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Imaging Physics Current Research

Research in the Department of Imaging Physics is focused on developing applications and instrumentation for advanced biomedical imaging applications.

Ongoing Funded Grants

James A. Bankson, PhD

Title: P5: Novel MRI and MRS Methods for Imaging Cancer Metabolism
Goal: The goal of Project 5 is to evaluate metabolic imaging biomarkers that can be derived from HP-pyr, and their correspondence with underlying physiology. We further enhance the clinical significance of this project through translation of these acquisition strategies to human 3T MRI scanners.


Richard R. Bouchard, PhD

Title: Photoacoustic and Ultrasonic Image Guided Needle Biopsy of the Prostate
Goal: The goals are to 1) Develop co-registered needle-based PA-TRUS prototype imaging system, and 2) Characterize and optimize sensitivity and accuracy of needle-based system in a tissue-mimicking phantom environment.


Dianna D. Cody, PhD

Title: Development of an appropriate QC Program for GSI Imaging
Goal: The goal is to develop an appropriate QC Program for GSI Imaging.


John D. Hazle, PhD, FAAPM, FACR

Title: Cancer Center Support Grant
Goal:The goal of the facility is to provide Cancer Center Members with powerful imaging technologies and the expertise that is necessary to integrate imaging into preclinical cancer research.

Title: Small Animal Imaging Facility
Goal: The major goal of this project is to provide small animal imaging resources to regional cancer investigators.


A. Kyle Jones, PhD

Title: Feasibility of using dual energy CT (DECT) for measuring contrast enhancement in single phase CT exams
Goal: The goal of this study is to carefully investigate the accuracy of measured contrast enhancement in VUE images across a wide range of tissues, contrast enhancement, patient sizes and CT acquisition parameters.


S. Cheenu Kappadath, PhD

Title: A Novel Dose Calculation Method for Targeting Radionuclide Therapy
Goal: Targeted radiotherapy with internally administered radiopharmaceuticals has recently experienced renewed interest due to identification of better tumor biomarkers and development of new targeting agents. Our long term goal is to develop targeted radionuclide therapy planning tools comparable to those used in radiation oncology practice (e.g., for external beam and brachytherapy), in order to aid in trial design and tumor response and toxicity prediction, as well as replace the current, inferior planar image/MIRD-based dosimetry methodology. We developed a deterministic radiation transport method that we plan to validate and test in a cohort of patients from a phase II clinical trial of a skeletal targeted therapy radiopharmaceutical in Breast Cancer Patients with Bone Only Metastases.

Title: Radiation Dose Reduction by Combining Contrast-Enhanced Diagnostic CT Examinations with 99mTc-MDP SPECT
Goal: The expected outcome from this investigation is the generation of preliminary data for follow-up NIH/NCI grants that will comprehensively investigate contrast-enhanced CT exams as part of SPECT/CT procedures to reduce the cumulative radiation dose to patients.


Jingfei Ma, PhD

Title: Whole Body MRI at 3TESLA
Goal: The specific aims of this project are to develop several fast and efficient MRI techniques suitable for whole body MRI and to compare the new whole MRI in a pilot group of 20 patients for detecting cancer metastasis with the standard practice such as bone scan and FDG-PET.


Kelsey B. Mathieu, PhD

Title: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer through Nanomagnetic Relaxometry
Goal: The objective of the research is to further develop and validate this new technology for detecting submillimeter nodules of ovarian cancer.


Osama Mawlawi, PhD

Title: 4D PET/CT Imaging in Lung and Colorectal Cancer with Liver Metastasis
Goal: The objective of this proposal is to study the impact of 4D PET/CT imaging on the evaluation and staging of lung and colorectal cancer.

Title: Evaluation of regularized image reconstruction in whole body PET/CT Imaging
Goal: The objective of this proposal is to evaluate the effects of regularized image reconstruction on whole body PET/CT imaging with regard to quantification accuracy and image quality.

Title: Dosimetry for AminoMedix for radiation kidney protection during Peptide-Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT): Phase I, II Clinical Trial
Goal: To perform dosimetry for AminoMedix for radiation kidney protection during Peptide-Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT): Phase I, II Clinical Trial


Yiping Shao, PhD

Title: In-Situ PET Imaging for Adaptive Proton Therapy
Goal: The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate an innovative PET prototype imaging system dedicated to monitor proton therapy (PT) in-situ for brain applications. The project aims to develop a prototype PET and evaluate its basic system performance, to evaluate in-situ PT-PET imaging capability through proton irradiated phantom studies, and to assess potential application study with in-situ PT-PET imaging during a patient treatment.

Title: Road to PET Image-Based On-line Proton Beam Range Measurement
Goal: This research project aims to study the feasibility of an innovative PET image-based on-line verification of PT treatment plan instead of current off-line method.


Konstanin Sokolov, PhD

Title: Functional Cellular and Molecular Imaging Using Ultrasound-Guided Photoacoustics
Goal: A partnership of two academic and two industrial groups propose to translate major enhancements onto a recent commercial ultrasound/ photoacoustic imaging platform release to provide quantitative tracking of tumor angiogenesis, and cellular and functional properties in mouse models.

Title: Biodegradable Plasmonic Nanoparticles for Cancer Imaging and Therapy
Goal: The overall goal of this project is to create a new class of biodegradable gold nanoparticles with plasmon resonances in the NIR region.

Title: Molecular Photothermal Therapy of Cancer Using Targeted Metal Nanoparticles
Goal: The overall goal of this project is to develop an image-guided, molecular specific, temperaturecontrolled photothermal therapy of breast cancer using targeted metal nanoparticles. Specifically, using HER2-targeted plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) and a combination of advanced, in-vivo, noninvasive, functional, molecular specific imaging technologies, i.e., integrated ultrasound (US), photoacoustic (PA) and elasticity imaging, photothermal (PT) therapy of breast cancer can be greatly improved.

Title: Optical Systems for In Vivo Molecular Imaging of Cancer
Goal: The overall goal of this project is to develop molecularly targeted plasmonic nanoparticles and to apply them to detect the sentinel node metastasis using ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging.

Title: Acoustic Imaging of Sentinel Node Metastasis using Plasmonic Nansensors
Goal: The overall goal of this project is to develop molecularly targeted plasmonic nanoparticles and to apply them to detect the sentinel node metastasis using ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging.

Title: Electronically-connected plasmonic metamaterials for capture and detection of CTC
Goal: Development of reliable methods of detection and accurate identification of low concentrations of cancerous and other abnormal cells is a major challenge of modern medicine. Here, we address these problems by developing an array of electrically-connected metamaterial-based plasmonic nanosensors integrated into an electrode that attracts cancer cells to the sensor through cell-selective dielectrophoretic (DEP) force.

Title: iThera Medical Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography System for Full Body Molecular and Functional Small Animal Imaging
Goal: The specific aim of this application is to acquire the iThera Medical MSOT system to enable MD Anderson investigators to conduct research in murine models for the purpose of improving the mechanistic understanding, diagnosis, and therapy of cancer.


R. Jason Stafford, PhD

Title: MRI for Minimally-Invasive Therapy
Goal: In this proposal, we hypothesize that the multi-parametric information from fCSI can provide a novel quantitative methodology for predicting changes in tissue state in real-time within both ablation and hyperthermia therapy regimes in vivo.


Richard E. Wendt, III, PhD

Title: Radiation Safety of Treatment with Liquid Brachytherapy
Goal: To define procedures to ensure the radiation safety of household members with pets that have been treated with liquid brachytherapy.

Title: A New Radiopharmaceutical for the Treatment of Metastatic Bone Cancer
Goal: To review and analyze experimental data to determine applicability of data for treatment of human bone cancer.

Title: Dosimetry of Beta-Emitting Radionuclides in Various Geometries
Goal: To assess the dosimetry of beta-emitting radionuclides in various geometries.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center