Medical Department Seminar

"New Synthetic Routes to Protein-Based Imaging Agents"

Presented by Matthew B. Francis, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California at Berkeley, Chemistry Department.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 1:30 pm — Large Conference Room, Bldg. 490

A modular synthetic platform has been developed to access targetable delivery vectors for a variety of imaging techniques. Genome-free viral capsids have served as the basic scaffold for these studies, as they provide monodisperse spherical structures that can be tailored to display multiple copies of a desired functional group. The interior surface of each capsid has been modified to house up to 100 gadolinium complexes, yielding MRI contrast enhancement agents with very high relaxivities. Chemical techniques have also been developed for the introduction of F-18 nuclei for PET and cryptophane ligands for the binding of hyperpolarized xenon. Exterior surface modifications have targeted an artificial amino acid that exhibits unique chemical reactivity, allowing the facile attachment of tissue targeting peptides and biocompatible polymers. The cornerstone of these efforts has been the development of reliable synthetic reactions that can modify biomolecules with high site selectivity and yield. This presentation will emphasize the potential of these techniques for the construction of new imaging agents from virtually any protein of interest.

Hosted by: Jacob Hooker, PhD

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