We are developing activatable imaging agents for various imaging modalities. Activatable, or “smart”, agents are exceptional in that they are able to respond in a sensitive and specific manner to their biological environment, sensing, for example, enzymatic activity, low pH, or other disease-specific conditions.
We are using mainly PSMA as a target to image prostate cancer. PSMA is a dimeric type II integral membrane glycoprotein, highly expressed on prostate cancer cells but also on tumor neovasculature. Our lab is interested in PSMA (i) as a target for prostate cancer imaging and therapy usingtheranostic particles and activatable imaging agents, and (ii) in the biological function of PSMA and its role in neovascularization. We are also exploring ways to image sentinel nodes in prostate (and ultimately other) cancers.
Cerenkov emission are generated when charged particles (positrons or electrons from radioactive decay) travel through a dielectric medium faster than the speed of light. Here we are exploring the wide possibilities Cerenkov imaging provides for various applications.