Elmer B. Santos, MD, PhD

Pictured: Elmer B. Santos

My first encounter with the growing area of nuclear medicine was during my medical internship. I was enthralled by the technology of the discipline, its biomedical functional imaging, and the use of isotopes as a tool for deciphering metabolic information. For these reasons, I elected to pursue training in this field at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service is busy, advanced, and large. This training has made me a confident and a competent physician in general nuclear medicine.

As a researcher, my aim is to answer pertinent questions in cancer biology and to gain an understanding of immune mechanisms, particularly T cell repertoire, using nuclear and molecular imaging modalities. I have been working on developing in vivo tumor models to study novel antitumor agents and utilize imaging to effectively follow tumor regression or progression. It is critical that precise measurement of tumor kinetics following therapy be determined — for the most part early during the course of treatment — so that suitable adjustments can be made to optimize therapy. These therapies include novel ligands, compounds, genetically modified viruses, genetically enhanced T cells, and genetically engineered antibodies. I have been using positron emission tomography (PET), computed axial tomography (CT), fluorescence, and bioluminescence optical imaging to understand the interaction of these molecules with tumor cells.

My training in both clinical and research fields is an integral part of my general aspiration to carry on my work as a researcher and a clinician as well as a teacher.

Clinical Expertise

Nuclear medicine; nuclear oncology; thyroid cancer; radionuclide therapy

Languages Spoken

MD, University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines); PhD, Cambridge University (England)


Hospital of Saint Raphael/Yale School of Medicine; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Cambridge University; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Nuclear Medicine