Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D. Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine, UC Davis

Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D.
Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine,
UC Davis

NIH NCI RO1 Awarded with perfect score

Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D., jointly appointed in Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine, has received a new NIH NCI RO1 award in cancer research. The overall goal of this research is to further investigate the integrin αvβ6 as a target for molecular imaging and to develop αvβ6  targeted therapy for cancer treatment.  The expression of αvβ6  is increased in many cancers including colon, lung and pancreatic and seems to be indicative of poor outcome for patients. This makes αvβ6 a significant target for molecular imaging and for the development of targeted therapy to address it.  This research proposes a peptide based approach to develop novel αvβ6 specific imaging agents and αvβ6 specific therapies.

This research brings together an interdisciplinary team of investigators with a history of successful collaboration. The PI, Dr. Sutcliffe, is a radiochemist with over 20 years of experience in radiotracer development. As co-Director of The Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging (CMGI) she works closely with Dr. Cherry, the pioneer of MicroPET imaging and PET/MRI. Dr. Bold is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology with expertise in pancreatic cancer and has published in this area with Dr. Sutcliffe. Dr. Tarantal is the Director of the imaging resource at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) and collaborates with Dr. Sutcliffe on numerous research projects, most recently evaluating the pharmacokinetics of PEG28-A20FMDV2(K16R)-PEG28 in nonhuman primates. Dr. Beckett provides a wealth of biostatistics experience for all collaborators involved. Not only does this proposal bring together a unique team of skilled investigators but also significant resources, particularly in molecular imaging, to facilitate rapid advancement into the clinic.

FAPESP SPRINT: Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration Program

Title:  Establishment of a multicenter platform for the development of molecular imaging agents

 The goal of SPRINT awards is to serve as seed funding to launch more expansive joint projects. The awarded project provides sharing of knowledge and infrastructure among the Radiochemistry Research and Training Facility-UCDavis and the Radiopharmacy Laboratory Faculty of Medicine-USP, for development of  radiopharmaceuticals.  In addition, a training platform for the next generation of radiochemists and radiopharmacists will be established.

This proposal describes a joint venture between Dr Sutcliffe at UC Davis and Dr Marques at USP who propose to leverage unique expertise and resources at each site to begin to address some of the current challenges in the development of targeted molecular imaging agents specifically for PET and SPECT. By combining the specific complimentary skills and resources at each institution we believe the researchers and trainees involved will obtain a well-rounded education in radiopharmaceutical development. The funds requested will provide mobility for researchers between sites. The anticipated outcome from this unique collaborative team will include but not be limited to; joint publications, increased visibility for UC Davis in Sao Paulo as well as USP in California, new collaborations between research centers and culminate in joint proposals to develop co-funded research projects.