The Resource for Molecular Imaging Agents in Precision Medicine is a program spanning three campuses of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). In our view precision medicine is using all data at hand regarding a particular patient to enable the best possible care for that patient. We believe that carefully designed molecular imaging agents can contribute to this. We are now poised to offer a unique Biomedical Technology Resource Center (BTRC) with a heavy emphasis on the provision of chemistry ? new reagents, methods and training in their development and practice ? for molecular imaging. The biological theme of the BTRC is relationships between cancer, inflammation and immunity, deeper study of which is an unmet need. Although brilliant research continues worldwide in the development of new molecular imaging agents, few have had actual impact on addressing human infirmity and many do not justify the cost of their development. In March 2014 the NIBIB conducted a study ?to better understand the reasons why more molecular imaging agents and instrumentation developed with NIH grant support are not being translated to the clinic nor subsequently commercialized.? To address those shortcomings, the JHU BTRC will be highly translational by leveraging the Center for Translational Molecular Imaging (CTMI) at the Johns Hopkins Bayview medical campus, the F. M. Kirby Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Division of Cancer Imaging Research, and the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, all of which are highly integrated into numerous departments and schools at JHU. We have generated agents that have been licensed and are in the process of commercialization. However to date those activities have been performed on an ad hoc basis, and we intend to expand upon them in two new ways: (1) provide targeted and unique technical research and development (TR&D) projects that will (2) enable widespread dissemination and training in their use, enhancing the capacity of the centers and divisions noted above to perform their intended functions ? discovery with intent to educate, promote new collaborative, transdisciplinary research and to manage a variety of conditions, while addressing unanticipated effects of emerging cancer immunotherapies. The unique aspect of the BTRC is its focus on provision of new, precision materials, to test these pre-clinically and progress them to human use, delivered on-site or to our collaborators in a format suitable for their implementation. We will assure proper off-site utilization through continual, reciprocal education and ?push-pull? interactions. The program is agnostic to imaging modality and composition of the materials to provide, relying upon the specific expertise within each TR&D. In addition to sharing the goal of leveraging chemistry for imaging, the four TR&Ds will be linked through the aforementioned biological theme. They can briefly be summarized as focusing on new theranostics (TR&D 1), molecular-genetic imaging systems (TR&D 2), agents for probing immunity (TR&D 3), and targeted agents for chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST, TR&D 4). Within TR&Ds 1 and 3 are also the Pre-clinical and Clinical Validation cores, respectively.
The goal of the Resource for Molecular Imaging Agents in Precision Medicine is to provide new, precision materials, to test these pre-clinically and progress them to human use, delivered on-site or to our collaborators in a format suitable for their implementation. While focusing on the biological theme of relationships between cancer, inflammation and immunity, we will be nimble and flexible, developing a wide variety of small molecules and macromolecular agents in collaboration with other academic centers and industry worldwide.
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