Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Allison Cohen, PhD

Imaging Research Scientist

Contact Information
(615) 323-8392


My interests are in using molecular imaging to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases, in particular cancer. My expertise is in synthetic organic chemistry, target identification and validation, molecular imaging agent characterization, optical (fluorescence and bioluminescence) imaging, cell biology and animal models of cancer.


My role at the VUIIS is to oversee the conduct of preclinical and translational research within the Center for Molecular Probes (CMP). I am responsible for coordinating preclinical animal imaging and therapy studies as well as clinical human research studies. I help develop and maintain highly specialized research imaging methods, contribute to imaging technology development, facilitate research collaborations and assist with a variety of other activities to support the research occurring at the CMP.


Cohen, A.S.; Patek, R.; Enkemann, S.A.; Johnson, J.O.; Chen, T.; Toloza, E.; Vagner, J.; Morse, D.L. Delta-Opioid Receptor Targeted Near-Infrared Fluorescent Agent for Imaging of Lung Cancer: Synthesis and Evaluation In Vitro and In Vivo. Bioconjugate Chem. 2016, 27, 427-438.

Huynh, A.S.; Estrella, V.; Stark, V.E.; Cohen, A.S.; Chen, T.; Casagni, T.J.; Josan, J.S.; Lloyd, M.C.; Johnson, J.; Kim, J.; Hruby, V.J.; Vagner, J.; Morse, D.L. Tumor Targeting and Pharmacokinetics of a Near Infrared Fluorescent-labeled δ-Opioid Receptor Antagonist Agent, Dmt-Tic-Cy5. Mol. Pharmaceutics. 2016, 13, 534-544.

Henkin, A.H.*; Cohen, A.S.*; Dubikovskaya, E.A.*; Park, H.M.; Nikitin, G.F.; Auzias, M.G.; Kazantzis, M.; Bertozzi, C.R.; Stahl, A. Real-Time Noninvasive Imaging of Fatty Acid Uptake in Vivo. ACS Chem Biol. 2012, 7, 1884-1891. (*These authors contributed equally to this work)

Cohen, A.S.; Dubikovskaya, E.A.; Rush, J.S.; Bertozzi, C.R. Real-time bioluminescence imaging of glycans on live cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 8563-8565.