The goal of each TR&D project is to develop new PET radiotracers that will image biologic targets modulating the ubiquitous disease processes of inflammation and oxidative stress.

The Center offerings include Collaborative Projects that work in conjunction with TR&Ds in radiotracer development, as well as Service Projects that gain access to mature center products otherwise not available. (See below.)

Technology Research & Development (TR&D)

TR&D 1: Inflammation/S1P1

  • Translating S1P1 ligand 11C-TZ3321 into initial human evaluations for safety and efficacy
  • Completing in vivo characterization of 18F-labeled new and selective tracer pharmaceutical properties in inflammatory diseases animal models

Co-leaders: Zhude Tu, PhD, and Robyn S. Klein, MD, PhD

Applications: Multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, acute and chronic liver and lung injury, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and others

R&D 2: Inflammation/Chemokines

  • Translating a broad spectrum chemokine receptor imaging agent using viral inflammatory macrophage protein-II (64Cu-DOTA-vMIP-II) to determine the overall expression of chemokine receptors in head and neck cancer patient
  • Focusing a chemokine CC receptor 2 (CCR2) targeted PET radiotracer using a peptide ECL1 inverso (64Cu-DOTA-ECL1i)

Co-leaders: Yongjian Liu, PhD, and Robert J. Gropler, MD

Applications: Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory lung disease and numerous cancers

TR&D 3: Oxidative Stress/iNOS/ROS

Design, synthesize and validate:

  • Radiotracers targeting inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
  • Gallium-68 incorporated PET tracers for imaging ROS/RNS-mediated oxidative stress and MPO-driven activity

Co-leaders: Vijay Sharma, PhD, and Kooresh I. Shoghi, PhD

Applications: Prostate cancer, cardiac dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease and pulmonary diseases

Collaborative Projects

Collaborative Projects (CPs) work in conjunction with TR&Ds, expediting the translational timeline through comprehensive preclinical evaluation of the radiotracers in development. CP teams gain access to the tracers, as well as MIR’s imaging expertise, which opens the door to new biologic questions and provides training and experience. To propose a collaborative project please fill out the form below and email to

Collaborative Project Application (pdf)

Service Projects

Service Projects (SPs) gain access to mature center products otherwise unavailable, providing an opportunity for the advancement of research and newly formed collaborations.  Fill out the form below and email to

Service Project Application (pdf)