue as co-PI of the proposed CCNE-T.

Photo of Demir Akin

Demir Akin, PhD (C4 Investigator). Dr. Akin has currently been serving as the Deputy Director of the CCNE-TR, and as the Administrative Core leader for the last 2 years and he will bring this expertise to the CCNE-T in support of the Core PI and co-PI. Dr. Akin is a nanomedical scientist with over 20 years of formal education in biomedical sciences and more than 8 years of direct Nanomedicine and supervisory/managerial skills derived from his work experience at Purdue University where he served as the Manager of the multi-disciplinary and multi-investigator BioMEMS and Nanobio Laboratories (6 shared user labs) at the Birck Nanotechnology Center. At Birck, he directed the biomedically relevant micro-nanotechnology research operations within the collaborating groups, and also held a faulty appointment in the Biomedical Engineering Department where he performed his own interdisciplinary research in the areas of diagnostic and therapeutic micro/nano devices, drug delivery and single molecule biomedical nanosensing and imaging. During the past two years, Dr. Akin has become involved with the entire CCNE-TR center activities and has been working with Dr. Gambhir (PI of CCNE-TR) in administration and management of the current center.

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