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Molecular Imaging and Theranostics

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Laboratory head

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Associate Professor Xiaowei Wang

National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow

Phone:+61 3 8532 1495

Latest Achievements

President of the Federation of Asian Societies of Molecular Imaging (2021–2023)

National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and Paul Korner Innovation Award (2018–2021)

40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Award (2021)

National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and Paul Korner Innovation Award (2018–2021)

Harold Mitchell Health Fellow

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Associate Professor Xiaowei Wang National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow
Working towards more sensitive diagnosis using molecular imaging, side-effect-free targeted drug/mRNA therapies and using novel theranostic approaches for cardiovascular diseases.


Najma Fithri Haikun Liu Runali Patil Naomi Philosof Shania Anggita Prijaya Yuyang Song


About the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics laboratory

The Molecular Imaging and Theranostics laboratory focuses on research aimed at improving diagnostic imaging, targeted drug and mRNA delivery, and theranostic (concurrent therapy and diagnostics) approaches for a range of cardiovascular diseases.

Our team engages in cutting-edge research, including:

  1. Advanced functional and molecular imaging using ultrasound, MRI, PET, MicroCT, fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging.
  2. Targeted drug approaches for side-effect-free prophylactic and therapeutic uses.
  3. Nanobiotechnology strategies to create novel drug and mRNA carriers.

Work in the laboratory is particularly attractive for students and postdoctoral researchers who are interested in the development of advanced nanobiotechnological tools for imaging and novel therapeutics (e.g. nanoparticles loaded with mRNA). The translational direction of the laboratory and the inclusion of patients in studies is highly attractive for physician-scientists.

Main research focus

Advancing functional and molecular imaging
Traditional clinical imaging focuses on anatomical changes, often detected only after irreversible damage has occurred. Our research aims to push the boundaries of innovative imaging modalities to provide more sensitive functional and molecular readouts, allowing us to delve deeper into the functional aspects of cardiovascular conditions, and providing invaluable insights for timely intervention and personalised patient care. Through our innovative research, we strive to bridge the gap between anatomical imaging and functional readouts, paving the way for a new era of early disease detection and intervention.

Biotechnology and therapeutics development
We leverage the power of biotechnology to design and engineer recombinant proteins, as well as antibody-drug fusion therapeutics tailored specifically for cardiovascular diseases. Through these innovative therapeutic approaches, we deliver drugs specifically to the affected areas, allowing us to use lower concentrations of systemic drugs while effectively eliminating the risk of side-effects. This paradigm-shifting approach has immense potential for side-effect-free prophylactic and therapeutic use across a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Innovations in drug/mRNA nanodelivery systems
Our research team focuses on the careful selection, design, functionalisation, and generation of nano- and micro-particles for precise delivery of drugs and mRNA molecules. By exploring novel biomaterials and delivery systems, we aim to enhance the delivery of genetic material to specific sites, paving the way for innovative treatments and disease management strategies.

Theranostics approaches
Our research not only focuses on developing targeted drug delivery systems but also aims to revolutionise the way we diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases through concurrent therapy and diagnostics. By seamlessly integrating diagnostic imaging techniques, aimed at identifying the diseased areas, with tailored therapeutic interventions with utmost precision to maximise treatment efficacy, we have the ability to monitor the response to treatment in real time. By combining therapy and diagnostics into a unified framework, we can offer a new level of precision, effectiveness, and safety in the management of various cardiovascular conditions.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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