Satish K. Chitneni
Assistant Professor of Radiology

The major focus of my research is on the design, development and evaluation of novel radiotracers based on small molecules for imaging of specific molecular targets by positron emission tomography (PET). The imaging targets are usually enzymes, cell surface receptors or transporters that are strongly implicated in or markers of diseases. Fluorine-18, which has a half-life of about 110 min, is ideally suited for radiolabeling of small molecules, and permits PET imaging studies for up to 4 h after injection in vivo. Other radioisotopes of interest for PET radiotracer development include carbon-11 and iodine-124, the latter one has a longer half-life (4.2 days) and enables imaging at late time points. Another major area of interest is the use of PET imaging in conjunction with suitable radiotracers for evaluation of novel therapeutics in preclinical studies.

Utilizing the wealth of information available from the cancer genome sequencing studies and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) studies, efforts are underway to develop radiolabeled probes for PET imaging of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutations, which are present in the vast majority of patients with lower-grade gliomas and secondary higher-grade gliomas. Successful development of imaging methods for mutant IDH1 and other important genetic alterations in gliomas can help in molecular and genetic classification of gliomas noninvasively and in developing novel therapeutics.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 311 Research Drive, 161-I Bryan Research Building, Durham, NC 27710
  • Box 3949 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

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