Steven W. Millward, Ph.D.
Cancer Systems Imaging
Areas of Research
The research group of Steven Millward, Ph.D. is working at the chemistry-biology interface to develop new molecular imaging agents to visualize the hallmarks of cancer in living systems.
The Millward Laboratory is using directed evolution, chemical biology and metabolomics to design novel compounds that can be directly integrated into optical, nuclear and MR-based imaging platforms.
Areas of Focus
Directed Evolution of Imaging Agents: The ideal molecular imaging agent would have the affinity and target specificity of monoclonal antibodies along with the rapid systemic clearance of small molecules. While peptides have shown promise as in vitro imaging probes, their short half-life, poor stability and low affinity have traditionally made them unsuitable for in vivo applications. They are using mRNA display in conjunction with chemical modification to select for high-affinity, modification-resistant peptides in ex vivo and in vivo systems.
Visualizing Autophagy in Living Systems: Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process where cellular components are engulfed and degraded to provide energy in times of metabolic stress. Autophagy has been shown to play both a pro-tumor and anti-tumor role in cancer. While the molecular mechanisms of autophagy are beginning to be understood, there is no easy way to unambiguously image autophagy in living cells and tissues or to determine the extent of autophagic flux. They are using a chemical biology, metabolomics, and directed evolution strategies to visualize this and other related forms of cell death in models of ovarian cancer.
Principal Investigator, MD Anderson Institutional Support - Start-Up, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 4/1/2015-3/31/2020
Co-Principal Investigator, 1.8 months, SUPR Peptides for Targeted Radionuclide Delivery, NIH/NCI, PI - Millward, Fiacco, 9/1/2015-5/31/2016
Co-Investigator, 0.6 months, Nernstian Probes as Vectors for Imaging and Therapeutic Modalities in Glioblastoma, NIH/NCI, PI - Lang/Fieyo, 9/1/2015-8/31/2016
Principal Investigator, 2.4 months, SUPR Peptides for Immune Checkpoint Blockade Imaging, CABI/GE In-Kind Research Award, 12/1/2015-11/30/2020
Co-Investigator, 1.2 months, Passenger Deletion of ENO1 as a Targetable Vulnerability in Cancer, American Cancer Society (ACS), PI - Muller, 1/1/2016-12/31/2019
Principal Investigator, 100%, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1F32CA136150-01, NIH/NCI, 8/25/2008-8/31/2011
Principal Investigator, Moonshot Knowledge Gap Award - Imaging Cell Death, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 7/1/2013-6/30/2014
Co-Principal Investigator, 1.2 months, Novel Molecular Imaging Agents for Her2+ Breast Cancer, HHSN261201300065C, NIH/NCI SBIR, 9/20/2013-12/19/2014
Co-Investigator, Super Aspirin - Boone Pickens Chair Fund, Cancer Prevention, PI - Scott Kopetz, 2014-2015
Investigator, Directed Evolution of Imaging Agents by mRNA Display in Large Animals, P50 5P50 CA094056-14, NIH/NCI, PI - David Piwnica-Worms, 2/1/2014-12/31/2014
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Cancer Systems Imaging
1881 East Road
Unit Number: 1907
Room Number: 3SCR4.3624
Houston, TX 77054-1901