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This image illustrates a new class of MRI "activatable" agents called PARACEST agents that can be turned on-and-off by switching on a RF pulse.

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These MRI maps show the pH distribution across the kidneys of a live mouse during renal clearance of a pH sensitive gadolinium contrast agent.

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A carbon-13 NMR isotopomer analysis shows that hearts from hypertensive animals (bottom) oxidize less fat and more carbohydrate than hearts from control animals (top).

Current Research Projects

Chemistry Projects

We at the Sherry Lab are investigating the chemistry of a new class of lanthanide complexes that act as paramagnetic chemical exchange saturation transfer (PARACEST) agents for MRI. Our primary interest is to develop agents that report specific tissue biological information such as pH, tissue oxygen levels, redox chemistry, enzyme activity, or metabolite concentrations. Projects vary widely from purely synthetic projects to high resolution NMR studies (hyperfine shifts, multi-dimensional NMR), thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of complexes, and imaging applications. Some publications on this topic.

Imaging Projects

We are interested in applying novel imaging tools to better understand metabolism in complex living organisms. Examples of current projects in this area include pH imaging of tissues in isolated organs and intact animals, redox and hypoxia imaging, and imaging of glucose (glucoCEST) and glycogen (glycoCEST) in tissues. Some publications on this topic.

¹³C NMR Analysis of Metabolic Pathways

We have been developing 13C isotopomer analysis methods to quantitatively analyze flux through multiple metabolic pathways in cells, isolated perfused organs, intact animals and humans. Our current interest is to apply these methods in vivo using high field MR spectroscopy (3T, 7T, 9.4T) and to use hyperpolarized 13C tracers to measure TCA cycle flux, O2 consumption, and gluconeogenesis in vivo. Some publications on this topic.

Updated: February 5, 2014

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