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Karen A. Kurdziel, M.D.

Portait Photo of Karen Kurdziel
Molecular Imaging Program
Imaging Section
Staff Clinician
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room B3B403
Bethesda, MD 20892-1088


Karen Kurdziel, M.D. joined the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP) from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)/ Medical College of Virginia where she was the Medical Director for the VCU Molecular Imaging Center. She is a board-certified nuclear medicine physician, alumnus of the NIH Imaging Sciences Training Program, with extensive skills in experimental nuclear medicine imaging and translational imaging.


My research focuses on the use of imaging to improve cancer therapy development and to direct focal therapy; more specifically imaging radio-labeled drugs (radiotracers). We currently have a range of novel molecular imaging agents which target tumor specific receptors and/or physiologic processes intrinsic to tumors. Members of the Molecular Imaging Clinic work as a team to achieve its mission. My role involves the development, implementation and imaging data analysis of early phase translational imaging protocols or the integration of an imaging component into an existing clinical protocol. When indicated, data from the clinical trials is fed back into the pre-clinical/ basic science venue to ensure target validation.

Imaging can be most effective in supporting oncology drug development if the parameter measured are accepted by the FDA as validated biomarkers. In working towards the development of such quantitative imaging bio-markers, our data analysis involves both visual and quantitative methods, comparison of methodologies amongst each other as well as with pathology and clinical outcomes. We collaborate with the NCI Cancer Imaging Program's (CIP) Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in this work.

Imaging agents currently in early phase imaging trials are listed on the MIP website

This page was last updated on 3/6/2014.