For our next five-year plan we have aligned ourselves to the goals of discovering, developing, and translating molecular imaging technologies to understand, detect, and treat cancer. Our efforts and expertise will be applied collectively and synergistically for this purpose. By engaging and integrating clinical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and surgeons within every aspect of the program, we have ensured the translation of our most exciting discoveries to improve treatment outcome in patients. This unique collection of highly interactive research-scientists and clinician-scientists within an environment rich in multi-modality imaging expertise and equipment is necessary to make the catapulting advances and discoveries that are essential to find effective treatments for cancer. The JHU ICMIC Program consists of four research components, four developmental projects, four resources, and a career development component. The four research components have a major emphasis on clinical translation and cover different aspects of understanding, detecting, and treating cancer. These are (i) theranostic imaging of metastatic prostate cancer, (ii) BETR (bortezomib-induced enzyme targeted radiation) theranostics for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), (iii) exchange transfer-based molecular MRI in oncology and (iv) molecular imaging of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and its avenues for metastasis. Similarly, the four developmental projects cover a range of topics, such as (i) force propagation in melanoma cancer progression, (ii) imaging peri-tumoral stromal depletion as a surrogate for treatment efficacy in pancreatic cancer, (iii) lung-specific Twist mediated epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in lung premetastatic niche, and (iv) blockade of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1 pathway in bone metastasis from renal cancer. We have structured four specialized resources (the Administrative Resource, the Molecular Oncology Resource, the Imaging and Probes Resource, and the Biostatistics Resource) to provide the infrastructure to support the current and future projects of the JHU ICMIC. The Career Development Component is structured with the purpose of creating independently funded investigators who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.
The JHU ICMIC is a multi-modality multi-disciplinary molecular imaging program that incorporates MR, SPECT, PET, and optical imaging to investigate cancer in a bench-to-bedside approach. Our intent for the next five years is to translate successfully the discoveries of this program into effective treatments against cancer.
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