The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

Center For Molecular Imaging

Service Center

Eva Sevick-Muraca, Ph.D., Professor & Director
Phone: (713) 500-3560

The Mission of the Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI) is to develop and apply new in vivo imaging technologies and imaging agents for the study biological processes in disease and health as well as to translate new molecular imaging approaches for enhanced clinical diagnostics.

The Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI) consists of an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers who focus upon multi-modality molecular imaging including nuclear imaging, x-ray computed tomography, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and our specialty, near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence to enable new understandings in several disease states.  In addition to having its own basic science and clinical research projects, the team also operates a “collaboration” center where clinicians and basic scientists from across the Texas Medical Center partner with CMI members to effectively apply diagnostics in preclinical and clinical studies.  Our team effectively translates new NIR molecular imaging technologies literally from “bench-to-bedside.” The CMI is one of four Centers in the U.S. comprising the National Cancer Institute’s Network for Translational Research.

The science and engineering research projects within the CMI encompass:

  • Developing, building, and translating NIR fluorescence imaging instrumentation and algorithms for multi-modality molecular imaging in preclinical and clinical studies
  • Developing and applying tomographic algorithms for NIR tomography for small animal and human imaging
  • Designing, producing, and validating unique NIR and nuclear imaging probes for assessing molecular pathways in preclinical studies and for enhanced diagnostics in Phase I and Phase I/II combination device/drug clinical studies.

The CMI basic science projects involve:

  • New molecular imaging agents for non-invasive diagnostic imaging for nodal staging in breast, prostate, melanoma, and other cancers.
  • Using molecular imaging to understand the process of lymphangiogenesis involved in cancer metastasis, infection, injury and trauma, vascular diseases, and hereditary disease in unique animal models.
  • Evaluating molecular signaling in the process of tissue re-organization in health and disease, including bone fracture, athlerosclerosis, and cancer.
  • Combining molecular imaging and unique knockout animal models to understand the molecular genetics of disease.

Our ongoing clinical research currently focuses upon:

  • Using NIR fluorescence imaging to phenotype lymphatic and lymphovascular dysfunction in human subjects for directing genotyping.
    • Information for healthy volunteers
    • Information for individuals with Lymphedema

Our research competencies are:

  • a small animal imaging (CT/PET and optical tomography, Bioluminescence, Fluorescence using gene reporters, NIR fluorescence);
  • a molecular probe development (Radio- and NIR fluorescence chemistries; gene reporters);
  • The Photon Migration Laboratory (optical engineering and computational core)
  • Regulatory, quality assurance, and compliance expertise for supporting Phase I and Phase I/II FDA applications from the CMI.

 Contact Us:  Alainna D, Talton 713-500-3488.

Selected scientific publications

CMI In the News

The Pioneer: An Interview with Eva Sevick-Muraca
by David L. Shenkenberg of Photonics.com (Jan. 2009)

Upcoming presentation and lectures (coming soon)

The CMI team:

Eva M. Sevick-Muraca, Ph.D. - Professor and Cullen Chair

Ali Azhdarinia, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Manuel Gonzalez-Garay, PhD - Assistant Professor

Barrett R. Harvey, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Sunkuk Kwon, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

John C. Rasmussen, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Alainna Talton - Administrative Assistant III

Dana B. White - Administrative Assistant II

Melissa Aldrich, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

I-Chih Tan, Ph.D. -Assistant Professor

Peng Gao, Ph.D. - Instructor

Sukhen Ghosh, Ph.D. - Research Scientist

Yujie Lu, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Banghe Zhu Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Chinmay Darne, Ph.D. - Research Fellow

Amy Hazen, Ph.D. - Program Manager

Sarah Amra, B.S. - Chief Histology Technician

Ken Pinkston, Research Coordinator II

Nathaniel Wilganowski - Research Coordinator II

Grace Wu - Research Coordinator II

Holly Robinson - Research Coordinator I

Karen Gore - Research Coordinator I

J. Rodney Morrow - Senior Regulatory and Compliance Specialist

Germaine Agollah -  Graduate Student

Emily Stinemetz, Graduate Student