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Alexander Bolaender, PhD

Research Scholar

Lab Phone

+1 (646) 888-2216


During my PhD training as a medicinal chemist at the University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany, I developed new fluorescent markers to selectively label the pathological protein deposits linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the human brain, putting particular focus on tau pathology imaging in order to develop new diagnostic approaches for this disease. My research yielded the identification and implementation of several new substance classes, which possess favorable pharmacokinetic features and were successfully tested in AD animal models. Applying these markers, I have pioneered techniques to identify certain areas of the olfactory epithelium and the retina which harbor tau deposits as well and demonstrated the correlation of the severity of tau load in these regions with the progress of the disease.

After joining the Chiosis lab at MSKCC, I expanded my interests to chemical biology and translational research. Here I am integrating my knowledge in medicinal chemistry and molecular imaging into using chemical biology approaches to investigate the modulation of Hsp90 networks in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In an effort to better understand the biology of chaperones in disease with the ultimate purpose of clinical translation of these agents, my research has focused on the design and synthesis of novel therapeutic and imaging strategies to non-invasively detect and quantify chaperone networks involved in cell stress, which may play a critical role in the development of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.


  1. Nagarajah, J.; Le, M.; Knauf, J. A.; Ferrandino, G.; Montero-Conde, C.; Pillarsetty, N.; Bolaender, A.; Irwin, C.; Krishnamoorthy, G. P.; Saqcena, M.; Larson, S. M.; Ho, A. L.; Seshan, V.; Ishii, N.; Carrasco, N.; Rosen, N.; Weber, W. A.; Fagin, J. A., Sustained ERK inhibition maximizes responses of BrafV600E thyroid cancers to radioiodine. J Clin Invest 2016, 126 (11), 4119-4124.

  2. Rodina, A.; Wang, T.; Yan, P.; Gomes, E. D.; Dunphy, M. P.; Pillarsetty, N.; Koren, J.; Gerecitano, J. F.; Taldone, T.; Zong, H.; Caldas-Lopes, E.; Alpaugh, M.; Corben, A.; Riolo, M.; Beattie, B.; Pressl, C.; Peter, R. I.; Xu, C.; Trondl, R.; Patel, H. J.; Shimizu, F.; Bolaender, A.; Yang, C.; Panchal, P.; Farooq, M. F.; Kishinevsky, S.; Modi, S.; Lin, O.; Chu, F.; Patil, S.; Erdjument-Bromage, H.; Zanzonico, P.; Hudis, C.; Studer, L.; Roboz, G. J.; Cesarman, E.; Cerchietti, L.; Levine, R.; Melnick, A.; Larson, S. M.; Lewis, J. S.; Guzman, M. L.; Chiosis, G., The epichaperome is an integrated chaperome network that facilitates tumour survival. Nature 2016, 538 (7625), 397-401.

  3. Inda, C.; Bolaender, A.; Wang, T.; Gandu, S. R.; Koren, J., 3rd, Stressing Out Hsp90 in Neurotoxic Proteinopathies. Curr Top Med Chem 2016, 16 (25), 2829-38.

  4. Shrestha, L.; Bolaender, A.; Patel, H. J.; Taldone, T., Heat Shock Protein (HSP) Drug Discovery and Development: Targeting Heat Shock Proteins in Disease.Curr Top Med Chem 2016, 16 (25), 2753-64.

  5. Taldone, T.; Zatorska, D.; Ochiana, S. O.; Smith-Jones, P.; Koziorowski, J.; Dunphy, M. P.; Zanzonico, P.; Bolaender, A.; Lewis, J. S.; Larson, S. M.; Chiosis, G.; Pillarsetty, N. V., Radiosynthesis of the iodine-124 labeled Hsp90 inhibitor PU-H71. J Labelled Comp Radiopharm 2016, 59 (3), 129-32.

  6.  Carney, B.; Carlucci, G.; Salinas, B.; Di Gialleonardo, V.; Kossatz, S.; Vansteene, A.; Longo, V. A.; Bolaender, A.; Chiosis, G.; Keshari, K. R.; Weber, W. A.; Reiner, T., Non-invasive PET Imaging of PARP1 Expression in Glioblastoma Models. Mol Imaging Biol 2016, 18 (3), 386-92.

  7. Kaittanis, C.; Shaffer, T. M.; Bolaender, A.; Appelbaum, Z.; Appelbaum, J.; Chiosis, G.; Grimm, J., Multifunctional MRI/PET Nanobeacons Derived from the in Situ Self-Assembly of Translational Polymers and Clinical Cargo through Coalescent Intermolecular Forces. Nano Lett 2015, 15 (12), 8032-43.

  8. Salinas, B.; Irwin, C. P.; Kossatz, S.; Bolaender, A.; Chiosis, G.; Pillarsetty, N.; Weber, W. A.; Reiner, T., Radioiodinated PARP1 tracers for glioblastoma imaging. EJNMMI Res 2015, 5 (1), 123.

  9. Patel, H. J.; Patel, P. D.; Ochiana, S. O.; Yan, P.; Sun, W.; Patel, M. R.; Shah, S. K.; Tramentozzi, E.; Brooks, J.; Bolaender, A.; Shrestha, L.; Stephani, R.; Finotti, P.; Leifer, C.; Li, Z.; Gewirth, D. T.; Taldone, T.; Chiosis, G., Structure-activity relationship in a purine-scaffold compound series with selectivity for the endoplasmic reticulum Hsp90 paralog Grp94. J Med Chem 2015, 58 (9), 3922-43.

  10. Taldone, T.; Patel, H. J.; Bolaender, A.; Patel, M. R.; Chiosis, G., Protein chaperones: a composition of matter review (2008 - 2013). Expert Opin Ther Pat2014, 24 (5), 501-18.

  11. Bolaender, A.; Kieser, D.; Scholz, C.; Haussen, R. H. V.; Mall, G.; Goetschy, V.; Czech, C.; Schmidt, B., Synthesis of Methoxy-X04 Derivatives and Their Evaluation in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology. Neurodegener Dis 2014, 13 (4), 209-213.

  12. Bolaender, A.; Kieser, D.; Voss, C.; Bauer, S.; Schon, C.; Burgold, S.; Bittner, T.; Holzer, J.; Heyny-von Haussen, R.; Mall, G.; Goetschy, V.; Czech, C.; Knust, H.; Berger, R.; Herms, J.; Hilger, I.; Schmidtt, B., Bis(arylvinyl)pyrazines, -pyrimidines, and -pyridazines As Imaging Agents for Tau Fibrils and beta-Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease Models. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2012, 55 (21), 9170-9180.

  13. Lo Monte, F.; Kramer, T.; Bolaender, A.; Plotkin, B.; Eldar-Finkelman, H.; Fuertes, A.; Dominguez, J.; Schmidt, B., Synthesis and biological evaluation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) inhibitors: An fast and atom efficient access to 1-aryl-3-benzylureas. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2011, 21 (18), 5610-5615.