Modern biomedical imaging techniques have greatly improved our understanding of living systems and have redefined the ways physicians diagnose and treat life-threatening diseases. Challenges remain as human body is a highly complex, dynamic, and yet remarkably well organized system at the molecular level. Our research group is dedicated to developing novel molecular probes for biomedical imaging, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence imaging, in order to noninvasively visualize molecular events in living organisms at real time. We design, synthesize, evaluate and optimize a series of synthetic imaging probes that are sensitive and specific in response to certain molecular and cellular processes, such as enzymatic activities and pH changes. In combination with advanced imaging techniques, these molecular probes are applied to study fundamentally important physiological functions, such as brain activities, and to diagnose diseases, such as cancers at early stage.
Our research interests span across the interface of chemistry, biology and medical physics. Multidisciplinary experimental approaches, including organic and inorganic synthesis, spectroscopy study, cell biology and in vivo imaging are conducted in our lab or via collaborations. Students interested in pursuing research in those areas are welcome to contact us.