Our laboratory is focused on developing novel tools for optical molecular imaging within living subjects. Currently the main focus is on advancing whole-body fluorescence lifetime imaging techniques for small animal disease models. Although the ultimate goal of this research is clinical translation, the more immediate goal is geared towards pre-clinical applications, namely the development of optical technology for high throughout and cost-effective drug discovery in small animal models, and for enabling biologists to better understand disease mechanisms and therapy response in meaningful physiological environments.
We are developing experimental and theoretical methods for optical molecular imaging in living subjects. We are also involved in multiple collaborations for applying this technology to image mouse models of cancer, cardiac disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Ongoing collaborations with chemists are also focused on further understanding the photo-physical mechanisms underlying spectral and lifetime contrast in smart molecular probes. The goal of these efforts is to help in the design of more advanced targeted probes that exhibit spectral and lifetime shifts upon detecting disease pathology, and to advance optical imaging as a quantitative tool for in vivo imaging.