Project 2 Research Team

Matthias Nahrendorf, MD, PhD (Co-Investigator)

Professor of Radiology
Director, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

NahrendorfDr. Matthias Nahrendorf’s current research interests focus on imaging of molecular processes during the healing phase after myocardial infarction. Imaging targets are innate immune cells.  Monocytes and macrophages are key players with a central role in disease, including the development of heart failure.  The entire spectrum of modalities, including MRI, nuclear and optical imaging techniques is used. Multimodal imaging as well as hybrid approaches to fuse molecular data with anatomical information are aspects of particular interest. These technologies are embedded in a biologically driven research program that aims at systematic understanding of inflammation at a basic level while keeping a rigorous translational perspective. In addition, Dr. Nahrendorf serves as the Director of the Mouse Imaging Program at the Center for Systems Biology.  In this function, he oversees the scientific and administrative aspects of a broad molecular imaging facility that comprises all modalities, lead and mentor a team of post-doctoral researchers and technicians and support collaborative imaging projects with outside researchers focusing on cardiovascular disease and cancer.

More about Nahrendorf lab: https://csb.mgh.harvard.edu/nahrendorf

Claudia Mani, MD, PhD (Co-Investigator)

Instructor of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

CManiDr. Claudia Mani is an Instructor in Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research is focused on the development and validation of non-invasive, quantitative imaging techniques in animal models (mice, rabbits, pigs) of cardiovascular disease. More specifically, her expertise is in dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI to measure microvasculature/permeability, and PET imaging to measure inflammation, two of the hallmarks of high-risk atherosclerotic plaques.  Her current projects are focused on the development of 3 dimensional (3D) imaging combined with cutting edge fast image acquisition and reconstruction methods for the accurate, extensive quantification of these parameters in large vascular territories. For Project 2, she will be responsible for the development of DCE-MRI in mice as well as PET/MR imaging in rabbits and patients.

Carlos Perez-Medina, PhD

Instructor of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

PerezMedinaDr. Carlos Perez-Medina’s work revolves around the development of radiolabeling strategies for nanoparticles with a view to evaluate their in vivo behavior and non-invasively visualize their bio distribution by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Thus far we have been able to successfully radiolabel liposomal and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) nanoparticles with the long-lived, PET-active isotope zirconium-89. We have tested both nanoparticles in different animal models of cancer and cardiovascular disease with outstanding results that warrant further investigation. We are currently working on PET imaging tools to evaluate nanotherapy in a non-invasive manner as well as novel ways to assess vascular inflammation in the context of cardiovascular disease.

Mandy van Leent (Research Fellow)

PhD Candidate, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Research Scholar, Nanomedicine-TMII

Mandy will participate in study design, data analysis and interpretation, drafting manuscripts, and the review of study findings. She will also perform work related to the synthesis and screening of HDL nanoparticles as well as bio-distribution and pharmacokinetics experiments in animals. She will also be involved in work related to histologic, molecular, chemical, analytical, and immunologic assays using flow cytometry.