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Light, Sound, Action: Imaging Tools in Toxicology Assessments

Light, Sound, Action
Reported by
John Galbraith Simmons

Posted June 19, 2008

Movement toward personalized medicine is reshaping the way researchers are using advanced imaging to assess toxicity. An April 7, 2008, meeting at the Academy spotlighted some novel insights that imaging techniques have produced in conjunction with histopathology, in vitro experiments, and animal model research.

In research with rodent models, Kathleen Gabrielson, at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, has correlated histopathological findings with images derived from ultrasound, with the aim of clarifying toxicity in cancer therapeutics. Michael Welch of Washington University in St. Louis discussed his work on tissue hypoxia, including the development of a novel radionuclide from concept to clinical trial. Peter Choyke of the National Cancer Institute displayed results from his work with PET radionuclides.

Web Sites

Biomedical Imaging
A listing of societies and groups together with resources devoted to various imaging modalities

FDA Critical Path Initiative
The Critical Path Initiative is FDA's effort to stimulate and facilitate a national effort to modernize the scientific process through which a potential human drug, biological product, or medical device is transformed from a discovery or "proof of concept" into a medical product.

The FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research
The NCTR conducts innovative, integrative research to support and anticipate FDA's current and future regulatory needs.

The Society of Toxicology
The Society of Toxicology is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad.


Herschman HR. 2003. Molecular imaging: looking at problems, seeing solutions. Science 302: 605-608.

Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. 2008. Imaging in the era of molecular oncology. Nature 452: 580-589.

Kathleen Gabrielson

Gabrielson KL, Bedja D, Pin S, et al. 2007. HSP90 and ErbB2 in the cardiac response to doxorubicin injury. Cancer Res. 67: 1-7. Full Text

Olson LE, Bedja D, Alvey SJ, et al. 2003. Protection from doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in mice with a null allele of carbonyl reductase. Cancer Res. 63: 6602-6606. Full Text

Michael J. Welch

Ehman RL, Hendee WR, Welch MJ, et al. 2007. Blueprint for imaging in biomedical research. Radiology 244: 12-27.

Chao KS, Bosch WR, Mutic S, et al. 2001. A novel approach to overcome hypoxic tumor resistance: Cu-ATSM-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 49: 1171-1182.

Peter Choyke

Xu H, Baidoo K, Gunn AJ, et al. 2007. Design, synthesis, and characterization of a dual modality positron emission tomography and fluorescence imaging agent for monoclonal antibody tumor-targeted imaging. J. Med. Chem. 50: 4759-4765.

Kurdziel KA, Kalen JD, Hirsch JI, et al. 2007. Imaging multidrug resistance with 4-[18F]fluoropaclitaxel. Nucl. Med. Biol. 34: 823-831.


Kathleen Gabrielson, DVM, PhD

Johns Hopkins Medicine
e-mail | web site | publications

With a background in neuroscience and endocrinology, Kathleen Gabrielson earned a second doctorate in the toxicology program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (JHUSPH). She is currently assistant professor with the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology and the Department of Environmental Health Science at JHUSPH. Gabrielson's research focus is on signal transduction of cardiovascular toxicities with respect to cancer therapy.

Michael J. Welch, PhD

Washington University
e-mail | web site | publications

Michael Welch is a synthetic chemist who directs the Division of Radiological Sciences at Washington University's Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and head of the institute's Radiochemistry Laboratory. Welch pioneered the development of new radiopharmaceuticals and played a highly regarded role in the application of PET to clinical medicine. He was recipient of the Benedict Cassen Award at the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2004.

Peter L. Choyke, MD

National Cancer Institute
e-mail | web site | publications

Peter Choyke is a senior clinician with the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition to research that aims to translate molecular imaging methods into the clinic, he investigates novel methods of detecting ovarian cancer metastases, lymphangiogenesis, imaging of multi-targeted epithelial growth factor imaging, prostate cancer detection, and angiogenesis imaging. He inaugurated the Molecular Imaging Program within the Center for Cancer Research at NCI in 2004.

Robert W. Dunstan, DVM, PhD

Biogen Idec
e-mail | publications

bio to come