Qi-Huang Zheng, PhD

Dr. Zheng is associate professor of radiology and PET radiochemist/synthetic organic chemist in the Department of Radiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

In his laboratory, Dr. Zheng's has been investigating the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals (brain, tumor and heart imaging agents) for use in biomedical imaging techniques in positron emission tomography (PET) to study brain, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. His research interests range from PET radiopharmaceutical chemistry to synthetic organic chemistry and biologically active natural product chemistry.

His current research activities focus on the development of novel and potent enzyme-based and/or receptor-based PET carbon-11 and fluorine-18 radiotracers for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of physiologic changes in vivo, from initial evaluation in cell and animal models to evaluation in clinical trials. The neuroimaging tracers produced in this laboratory include [11C]PIB (ß-amyloid); [11C]DAA1106 and [11C]PBR28 (peripheral benzodiazepine receptor); [11C]ß-CFT and [11C]ß-CIT (dopamine and serotonin transporters); [11C]Raclopride, [11C]Fallypride and [18F]Fallypride (D2 receptor); and [11C]DTBZ (vesicular monoamine transporter). A series of PET cancer imaging agents that target either enzymes or receptors have been synthesized in this laboratory, including radiolabeled matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitors for MMP enzymes, radiolabeled O6-benzylguanine derivatives for human DNA repair protein alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (AGT), radiolabeled ganciclovir and penciclovir analogs for herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-tk) gene, [11C]Choline for phosphatidylcholine, and radiolabeled quinazoline derivatives like [11C]Iressa for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr). The heart imaging agents available in this laboratory include [11C]HED (cardiac sympathetic innervation); [11C]Neostigmine, [11C]Edrophonium and [11C]Pyridostigmine (acetylcholinesterase); and [11C]Hemicholinium-15 and [11C]Hemicholinium-3 (high-affinity choline uptake).

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