University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Development of molecular imaging probes

Research Information


  • Development of molecular imaging probes with radioactive and near-infrared labels
  • Synthesis of novel chelation platforms for radiolabeling and drug design
  • Optimization of NIRF labeling methods
  • Pharmacological evaluation of imaging probes targeting tumors and other molecular processes
    Azhdarinia Lab Figure 2

    Figure 2 Summary: Biodistribution of PEP3 conjugated with a NIR fluorophore. (b) Whole-body NIR fluorescence imaging of cold acclimated mice 4 and 24 hrs after iv administration of indicated doses of IRDye800-conjugated PEP3 or control PEP1. Arrows: interscapular signal; arrowheads: perirenal signal. Insets show black/white photographs of mice that had skin removed from the back for imaging. (adapted from Azhdarinia, A. et al., Nat Commun. 4:2472, 2013).

    Azhdarinia Lab Figure

    Figure 1 Summary: Representative multimodality images in a tumor-bearing mouse at 40 h post-injection of 64Cu-labeled mAb7 (A). Focal tumor signal was visualized by DsRed and NIRF imaging in vivo (circle). Ex vivo imaging on selected tissues showed comparable fluorescence levels in the kidneys and tumor with low signal elsewhere. Quantification of 64Cu-mAb7 uptake is represented in (B) and indicates highest signal in liver, tumor, and kidneys. Arrow indicates excised tumor. K = kidney, Lu = lung, H = heart, M = muscle. Scale bar = 1.6 cm. (from Ghosh, S.C. et al., J Med Chem, 56(2):406-16, 2013).


Publication Information


  • Yang DJ, Azhdarinia A, Wu P, Yu D-F, Tansey W, Kohanim S, Kim EE, and Podoloff DA. (2001).  In Vivo and In Vitro Measurement of Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells Using 99mTc-EC- Annexin V.  Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 16(1):73-84.
  • Yang DJ, Kim C-G, Schechter NR, Azhdarinia A, Yu D-F, Oh C-S, Bryant JL, Won JJ, Kim EE, Podoloff DA. (2003). Multifunctional Glucose Transport System Targeted Imaging Using 99mTc-EC-deoxyglucose. Radiology. 226:465-473.
  • Schechter NR, Wendt RE, 3rd, Yang DJ, Azhdarinia A, Erwin WD, Stachowiak AM, Broemeling LD, Kim EE, Cox JD, Podoloff DA, Ang KK. (2004).  Radiation dosimetry of 99mTc-labeled C225 in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.  J Nucl Med. 45(10):1683-7.
  • Azhdarinia A, Yang DJ, Yu D-F, Mendez R, Oh C, Kohanim S, Bryant JL, Kim EE. (2005) Regional radiochemotherapy using in situ hydrogel.  Pharm Res. 22(5):776-83.
  • Azhdarinia A, Yang DJ, Chao C, Mourtada F. (2007). Infrared-based module for synthesis of 68Ga-labeled radiotracers. Nuc Med Biol. 34(1):121-7.
  • Takahashi N, Yang DJ, Kohanim S, Oh CS, Yu DF, Azhdarinia A, Kurihara H, Zhang X, Chang JY, Kim EE. (2007). Targeted functional imaging of estrogen receptors with (99m)Tc-GAP-EDL. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging., 34(3): 354-362.
  • Schechter NR, Yang DJ, Azhdarinia A, Chanda M. (2007). Technologies for translational imaging using generators in oncology.  Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2(3):251-8.
  • Hall MA, Kwon S, Robinson H, Lachance PA, Azhdarinia A, Ranganathan R, Price RE, Chan W, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2012). Imaging prostate cancer lymph node metastases with a multimodality contrast agent. Prostate. 72, (2), 129-146.
  • Rodenberg E, Azhdarinia A, Lazard ZW, Hall M, Kwon SK, Wilganowski N, Salisbury EA, Merched-Sauvage M, Olmsted-Davis EA, Sevick-Muraca EM, Davis AR. (2011). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 is a diagnostic marker of heterotopic ossification in a murine model. Tissue Eng Part A, 17(19-20), 2487-2496.
  • Azhdarinia A, Wilganowski N, Robinson H, Ghosh P, Kwon S, Lazard ZW, Davis AR, Olmsted-Davis E, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2011). Characterization of chemical, radiochemical and optical properties of a dual-labeled MMP-9 targeting peptide. Bioorg Med Chem, 19(12):3769-76.  PMID:21612930.
  • Azhdarinia A, Ghosh P, Ghosh S, Wilganowski N, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2012).  Dual-labeling Strategies for Nuclear and Fluorescence Molecular Imaging: a Review and Analysis. Mol Imaging Biol, 14(3):261-76.PMID:22160875.
  • Hall MA, Aldrich MB, Azhdarinia A, Lachance P, Robinson H, Hazen A, Haviland DL, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2012). Quantifying multimodal contrast agent biological activity using near-infrared flow cytometry. Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 7(3):338-45. doi: 10.1002/cmmi.502. PMID: 22539404.
  • Moss JA, Vavere AL, Azhdarinia A. (2012). Design of Peptide Imaging Agents for Whole-body and Intraoperative Molecular Imaging. Curr Med Chem, 1;19(20):3255-65. PMID:22664243.
  • Hall MA, Pinkston KL, Wilganowski N, Robinson H, Ghosh P, Azhdarinia A, Vasquez-Arreguin K, Kolonin AM, Chan W, Harvey BR, and Sevick-Muraca EM. (2012). Comparison of mAbs targeting EpCAM for detection of prostate cancer lymph node metastases with multimodal contrast: NIRF imaging and quantitative µPET/CT. J Nucl Med, 53(9):1427-37. PMID:22872743.
  • Ghosh SC, Ghosh P, Wilganowski N, Robinson H, Hall MA, Dickinson G, Harvey B, Sevick-Muraca EM, and Azhdarinia A. (2013). A Multimodal Chelation Platform for Near-infrared Fluorescence/Nuclear Imaging. J Med Chem, 56(2):406-16. PMID:23214723.
  • Sevick-Muraca EM, Akers WJ, Joshi BP, Luker GD, Marnett LJ, Contag CH, Wang TD, and Azhdarinia A. (2013). Advancing the translation of optical imaging agents for clinical medical imaging. Biomedical Opt Express, 4(1): 160-70. PMID:23304655
  • Zhu B, Wu G, Robinson H, Wilganowski N, Hall MA, Ghosh SC, Pinkston KL, Azhdarinia A, Harvey BR, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2013). Tumor Margin Detection Using Quantitative NIRF Molecular Imaging Targeting EpCAM Validated by Far Red Gene Reporter iRFP. Mol Imaging Biol, 15(5):560-8. PMID:23619897
  • Lu Y, Darne CD, Tan IC, Wu G, Wilganowski N, Robinson H, Azhdarinia A, Zhu B, Rasmussen JC, Sevick-Muraca EM. (2013). In vivo imaging of orthotopic prostate cancer with far-red gene reporter fluorescence tomography and in vivo and ex vivo validation. J Biomed Opt, 18(10):101305. PMID:23797877
  • Azhdarinia A, Daquinag AC, Tseng C, Ghosh SC, Ghosh P, Amaya-Manzanares F, Sevick-Muraca EM, Kolonin MG. (2013). Probes for targeted brown adipose tissue imaging. Nat Commun, 4:2472. PMID: 24045463