Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LFMI&N)

The research in the Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LFMI&N) focuses on developing and utilizing cutting-edge functional and molecular imaging technologies to address biological questions and medical problems. We believe that imaging of biological and disease processes at functional, physiological, cellular and molecular levels will enable us to better understand and differentiate the diseases and dysfunctions. For example, we are currently investigating potential magnetic resonance detectable metabolite markers for improving the specificity of cancer detection and for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Through the latest nanotechnology and nanomaterial development, we are developing biomarker targeted contrast agents and probes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) x-ray and optical imaging based molecular and cellular imaging as well as image-guided drug delivery. Our laboratory strives to translate new functional and molecular imaging approaches and nano-theranostics for advanced and individualized radiological diagnostics and image-guided treatment. In addition to the development and discovery research, our laboratory is closely involved in clinical research, particularly in the areas of clinical applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and perfusion MRI for diagnosis and evaluation of brain function, brain disorders and diseases.

Our laboratory strongly promotes collaborations throughout Emory and other institutions, providing a broad range of expertise and resources in biomedical imaging and nanomedicine, including NMR, MRI and MRS methods, image data processing and analysis, nanomaterial synthesis and characterizations, pre-clinical animal models of cancer and animal and human/patient imaging. LFMI&N also offers interdisciplinary training and an educational environment, with a strong emphasis in translational and clinical applications, for those who are interested in developing their career in biomedical sciences.   

Hui Mao, PhD
Professor of Radiology and Imaging Sciences

Faculty

Post-Doctoral Fellows and Research Associates

  • Jing Huang, PhD
  • Yuancheng Li, PhD
  • Anamaria Orza, PhD
  • Darkeyah Reuven, PhD
  • Xingui Peng, MD, PhD

Graduate Students

  • Run Lin, MD - PhD Candidate

Research Staff

  • Hui Wu, BS - Research Specialist
  • Yating Luo, BS - Research Assistant

Affiliated Member

  • Xiaodong Zhong, PhD - MRI Scientist, Siemens Medical System

Current Research

Current research projects in LFMI&N, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) and Siemens Medical Systems, include the following areas:

  • Biomarker targeted contrast agents and probes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) x-ray imaging and optical imaging based molecular and cellular imaging;
  • NMR/MRS based metabolomics to profile cell or tissue metabolites in vivo and ex vivo to investigate the potential metabolite markers for improving the specificity of cancer detection and for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Nanomaterial and nanotechnology for biomedical applications, such as image-guided drug delivery and nano-theranostics, cell separation and detection in biospecimens;
  • Clinical applications of functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and perfusion MRI for imaging and study of brain function, brain disorders and diseases.

Highlights and Accomplishments

Dr. Jing Huang at LFMI&N won an outstanding young investigator presentation award at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM).

LFMI&N was awarded a new five-year R01 grant from NIH in May, 2013 to study brain tumors carrying mutations in an enzyme called isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH).

LFMI&N was awarded a two-year post-doctoral training grant from NIH, starting in September, 2013.

Recent Publications

Zheng X, Wang X, Mao H, Wu W, Liu B, Jiang X. Hypoxia-specific ultrasensitive detection of tumours and cancer cells in vivo. Nature Commun. 2015 Jan 5;6:5834-43.

Yang E, Qian W, Cao Z, Wang L, Bozeman EN, Ward C, Yang B, Selvaraj P, Lipowska M, Wang YA, Mao H*, Yang L. Theranostic nanoparticles carrying Doxorubicin attenuate targeting ligand specific antibody responses following systemic delivery. Theranostics. 2015 Jan 1;5(1):43-61.

Huang J, Shu Q, Wang L, Wu H, Wang AY, Mao H*. Layer-by-layer assembled milk protein coated magnetic nanoparticle enabled oral drug delivery with high stability in stomach and enzyme-responsive release in small intestine. Biomaterials. 2015 Jan;39:105-13.

Wang L, Zhong X, Qian W, Huang J, Cao Z, Yu Q, Lipowska M, Lin R, Wang A, Yang L, Mao H*. Ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging of receptor targeted magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in mouse tumor models. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2014 Nov;40(5):1071-81.

Guo P, Huang J*, Wang L, Jia D, Yang J, Dillon DA, Zurakowski D, Mao H, Moses MA, Auguste DT. ICAM-1 as a molecular target for triple negative breast cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 14;111(41):14710-5.

*To view additional publications please view individual bio pages

Contact Information

Donna Kicullen
Research Project Coordinator
Phone: 404 712-1153
E-mail: dkilcul@emory.edu