We propose to establish an interdisciplinary functional onco-imaging pre- center where a broad spectrum of researchers including imaging scientists, microbiologists, chemists, clinical scientists among others will exchange ideas and collaborate with each other to advance the field of cancer research and clinical practice. The long-term objective of this partnership is to understand the initiation and progression of cancer through the development of image based measurement techniques and image contrast agents. The immediate objective for the In Vivo Molecular and Functional Onco-Imaging Pre-Center is to develop core technologies to be employed at the full center and build the necessary infrastructure for the successful implementation of the pilot reach projects. Along with these, other immediate objectives include: 1) developing the necessary organization structure. 2) disseminating the available technology and opportunities to the university researchers and clinicians via monthly colloquia, 3) establishing joint operation of core facilities when feasible, and 4) formulating the policies for project selection, funding, and monitoring. Towards this goal we will focus on: 1. Integration for multi-modality equipment and techniques, 2. The initial modalities to be integrated are MR and Optical Imaging, 3. Using information obtained from such systems to underlying the underlying mechanisms by analyzing the factors that contribute to bulk signal intensities, 4. Developing imaging agents to label various molecular markers associated with angiogenesis, 5. Developing imaging agents to quantify tumor vascular properties with an ultimate goal of detecting angiogenesis, 6. Exploiting the above mentioned agents and image based measurement techniques to assess therapeutic efficacy, 7. Developing imaging/therapeutic agents to monitor therapy. The initial scientific areas that would be participating at the center include image science (MR and optics), molecular biology, contrast agent development, immunohistochemistry, pathology, and oncology. As our track record indicates we already have had fairly strong collaborations among the initial members of the proposed center. What is new in the present application is to form the necessary administrative structure as well as the infrastructure to elevate such collaborations to the next level to fulfill our vision in developing a Molecular and Functional Onco- Imaging Center to fight against cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRRB-3 (J2))
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Menkens, Anne E
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University of California Irvine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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