Research Summary

The central aim of my lab’s research is to develop novel biomarkers to non-invasively measure oncogene activity in cancer to improve diagnosis and the assessment of drug pharmacodynamics. This is a highly interdisciplinary research program, and I recruit students and postdocs that generally have a specialized background (i.e. a strong training in organic chemistry or cell biology, but not both), and train them in the other areas required of a well round molecular imaging researcher. Our projects span all aspects of biomarker development, from discovery with “omic” technologies, to refinement of lead agents to improve bioactivity in vivo. The majority of our de novo radiotracer development focuses on small molecule organic chemistry, and our antibody radiotracer development programs involves new bioconjugation chemistry, and defining and exploiting the biological mechanisms that underwrite the aberrant expression of cell surface receptors in cancer.

Research Funding

  • June 1, 2020 - May 31, 2023 - Detection of the glucocorticoid receptor with PET in treatment resistant castration resistant prostate cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program, Sponsor Award ID: W81XWH-20-1-0354
  • July 1, 2018 - March 31, 2022 - Development of a translational imaging tool as a predictive biomarker for anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIBIB, Sponsor Award ID: R01EB025207
  • October 15, 2018 - October 14, 2021 - Precision Targeting of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer with a Novel Ferrous IronDependent Therapeutic Delivery and Tumor Imaging Strategy, co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Prostate Cancer Research Program, Sponsor Award ID: W81XWH-18-1-0763
  • July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2021 - Development of a biomarker for imaging mTORC1 activity with PET, PI. Sponsor: American Cancer Society, Sponsor Award ID: 130635-RSG-17-005-01-CCE


St. Mary’s College of Maryland, MD, BA, 2001, Chemistry
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, PhD, 2007, Chemical Biology
Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, Postdoctoral, 2013, Molecular Imaging, Cancer Biology

Honors & Awards

  • 2005
    1st Place Presentation, TSRI Faculty-Student Retreat
  • 2007-2010
    R25T Fellowship, National Institutes of Health (administered via MSKCC)
  • 2011-2012
    Research Grant, Brain Tumor Center, MSKCC
  • 2012
    Pathway to Independence Award, NCI
  • 2012-2014
    Research Grant, Imaging and Radiation Sciences Bridge Program, MSKCC
  • 2013
    Poster Award, World Molecular Imaging Congress, Savannah, GA
  • 2013
    David H. Koch Young Investigator Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation

Selected Publications

  1. Wei J, Oh DY, Evans MJ. Preparation of Radiolabeled Antibodies for Nuclear Medicine Applications in Immuno-Oncology. Methods Mol Biol. 2022; 2393:829-839.  View on PubMed
  2. Bouleau A, Nozach H, Dubois S, Kereselidze D, Chevaleyre C, Wang CI, Evans MJ, Lebon V, Maillere B, Truillet C. Optimizing immunoPET imaging of tumor PD-L1 expression: pharmacokinetics, biodistribution and dosimetric comparisons of 89Zr-labeled anti-PD-L1 antibody formats. J Nucl Med. 2021 Dec 21.  View on PubMed
  3. Meher N, Seo K, Wang S, Bidkar AP, Fogarty M, Dhrona S, Huang X, Tang R, Blaha C, Evans MJ, Raleigh DR, Jun YW, VanBrocklin HF, Desai TA, Wilson DM, Ozawa T, Flavell RR. Synthesis and Preliminary Biological Assessment of Carborane-Loaded Theranostic Nanoparticles to Target Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Nov 24; 13(46):54739-54752.  View on PubMed
  4. Zhao N, Bardine C, Lourenço AL, Wang YH, Huang Y, Cleary SJ, Wilson DM, Oh DY, Fong L, Looney MR, Evans MJ, Craik CS. In Vivo Measurement of Granzyme Proteolysis from Activated Immune Cells with PET. ACS Cent Sci. 2021 Oct 27; 7(10):1638-1649.  View on PubMed
  5. Tran VL, Lux F, Tournier N, Jego B, Maître X, Anisorac M, Comtat C, Jan S, Selmeczi K, Evans MJ, Tillement O, Kuhnast B, Truillet C. Quantitative Tissue Pharmacokinetics and EPR Effect of AGuIX Nanoparticles: A Multimodal Imaging Study in an Orthotopic Glioblastoma Rat Model and Healthy Macaque. Adv Healthc Mater. 2021 08; 10(16):e2100656.  View on PubMed
  6. Ivan de Kouchkovsky, Spencer Behr, Li Zhang, Adam Foye, Henry Vanbrocklin, Eric Jay Small, Felix Y Feng, Terence W. Friedlander, Patricia Li, Natalie Frey, Andy Chung, Austin Lui, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tammy J. Rodvelt, Brigid Barlesi, Michael Evans, Rahul Raj Aggarwal. Feasibility study of gallium-68 citrate PET as a bone-tropic imaging biomarker in mCRPC. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2021 Feb 20; 39(6_suppl):31-31.  View on PubMed
  7. Kalita M, Villanueva-Meyer J, Ohkawa Y, Kalyanaraman C, Chen K, Mohamed E, Parker MFL, Jacobson MP, Phillips JJ, Evans MJ, Wilson DM. Synthesis and Screening of α-Xylosides in Human Glioblastoma Cells. Mol Pharm. 2021 01 04; 18(1):451-460.  View on PubMed
  8. Wang S, Li J, Hua J, Su Y, Beckford-Vera DR, Zhao W, Jayaraman M, Huynh TL, Zhao N, Wang YH, Huang Y, Qin F, Shen S, Gioeli D, Dreicer R, Sriram R, Egusa EA, Chou J, Feng FY, Aggarwal R, Evans MJ, Seo Y, Liu B, Flavell RR, He J. Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer Targeting CD46 Using ImmunoPET. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 03 01; 27(5):1305-1315.  View on PubMed
  9. Zhao N, Huang Y, Wang YH, Muir RK, Chen YC, Wei J, Hooshdaran N, Viswanath P, Seo Y, Ruggero D, Renslo AR, Evans MJ. Ferronostics: Measuring Tumoral Ferrous Iron with PET to Predict Sensitivity to Iron-Targeted Cancer Therapies. J Nucl Med. 2021 Jul 01; 62(7):949-955.  View on PubMed
  10. Huang Y, Zhao N, Wang YH, Truillet C, Wei J, Parker MFL, Blecha JE, Drake CR, VanBrocklin HF, Garrido-Ruiz D, Jacobson MP, Aggarwal R, Behr SC, Flavell RR, Wilson DM, Seo Y, Evans MJ. The Synthesis and Structural Requirements for Measuring Glucocorticoid Receptor Expression In Vivo with (±)-11C-YJH08 PET. J Nucl Med. 2021 05 10; 62(5):723-731.  View on PubMed
  11. Wei J, Wang YH, Lee CY, Truillet C, Oh DY, Xu Y, Ruggero D, Flavell RR, VanBrocklin HF, Seo Y, Craik CS, Fong L, Wang CI, Evans MJ. An Analysis of Isoclonal Antibody Formats Suggests a Role for Measuring PD-L1 with Low Molecular Weight PET Radiotracers. Mol Imaging Biol. 2020 12; 22(6):1553-1561.  View on PubMed
  12. Flavell RR, Evans MJ, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Yom SS. Understanding Response to Immunotherapy Using Standard of Care and Experimental Imaging Approaches. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 09 01; 108(1):242-257.  View on PubMed
  13. Moroz A, Wang YH, Sharib JM, Wei J, Zhao N, Huang Y, Chen Z, Martinko AJ, Zhuo J, Lim SA, Zhang LH, Seo Y, Carlin S, Leung KK, Collisson EA, Kirkwood KS, Wells JA, Evans MJ. Theranostic Targeting of CUB Domain Containing Protein 1 (CDCP1) in Pancreatic Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 07 15; 26(14):3608-3615.  View on PubMed
  14. Huang Y, Zhao N, Wang YH, Truillet C, Wei J, Blecha JE, VanBrocklin HF, Seo Y, Sayeed M, Feldman BJ, Aggarwal R, Behr SC, Shao H, Wilson DM, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Gestwicki JE, Evans MJ. A Novel Radioligand Reveals Tissue Specific Pharmacological Modulation of Glucocorticoid Receptor Expression with Positron Emission Tomography. ACS Chem Biol. 2020 06 19; 15(6):1381-1391.  View on PubMed
  15. Kalita M, Parker MFL, Luu JM, Stewart MN, Blecha JE, VanBrocklin HF, Evans MJ, Flavell RR, Rosenberg OS, Ohliger MA, Wilson DM. Arabinofuranose-derived positron-emission tomography radiotracers for detection of pathogenic microorganisms. J Labelled Comp Radiopharm. 2020 05 15; 63(5):231-239.  View on PubMed
  16. Seo Y, Khalighi MM, Wangerin KA, Deller TW, Wang YH, Jivan S, Kohi MP, Aggarwal R, Flavell RR, Behr SC, Evans MJ. Quantitative and Qualitative Improvement of Low-Count [68Ga]Citrate and [90Y]Microspheres PET Image Reconstructions Using Block Sequential Regularized Expectation Maximization Algorithm. Mol Imaging Biol. 2020 02; 22(1):208-216.  View on PubMed
  17. Wei J, Leung K, Truillet C, Ruggero D, Wells JA, Evans MJ. Profiling the Surfaceome Identifies Therapeutic Targets for Cells with Hyperactive mTORC1 Signaling. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 02; 19(2):294-307.  View on PubMed
  18. Wang S, Blaha C, Santos R, Huynh T, Hayes TR, Beckford-Vera DR, Blecha JE, Hong AS, Fogarty M, Hope TA, Raleigh DR, Wilson DM, Evans MJ, VanBrocklin HF, Ozawa T, Flavell RR. Synthesis and Initial Biological Evaluation of Boron-Containing Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Ligands for Treatment of Prostate Cancer Using Boron Neutron Capture Therapy. Mol Pharm. 2019 09 03; 16(9):3831-3841.  View on PubMed
  19. Muir RK, Zhao N, Wei J, Wang YH, Moroz A, Huang Y, Chen YC, Sriram R, Kurhanewicz J, Ruggero D, Renslo AR, Evans MJ. Measuring Dynamic Changes in the Labile Iron Pool in Vivo with a Reactivity-Based Probe for Positron Emission Tomography. ACS Cent Sci. 2019 Apr 24; 5(4):727-736.  View on PubMed
  20. Drake CR, Evans MJ, VanBrocklin HF. Enzymatically Catalyzed Radiofluorination of Biomolecules. Methods Mol Biol. 2019; 2033:191-205.  View on PubMed

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