A research and career development plan is proposed to transition from a background in chemistry to an independent research program in biomedical imaging and cancer biology. A two-tiered research plan will first focus on developing new MRI contrast agents, and then focus on applying these MRI contrast agents to mouse models of breast cancer. This research plan is founded on the development and application of new types of MRI contrast agents that can monitor multiple cancer biomarkers during a single MRI scan session. Our objectives of the proposed research are A) to develop a new T1 relaxation agent that can accurately measure the acidic extracellular pH of metastatic breast tumor tissues, while also accounting for the concentration of the agent by including a PARACEST MRI contrast agent;B) to develop a new PARACEST agent that targets v3 cell integrin;C) to combine these agents with a new PARACEST agent that can measure vascular permeabilities in order to assess tumor angiogenesis and D) to assess therapeutic responses in breast cancer mouse models by measuring extracellular pH, detecting v3 expression and evaluating vascular permeability during a single MRI scan session. Our deliverable consists of nano-sized dendrimers that can carry the MRI contrast agents for improved detection sensitivity, and for improved specificity for tumor tissues through the Enhanced Permeability and Retention effect. Successful completion of these specific aims will lead to evaluations of therapeutic efficacies that change tumor pH or v3 expression levels using our new MRI methods. This unique combination of nanoparticles and molecular imaging constitutes a platform technology for many other biomedical applications. A two-tiered career development plan will also be established. Training in biomedical imaging will be achieved through guidance by experts in biomedical engineering and radiology. A mentor committee will also provide guidance while navigating the activities required to establish a new research program. During the second year, senior mentors in cancer biology will provide guidance in cancer research applications and professional development activities. A progressive plan is also proposed to develop skills as a mentor, leader, networker, presenter, writer, collaborator, and entrepreneur throughout this process, in order to develop an independent, staffed and fully resourced research program in biomedical imaging and cancer research.

Public Health Relevance

The results of this project will provide a direct method to measure in vivo pH non-invasively. Thus, the extracellular pH (pHe) within tumor tissues will be used as a diagnostic biomarker to determine the prognosis of pathology, to evaluate the efficacy of pHe-altering therapies and to predict the efficacy of pHe-dependent chemotherapies. Besides, multifunctional nano-sized MRI probes will be used to assess multiple, tumor specific biomarkers in a single MRI scan session and this novel technology will significantly enhance in the early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. In addition, a structured career development plan will make project PI as an independent investigator.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Jakowlew, Sonia B
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Henry Ford Health System
United States
Zip Code
Vithanarachchi, Sashiprabha M; Foley, Casey D; Trimpin, Sarah et al. (2016) Myelin-targeted, texaphyrin-based multimodal imaging agent for magnetic resonance and optical imaging. Contrast Media Mol Imaging 11:492-505
Huang, Yuegao; Coman, Daniel; Ali, Meser M et al. (2015) Lanthanide ion (III) complexes of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraaminophosphonate for dual biosensing of pH with chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and biosensor imaging of redundant deviation in shifts (BIRDS). Contrast Media Mol Imaging 10:51-8
Huang, Yuegao; Coman, Daniel; Hyder, Fahmeed et al. (2015) Dendrimer-Based Responsive MRI Contrast Agents (G1-G4) for Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation in Shifts (BIRDS). Bioconjug Chem 26:2315-23
Bhuiyan, Mohammed P I; Aryal, Madhava P; Janic, Branislava et al. (2015) Concentration-independent MRI of pH with a dendrimer-based pH-responsive nanoprobe. Contrast Media Mol Imaging 10:481-6
Shankar, Adarsh; Kumar, Sanath; Iskander, A S M et al. (2014) Subcurative radiation significantly increases cell proliferation, invasion, and migration of primary glioblastoma multiforme in vivo. Chin J Cancer 33:148-58
Ekanger, Levi A; Ali, Meser M; Allen, Matthew J (2014) Oxidation-responsive Eu(2+/3+)-liposomal contrast agent for dual-mode magnetic resonance imaging. Chem Commun (Camb) 50:14835-8
Varma, Nadimpalli Ravi S; Shankar, Adarsh; Iskander, Asm et al. (2013) Differential biodistribution of intravenously administered endothelial progenitor and cytotoxic T-cells in rat bearing orthotopic human glioma. BMC Med Imaging 13:17
Ali, Meser M; Bhuiyan, Mohammed Pi; Janic, Branislava et al. (2012) A nano-sized PARACEST-fluorescence imaging contrast agent facilitates and validates in vivo CEST MRI detection of glioma. Nanomedicine (Lond) 7:1827-37
Janic, Branislava; Jafari-Khouzani, Kourosh; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas et al. (2012) MRI tracking of FePro labeled fresh and cryopreserved long term in vitro expanded human cord blood AC133+ endothelial progenitor cells in rat glioma. PLoS One 7:e37577
Varma, Nadimpalli Ravi S; Janic, Branislava; Iskander, A S M et al. (2012) Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) as gene carrier system for rat model of human glioma. PLoS One 7:e30310

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications