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Samuel Achilefu, PhD

Contact Information
Washington University School of Medicine
Malllinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Department of Radiology,
4515 McKinley Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: 314-362-8599
E-mail: achilefu@wustl.edu


Current Position

Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology
Professor of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
Chief, Optical Radiology Laboratory
Vice Chair, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Director, Washington University Molecular Imaging Center
Director, Center for Multiple Myeloma Nanotherapy
Co-Leader, Oncologic Imaging Program, Siteman Cancer Center

Research Interests
Our research interests are in the design, development, and biochemical evaluation of molecular imaging agents and drugs in cells and living organisms.Through highly multidisciplinary research, we also develop new imaging systems for clinical applications. Our most recent accomplishments include the discovery of a broad spectrum cancer imaging agent, a portable goggle device for image-guided surgery, a depth-independent photo therapeutic platform for treating diseases and a reporter molecular system for reporting kinase activities. The ultimate goal is to validate new research concepts in the lab and translate them to humans.

Selected Publications (for full list of publications access) PubMED

1. Zheleznyak A, Shokeen M, Achilefu S. Nanotherapeutics for multiple myeloma. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2018:e1526. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1526. PubMed PMID: 29701006.

2. Kotagiri N, Cooper ML, Rettig M, Egbulefu C, Prior J, Cui G, Karmakar P, Zhou M, Yang X, Sudlow G, Marsala L, Chanswangphuwana C, Lu L, Habimana-Griffin L, Shokeen M, Xu X, Weilbaecher K, Tomasson M, Lanza G, DiPersio JF, Achilefu S. Radionuclides transform chemotherapeutics into phototherapeutics for precise treatment of disseminated cancer. Nat Commun. 2018;9(1):275. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02758-9. PubMed PMID: 29348537; PMCID: PMC5773683.

3. Tang R, Habimana-Griffin LM, Lane DD, Egbulefu C, Achilefu S. Nanophotosensitive drugs for light-based cancer therapy: what does the future hold? Nanomedicine (Lond). 2017;12(10):1101-5. doi: 10.2217/nnm-2017-0077. PubMed PMID: 28447872; PMCID: PMC5480785.

4. Mondal SB, Gao S, Zhu N, Habimana-Griffin L, Akers WJ, Liang R, Gruev V, Margenthaler J, Achilefu S. Optical See-Through Cancer Vision Goggles Enable Direct Patient Visualization and Real-Time Fluorescence-Guided Oncologic Surgery. Ann Surg Oncol. 2017;24(7):1897-903. doi: 10.1245/s10434-017-5804-8. PubMed PMID: 28213790; PMCID: PMC5503161.

5. Gilson RC, Black KCL, Lane DD, Achilefu S. Hybrid TiO2 -Ruthenium Nano-photosensitizer Synergistically Produces Reactive Oxygen Species in both Hypoxic and Normoxic Conditions. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017;56(36):10717-20. doi: 10.1002/anie.201704458. PubMed PMID: 28667692; PMCID: PMC5749187.

6. Som A, Raliya R, Tian L, Akers W, Ippolito JE, Singamaneni S, Biswas P, Achilefu S. Monodispersed calcium carbonate nanoparticles modulate local pH and inhibit tumor growth in vivo. Nanoscale. 2016;8(25):12639-47. doi: 10.1039/c5nr06162h. PubMed PMID: 26745389; PMCID: PMC4919221.

7. Tang R, Xue J, Xu B, Shen D, Sudlow GP, Achilefu S. Tunable ultrasmall visible-to-extended near-infrared emitting silver sulfide quantum dots for integrin-targeted cancer imaging. ACS Nano. 2015;9(1):220-30. doi: 10.1021/nn5071183. PubMed PMID: 25560768; PMCID: PMC4310643.

8. Kotagiri N, Sudlow GP, Akers WJ, Achilefu S. Breaking the depth dependency of phototherapy with Cerenkov radiation and low-radiance-responsive nanophotosensitizers. Nat Nanotechnol. 2015;10(4):370-9. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2015.17. PubMed PMID: 25751304; PMCID: PMC4393353.

9. Black KC, Akers WJ, Sudlow G, Xu B, Laforest R, Achilefu S. Dual-radiolabeled nanoparticle SPECT probes for bioimaging. Nanoscale. 2015;7(2):440-4. doi: 10.1039/c4nr05269b. PubMed PMID: 25418982; PMCID: PMC4268305.

10. Shen D, Bai M, Tang R, Xu B, Ju X, Pestell RG, Achilefu S. Dual fluorescent molecular substrates selectively report the activation, sustainability and reversibility of cellular PKB/Akt activity. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1697. doi: 10.1038/srep01697. PubMed PMID: 23603888; PMCID: PMC3631771.

11. Tang R, Lee H, Achilefu S. Induction of pH sensitivity on the fluorescence lifetime of quantum dots by NIR fluorescent dyes. J Am Chem Soc. 2012;134(10):4545-8. doi: 10.1021/ja300276s. PubMed PMID: 22360301; PMCID: PMC3303939.

12. Berezin MY, Achilefu S. Fluorescence lifetime measurements and biological imaging. Chem Rev. 2010;110(5):2641-84. doi: 10.1021/cr900343z. PubMed PMID: 20356094; PMCID: PMC2924670.

13. Achilefu S, Bloch S, Markiewicz MA, Zhong T, Ye Y, Dorshow RB, Chance B, Liang K. Synergistic effects of light-emitting probes and peptides for targeting and monitoring integrin expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102(22):7976-81. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0503500102. PubMed PMID: 15911748; PMCID: PMC1142399.

14. Ye Y, Bloch S, Achilefu S. Polyvalent carbocyanine molecular beacons for molecular recognitions. J Am Chem Soc. 2004;126(25):7740-1. doi: 10.1021/ja049441z. PubMed PMID: 15212497.