Research Summary

I have over 25 years’ experience with the preparation and application of radiopharmaceuticals. I have developed several imaging agents targeting cell surface proteins (receptors, enzymes and transporters) including receptor-based imaging agents for hormone receptors, growth factor receptors, neuroreceptors, and prostate-specific membrane antigen. I have developed imaging agents for cardiac blood flow and metabolism. These imaging agents have included a broad range of molecular motifs from small molecules, antibodies, antibody fragments (e.g., Fabs, scFv, and diabodies), and aptamers, to proteins and peptides. These molecules have been labeled with a variety of isotopes for PET and SPECT imaging. As part of the development of these imaging agents, I have been engaged in the evaluation and validation of the tracer mechanism of localization and retention at the target site. I have prepared several in vitro and in vivo model systems and interpreted the data collected from these systems to determine the utility of the probes. I have successfully translated many of these tracers into humans. I have helped to write and secure several INDs for first-in-human tracer studies.

Over the last 10 years, I have been working on the development of PSMA targeting prostate cancer imaging agents in collaboration with Dr. Clifford Berkman at Washington State University. I am currently PI on a DoD PCRP-funded proposal to prepare these agents for human imaging studies. I am also UCSF PI on an NIH SBIR funded to perform the first-in-man PET/MRI imaging studies. I am currently also evaluating a new agent to measure T cell activation, 18F-FAraG. The pharmacokinetics of agent has been assessed in normal human subjects and will be further evaluated following immunotherapy response."

Research Funding

  • August 12, 2020 - July 31, 2025 - In Vivo PET Imaging of HIV Infection , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01AI152932
  • January 12, 2021 - December 31, 2022 - Molecular Imaging of persistent HIV: CD30 , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21AI152936
  • September 15, 2015 - August 31, 2021 - Mitigation of quality and compliance risks in radio-pharmaceutical production by implementation of an automated release testing technology. , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U01FD005517
  • August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2021 - Molecular Imaging of Chemical Threats and Countermeasures , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U01NS092495

Education

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, B.S., 1984, Chemistry
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, M.S., 1986, Nuclear Chemistry
Washington University, St. Louis, MO, M.A., 1988, Nuclear Chemistry
Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Ph.D., 1990, Radiopharm. Chemistry
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, Postdoctoral, 1992, Radiopharm. Chemistry

Honors & Awards

  • 1990-1992
    DOE Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Outstanding Performance Award (1993, 1997, 1998, 2000)
  • 2006
    SNM President's Distinguished Service Award

Selected Publications

  1. Polvoy I, Seo Y, Parker M, Stewart M, Siddiqua K, Manacsa HS, Ravanfar V, Blecha J, Hope TA, Vanbrocklin H, Flavell RR, Barry J, Hansen E, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Engel J, Rosenberg OS, Wilson DM, Ohliger MA. Imaging joint infections using D-methyl-11C-methionine PET/MRI: initial experience in humans. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2022 09; 49(11):3761-3771.  View on PubMed
  2. Kumar P, Yee C, Blecha JE, Hayes TR, Kilbride BF, Stillson C, Losey AD, Mastria E, Jordan CD, Huynh TL, Moore T, Wilson MW, VanBrocklin HF, Hetts SW. Evaluating Radioactive Analogs of Doxorubicin to Quantify ChemoFilter Binding and Whole-Body Positron Emission Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Drug Biodistribution. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2022 06; 33(6):687-694.  View on PubMed
  3. Beckford-Vera DR, Flavell RR, Seo Y, Martinez-Ortiz E, Aslam M, Thanh C, Fehrman E, Pardons M, Kumar S, Deitchman AN, Ravanfar V, Schulte B, Wu IK, Pan T, Reeves JD, Nixon CC, Iyer NS, Torres L, Munter SE, Hyunh T, Petropoulos CJ, Hoh R, Franc BL, Gama L, Koup RA, Mascola JR, Chomont N, Deeks SG, VanBrocklin HF, Henrich TJ. First-in-human immunoPET imaging of HIV-1 infection using 89Zr-labeled VRC01 broadly neutralizing antibody. Nat Commun. 2022 03 09; 13(1):1219.  View on PubMed
  4. 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
  5. Guglielmetti C, Levi J, Huynh TL, Tiret B, Blecha J, Tang R, VanBrocklin H, Chaumeil MM. Longitudinal Imaging of T Cells and Inflammatory Demyelination in a Preclinical Model of Multiple Sclerosis Using 18F-FAraG PET and MRI. J Nucl Med. 2022 01; 63(1):140-146.  View on PubMed
  6. Hayes TR, Chao CK, Blecha JE, Huynh TL, Zinn KR, Thompson CM, Gerdes JM, VanBrocklin HF. Biological Distribution and Metabolic Profiles of Carbon-11 and Fluorine-18 Tracers of VX- and Sarin-Analogs in Sprague-Dawley Rats. Chem Res Toxicol. 2021 01 18; 34(1):63-69.  View on PubMed
  7. Henrich TJ, Jones T, Beckford-Vera D, Price PM, VanBrocklin HF. Total-Body PET Imaging in Infectious Diseases. PET Clin. 2021 Jan; 16(1):89-97.  View on PubMed
  8. Gonzalez-Junca A, Reiners O, Borrero-Garcia LD, Beckford-Vera D, Lazar AA, Chou W, Braunstein S, VanBrocklin H, Franc BL, Barcellos-Hoff MH. Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Functional Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) Activity and Benefit of TGFβ Inhibition in Irradiated Intracranial Tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2021 02 01; 109(2):527-539.  View on PubMed
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Hayes TR, Blecha JE, Chao CK, Huynh TL, VanBrocklin HF, Zinn KR, Taylor PW, Gerdes JM, Thompson CM. Positron emission tomography evaluation of oxime countermeasures in live rats using the tracer O-(2-[18 F]fluoroethyl)-O-(p-nitrophenyl)methylphosphonate [18 F]-VXS. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 11; 1479(1):180-195.  View on PubMed
  12. Aboian MS, Huang SY, Hernandez-Pampaloni M, Hawkins RA, VanBrocklin HF, Huh Y, Vo KT, Gustafson WC, Matthay KK, Seo Y. 124I-MIBG PET/CT to Monitor Metastatic Disease in Children with Relapsed Neuroblastoma. J Nucl Med. 2021 01; 62(1):43-47.  View on PubMed
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Beckford-Vera DR, Gonzalez-Junca A, Janneck JS, Huynh TL, Blecha JE, Seo Y, Li X, VanBrocklin HF, Franc BL. PET/CT Imaging of Human TNFα Using [89Zr]Certolizumab Pegol in a Transgenic Preclinical Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Mol Imaging Biol. 2020 02; 22(1):105-114.  View on PubMed
  16. Stewart MN, Parker MFL, Jivan S, Luu JM, Huynh TL, Schulte B, Seo Y, Blecha JE, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Flavell RR, VanBrocklin HF, Ohliger MA, Rosenberg O, Wilson DM. High Enantiomeric Excess In-Loop Synthesis of d-[methyl-11C]Methionine for Use as a Diagnostic Positron Emission Tomography Radiotracer in Bacterial Infection. ACS Infect Dis. 2020 01 10; 6(1):43-49.  View on PubMed
  17. Beckford Vera DR, Fontaine SD, VanBrocklin HF, Hearn BR, Reid R, Ashley GW, Santi DV. PET Imaging of the EPR Effect in Tumor Xenografts Using Small 15 nm Diameter Polyethylene Glycols Labeled with Zirconium-89. Mol Cancer Ther. 2020 02; 19(2):673-679.  View on PubMed
  18. Henrich TJ, Hsue PY, VanBrocklin H. Seeing Is Believing: Nuclear Imaging of HIV Persistence. Front Immunol. 2019; 10:2077.  View on PubMed
  19. 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
  20. Hayes TR, Blecha JE, Thompson CM, Gerdes JM, VanBrocklin HF. Divergent synthesis of organophosphate [11C]VX- and [11C]Sarin-surrogates from a common set of starting materials. Appl Radiat Isot. 2019 Sep; 151:182-186.  View on PubMed

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