Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Wellington Pham, Ph.D.


Contact Information
(615) 936-7621


Our group's research interests focus on the use of synthetic and colloidal chemistry in the development of novel molecular probes. Through our use of emerging imaging technologies, we foresee such probes being employed to investigate and define the mechanisms that lead to pathological diseases.


Our ongoing investigation emphasizes on cell therapy using a transgenic and preclinical mouse model. In addition, we have employed integrated nanotechnology-based platforms to achieve a multifunctional and multiplexed vaccine delivery system for cancer therapy. Aside from highlighting the contrast properties and carrier features available in nanotechnology, the overall goals of our studies are to (i) provide microanatomical and functional imaging feedback of the therapeutic process and (ii) realize an approach for longitudinal treatment and monitoring.     Our second project focuses on the development of a novel synthetic chemistry approach to the generation of probes intended specifically for imaging Alzheimer's disease (AD). The significance of this work lies in the development of a versatile vehicle which, after being loaded with imaging cargo, can be delivered to the brain. Furthermore, our laboratory currently maintains a clone of a double transgenic mouse model of AD to enable testing of these probes. Considering the tremendous contribution made by imaging in understanding the pathogenesis of AD, the results obtained through this research will have a strong influence on current efforts to find reliable biomarkers of this disease.


Kobukai S, Xie JP, Kremers G, Cobb JG, Kuley A, Pham W, Induction of Antitumor Immunity by Dendritic Cells Loaded with Membrane Translocating MUC1 Peptide antigen, Translational Oncology, 2010 (in press).

Kobukai S, Baheza R, Xie J, Virostko J, Gillman A, Koktysh D, Kernes D, Jerome J, Koes M, Gore J, Pham W. Development of Magnetic Nanoparticles for in vivo Imaging the Migration of Dendritic Cells. Magn Reson Med 2010, 63, 1383-1390.

Nickels M, Xie JP, Cobb J, Gore JC, Pham W, Functionalization of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with a Versatile Epoxy Amine Linker, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2010, 20, 4776-4780.

Pham W, Cassell L, Gillman A, Koktysh D,  Gore JC. A Near-Infrared  Dye for Multichannel Imaging. ChemCommun. 2008; 16: 1895-1897. 

Medarova Z, Pham W, Farrar C, Petkova V, Moore A. In Vivo Imaging of siRNA Delivery and Silencing in Tumors. Nature Med. 2007; 13(3): 372-377.