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Wenchao Qu

Research Interests

Molecular imaging is a multi-disciplinary research area that focuses on visualizing, characterizing and measuring various biological processes in living systems, it usually involves in a wide range of knowledge, such as organic chemistry, radiochemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology as well as imaging instrumentation and imaging analysis, et al. My research is interested in developing radioisotope and stable isotope labeled bioactive organic molecules and utilizing them as probes for plant imaging as well as for investigating biological metabolism processes. Specifically, I am focusing on the following research areas:

  • Design and Synthesis of bioactive organic molecules including complex heterocyclic aromatic and hetero-macrocyclic molecules, halogenated and isotopes labeled amino acids, oligopeptides, nucleosides, plant hormones and their analogs etc.
  • Utilize these bioactive molecules as probes for understanding various biological processes in living systems (plants, animals and humans).
  • Development of new methodologies for synthesis of various isotopes (Carbon-11, Fluorine-18, Nitrogen-13, Deuterium, Carbon-13, Nitrogen-15, Iodine-123, Iodine-125, etc) labeled bioactive molecules. These labeled probes are potentially useful as molecular imaging agents.
  • Development of new fluorination chemistry and methodologies for novel fluorinated agents. The goal is to take advantage of simple and efficient nucleophilic fluorinating reactions that are suitable for bioactive organic molecules.

Recent News

Selected Publications

  • Qu W., Oya S., Lieberman B.P, Ploessl K., Wang L., Wise D.R., Divgi C.R., Chodosh L.A., Thompson C.B., and Kung H.F.
    Preparation and Characterization of L-[5-11C]-Glutamine for Metabolic Imaging of Tumors.
    The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 53(1):98-105. (2012).  PubMed
    “THIS MONTH IN JNM” (The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2012, 53, 11A-12A)
  • Ploessl K., Wang L., Lieberman B.P., Qu W., and Kung H.F.
    Comparative Evaluation of 18F Labeled Glutamic Acid and Glutamine as Tumor Metabolic Imaging Agents.
    The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 53(10):1616-1624 (2012).   PubMed
  • Wang L., Zha Z., Qu W., Qiao H., Lieberman B.P., Ploessl K.,Kung H.F.
    Synthesis and evaluation of 18F labeled alanine derivatives as potential tumor imaging agents.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology, 39(7), 933-943 (2012).   PubMed
  • Lieberman B.P., Ploessl K., Wang L., Qu W., Zha Z., Wise D.R., Chodosh L.A., Belka G., Thompson C.B., and Kung H.F.
    PET Imaging of Glutaminolysis in Tumors by [18F](2S,4R)-4-Fluoroglutamine.
    The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 52(12):1947-1955 (2011).   PubMed
    Selected as the Editors’ Choice Award for one of the three best basic science investigation manuscripts published in JNM in 2011.
  • Qu W., Zha Z., Lieberman B.P., Mancuso A., Stetz M., Rizi R., Ploessl K., Wise D.R., Thompson C.B., and Kung H.F.
    Facile Synthesis [5-13C-4-2H2]-L-Glutamine for Hyperpolarization MRS Imaging of Cancer Cell Metabolism.
    Academic Radiology, 18(8):932-939 (2011).   PubMed
    Highlighted by Robert A. Gatenby, Robert J. Gillies. Academic Radiology Guest Editorial at Issue 2011, 18(8), 929-931.
  • Qu W., Zha Z., Ploessl K., Lieberman B.P., Zhu L., Wise D.R., Thompson C.B., and Kung H.F.
    Synthesis of Optically Pure 4-Fluoro-Glutamine as Potential Metabolic Imaging Agents for Tumors.
    Journal of American Chemical Society, 133(4):1122-1133 (2011).   PubMed
    Highlighted by Chemical & Engineering News on Science and Technology Concentrates at Jan. 24, 2011 issue.
  • Kung H.F., Choi S.R., Qu W., Zhang W., and Skovronsky D.
    18F Stilbenes and Styrylpyridines for PET Imaging of Ab Plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Miniperspective.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 53(3):933-941 (2010).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Ploessl K., Truong H., Kung M.-P., and Kung H.F.
    Iodophenyl tagged sphingosine derivatives: Synthesis and preliminary biological evaluation.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 19(13):3382-3385 (2009).   PubMed
  • Ploessl K., Chandra R., Qu W., Lieberman B.P., Kung M.-P., Zhou R., Huang B., and Kung H.F.
    A Novel Gallium Bisaminothiolate Complex as a Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Agent.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology, 35(1):83-90 (2008).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Choi S.-R., Hou C., Zhuang Z., Oya S., Zhang W., Kung M.-P., Manchandra R., Skovronsky D.M., and Kung H.F.
    Synthesis and Evaluation of Indolinyl- and Indolylphenylacetylenes as PET Imaging Agents for b-Amyloid Plaques.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 18(17):4823-4827 (2008).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Kung M.-P.,Hou C., Benedum T.E., and Kung H.F.
    Novel Styrylpyridines as Probes for SPECT Imaging of Amyloid Plaques.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 50(9):2157-2165 (2007).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Kung M.-P.,Hou C., Jin L.-W., and Kung H.F.
    Radioiodinated Aza-Diphenylacetylenes as Potential SPECT Imaging Agents for b-Amyloid Plaque Detection.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 17(13):3581-3584 (2007).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Kung M.-P.,Hou C., Oya S., and Kung H.F.
    Quick Assembly of 1,4-Diphenyltriazoles as Probes Targeting b-Amyloid Aggregates in Alzheimer’s Diseases.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 50(14):3380-3387 (2007).   PubMed
  • Qu W., Ding T., Cetin A., Harvey J., Taschner M.J., and Ziegler C.J.
    Facile Peripheral Modification of N-Confused Porphyrin.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 71(2):811-814 (2006).  PubMed
  • Qu W., Rorabacher D.B., and Taschner M.J.
    Sulfide Ion Transfer From A Vicinal Dithiolate. A New Route For The Synthesis of Mesocyclic Trithiaethers.
    Tetrahedron Letters, 46,8057-8060 (2005).