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Student research project

Supervisor(s): Dr Xiaowei Wang and Professor Karlheinz Peter

Project summary

Research in the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics lab is focused on translational research that links the findings from basic science to the practical applications that enhance human health and well-being in clinical settings. Molecular imaging using MRI would allow for early diagnosis and therefore timely and appropriate medical intervention.

The use of small recombinant antibodies for diagnostic molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery is well established in our lab. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers significant advantages: It is already a well established clinical imaging technique and the equipment required is already available in most hospitals. It avoids the radiation associated with CT and PET imaging, thus it will be an ideal technology for longitudinal studies and multiple follow-ups. MRI can provide whole body imaging at a very high spatial resolution and has the capacity for accurate tissue characterisation, which is useful for accurate thrombus/inflammation imaging.

This project would focus on small recombinant antibodies that binds to the activated platelets on thrombi and /or vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, which is one of the endothelial surface molecules most strongly and specifically up-regulated in inflammation.

We propose to conjugate these antibodies to MRI contrast agents for molecular imaging. By adding drugs to the contrast agents, we will also be able to provide site specific therapy. Therefore we would use this recombinant antibody for diagnosis imaging and targeted delivery of pharmacological treatment.

Related methods, skills or technologies

The project is suitable for a Masters or PhD student and will involve applying various skills and techniques, including cell culture, flowcytometry, molecular biology, PCR, Western blots, animal models and statistics.

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