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Molecular Imaging Program

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The goal of the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP) is to develop targeted imaging methods that accelerate the development of cancer therapies. The MIP is focused on the development and translation of in vivo molecular imaging agents for early detection and monitoring. Given the high risks and high costs of conducting research in this field, the MIP is well positioned to address challenges that the field of molecular imaging faces.

Molecular Imaging Clinic
The Molecular Imaging Clinic is located in the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10) on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. We investigate diagnostic imaging agents that employ nuclear, optical or magnetic resonance reporters in human subjects. Currently, there are 12 active human protocols. This effort is supported by a network of chemistry laboratories, including the Imaging Probe Development Center, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; the Cancer Imaging Program's Scientific Support Laboratory, NCI Division of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment; and the PET Department and Radiolabeling Laboratory of the NIH Clinical Center.

The Program's preclinical research section consists of three labs.

Laboratory of Theranostics
Led by Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D., this lab has developed activatable optical contrast agents. Additionally, he has identified antibody-photosensitizer conjugates (APCs) that produce highly targeted necrotic cell death. This has been termed "photoimmunotherapy" and will shortly enter clinical trials. We are also developing a variety of radionuclide-targeted imaging agents for clinical translation.

Laboratory of Radiopharmaceutical Development
Led by Elaine Jagoda, Ph.D., this laboratory's current portfolio includes molecular imaging agents for c-MET, mesothelin, ACE inhibitors and TEM8 associated with angiogenesis.

Laboratory of Cell Tracking
Led by Noriko Sato, M.D., Ph.D., this group aims to discover the fate of hematopoietic cells after injection into the body by labeling these cells to better understand mechanisms of immune stimulation and cellular therapies.

This page was last updated on 7/20/2014.