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Chun Li, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Adjunct Professor, PET Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Faculty, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Adjunct Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Houston, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Research activities in Dr. Chun Li’s laboratory are primarily focused on two areas: 1) the development of targeted imaging probes for noninvasive characterization of molecular events associated with tumor progression and regression and 2) the development of novel drug-delivery systems for selective delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Molecular imaging probes used in nuclear, optical, and magnetic resonance imaging modalities are designed to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity of early tumor detection, tumor-marker profiling, and the monitoring of early treatment responses. Targeted drug delivery, on the other hand, uses nanometric drug carriers to selectively deliver anticancer agents to the tumor to maximize their therapeutic efficacy and minimize their toxic side effects to the normal tissues. Their long-term goal is to apply the “seek and treat” strategy in the development of targeted imaging/therapeutic agents that will eventually be translated to the clinic to improve the management of cancer through early tumor detection and individualized therapy.

Research Interests

  • Molecular Imaging Probes, Drug Delivery Systems, Nanotechnology
  • Research activities in the Dunn Foundation Chemistry Laboratory for Imaging Sciences are primarily focused on two areas:
  • The development of targeted imaging probes for noninvasive characterization of molecular events associated with tumor progression and regression.

The development of novel drug-delivery systems for selective delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Molecular imaging probes used in nuclear, optical and magnetic resonance imaging modalities are designed to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity of early tumor detection, tumor-marker profiling, and the monitoring of early treatment responses. Targeted drug delivery, on the other hand, uses nanometric drug carriers to selectively deliver anticancer agents to the tumor to maximize their therapeutic efficacy and minimize their toxic side effects to the normal tissues.

Our long-term goal is to apply the "see-and-treat" strategy in the development of targeted imaging/therapeutic agents that will eventually be translated to the clinic to improve the management of cancer through early tumor detection and individualized therapy.

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1991 Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, PHD, Chemistry
1983 Peking University, Beijing, China, BS, Chemistry

Postgraduate Training

2/1991-8/1993 Research Associate, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


Academic Appointments

Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, 2/2005-9/2007
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2/2002-9/2005
Associate Professor, Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2000-9/2006
Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 7/1994-9/2000
Instructor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/1993-7/1994

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Research Associate, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1991-1993

Professional Memberships

American Association of Cancer Research
Member, 1/1992-present
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Member, 1992-2009
American Chemical Society
Member, 1/1988-present
Controlled Release Society
Member, 1/1989-present
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Member, 2005-present
World Molecular Imaging Congress
Member, 2003-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Huang M, Xiong C, Lu W, Zhang R, Zhou M, Huang Q, Weinberg J, Li C. Dual-modality micro-positron emission tomography/computed tomography and near-infrared fluorescence imaging of EphB4 in orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft models. Mol Imaging Biol 16(1):74-84, 2014. PMCID: PMC3947091.
2. Zhang R, Huang M, Zhou M, Wen X, Huang Q, Li C. Annexin A5-functionalized nanoparticle for multimodal imaging of cell death. Mol Imaging 12(3):182-190, 5/2013. PMID: 23490444.
3. Song SL, Xiong CY, Lu W, Ku G, Huang G, Li C. Apoptosis imaging probe predicts early chemotherapy response in preclinical models: a comparative study with 18F-FDG PET. J Nucl Med 54(1):104-110, 2013. PMID: 23283564.
4. Zhu H, Zhao J, Lin X, Hong Y, Li C, Yang Z. Design, synthesis and evaluation of dual-modality glyco-nanoparticles for tumor imaging. Molecules 18(6):6425-6438, 2013. PMID: 23722731.
5. Lee HJ, Liu Y, Zhao J, Zhou M, Bouchard RR, Mitcham T, Wallace M, Stafford RJ, Li C, Gupta S, Melancon MP. In vitro and in vivo mapping of drug release after laser ablation thermal therapy with doxorubicin-loaded hollow gold nanoshells using fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging. J Control Rel 172(1):152-158, 2013. PMCID: PMC3853126.
6. You J, Wang ZH, Du YZ, Yuan H, Zhang PZ, Zhou JL, Liu F, Li C, Hu FQ. Specific tumor delivery of paclitaxel using glycolipid-like polymer micelles containing gold nanospheres. Biomaterials 34(18):4510-4519, 2013. PMID: 23510855.
7. Tian M, Lu W, Zhang R, Xiong C, Ensor J, Nazario J, Jackson J, Shaw C, Dixon KA, Miller J, Wright K, Li C, Gupta S. Tumor uptake of hollow gold nanospheres after intravenous and transcatheter arterial injection: A PET/CT study in a rabbit VX2 liver cancer model. Mol Imaging Biol 15(5):614-24, 2013. PMID: 23608932.
8. Shen HF, You J, Zhang GD, Ziemys A, Li QP, Bai LT, Deng XY, Erm DR, Liu XW, Li C, Ferrari M. Cooperative, nanoparticle-enabled thermal therapy of breast cancer (Cover Illustration). Adv Healthcare Mat 1(1):84-89, 2012. PMCID: PMC3842222.
9. Ku G, Zhou M, Song S, Huang Q, Hazle J, Li C. Copper sulfide nanoparticles as a new class of photoacoustic contrast agent for deep tissue imaging at 1064 nm. ACS Nano 6(8):7489-96, 2012. PMCID: PMC3429766.
10. Zhao J, Song S, Zhong M, Li C. Dual-modal tumor imaging via long-circulating biodegradable core-crosslinked polymeric micelles. ACS Macro Lett 1(1):150-153, 2012. PMCID: PMC3367665.
11. You J, Zhang R, Xiong C, Zhong M, Melancon M, Gupta S, Nick AM, Sood AK, Li C. Effective photothermal chemotherapy using doxorubicin-loaded gold nanospheres that target EphB4 receptors in tumors (Cover Illustration). Cancer Res 72(18):4777-86, 2012. PMCID: PMC3445780.
12. Gupta S, Stafford RJ, Javedi S, Ozkan E, Ensor J, Wright K, Elliot A, Jian Y, Serda R, Wallace M, Li C. Effects of near-infrared laser irradiation of biodegradable microspheres containing hollow gold nanospheres and paclitaxel administered intra-arterially in a rabbit liver tumor model. J Vas Interv Radiol 23(4):553-561, 2012. PMID: 22341633.
13. You J, Zhang R, Zhang G-D, Zhong M, Liu Y, Van Pelt CS, Liang D, Wei W, Sood AK, Li C. Photothermal-chemotherapy with doxorubicin-loaded hollow gold nanospheres: A platform for near-infrared light-trigged drug release. J Controlled Rel 158(2):319-328, 2012. PMCID: PMC3463239.
14. Lu W, Xiong C, Zhang R, Shi L, Huang M, Zhang G, Song S, Huang Q, Liu GY, Li C. Receptor-mediated transcytosis: a mechanism for active extravascular transport of nanoparticles in solid tumors (Cover Illustration). J Control Rel 161(3):959-966, 2012. PMCID: PMC3412909.
15. Cao Y, Marks JD, Huang Q, Rudnick SI, Xiong CY, Hittelman WN, Wen XX, Marks JW, Cheung LH, Boland K, Adams GP, Li C, Rosenblum MG. Single-chain antibody-based immunotoxins targeting Her2/neu: design optimization and impact of affinity on antitumor efficacy and off-target toxicity. Mol Cancer Ther 11(1):143-153, 2012. PMID: 22090420.
16. Yang Z, Xiong C, Zhang R, Zhu H, Li C. Synthesis and evaluation of (68)Ga-labeled DOTA-2-deoxy-D-glucosamine as a potential radiotracer in μPET imaging. Am J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2(4):499-507, 2012. PMCID: PMC3484416.
17. Zhang G, Zhang R, Melancon MP, Wong K, You J, Huang Q, Bankson J, Liang D, Li C. The degradation and clearance of poly(N-hydroxypropyl-L-glutamine)-DTPA-Gd as a blood pool MRI contrast agent. Biomaterials 33(21):5376-5383, 2012. PMCID: PMC3356511.
18. Wen X, Lyu MA, Zhang R, Lu W, Huang Q, Liang D, Rosenblum MG, Li C. Biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, and nuclear imaging studies of (111)In-labeled rGel/BLyS fusion toxin in SCID mice bearing B cell lymphoma. Mol Imaging Biol 13(4):721-9, 2011. PMID: 20686856.
19. Perin EC, Tian M, Marini III FC, Silva GV, Zheng Y, Baimbridge F, Quan X, Fernandes MR, Gahremanpour A, Young D, Paolillo V, Mukhopadhyay U, Borne AT, Uthamanthil R, Brammer D, Jackson J, Decker WK, Najjar AM, Thomas MW, Volgin A, Rabinovich B, Soghomonyan S, Jeong HJ, Rios JM, Steiner D, Robinson S, Mawlawi O, Pan T, Stafford J, Kundra V, Li C, Alauddin MM, Shpall E, Gelovani JG. Imaging long-term fate of intramyocardially implanted mesenchymal stem cells in a porcine myocardial infarction model. PLoS One 6(9):e22949, 2011. PMCID: PMC3164664.
20. Xiong C, Huang M, Zhang R, Song S, Lu W, Flores L, Gelovani J, Li C. In vivo small-animal PET/CT of EphB4 receptors using 64Cu-labeled peptide. J Nucl Med 52(2):241-8, 2011. PMID: 21233177.
21. Melancon MP, Elliott AM, Shetty A, Huang Q, Stafford RJ, Li C. Near-infrared light modulated photothermal effect increases vascular perfusion and enhances polymeric drug delivery. J Control Release 156(2):265-272, 2011. PMCID: PMC3203335.
22. Xiong C, Brewer K, Song S, Zhang R, Lu W, Wen X, Li C. Peptide-based imaging agents targeting phosphatidylserine for the detection of apoptosis. J Med Chem 54(6):1825-35, 2011. PMID: 21348464.
23. Zhang R, Xiong C, Huang M, Zhou M, Huang Q, Wen X, Liang D, Li C. Peptide-conjugated polymeric micellar nanoparticles for dual SPECT and optical imaging of EphB4 receptors in prostate cancer xenografts. Biomaterials 32(25):5872-9, 2011. PMCID: PMC3110559.
24. Tian M, Wen X, Jackson EF, Ng C, Uthamanthil R, Liang D, Gelovani JG, Li C. Pharmacokinetics and magnetic resonance imaging of biodegradable macromolecular blood-pool contrast agent PG-Gd in non-human primates: a pilot study. Contrast Media Mol Imaging 6(4):289-97, 2011. PMCID: PMC3435886.
25. Song S, Xiong C, Zhou M, Lu W, Huang Q, Ku G, Zhao J, Flores LG, Ni Y, Li C. Small-animal PET of tumor damage induced by photothermal ablation with 64Cu-Bis-DOTA-hypericin. J Nucl Med 52(5):792-9, 2011. PMID: 21498539.
26. Melancon MP, Lu W, Zhong M, Zhou M, Liang G, Elliott AM, Hazle JD, Myers JN, Li C, Stafford RJ. Targeted multi-functional gold-based nanoshells for MR-guided laser ablation of head and neck cancer. Biomaterials 32(30):7600-8, 2011. PMCID: PMC3195359.
27. Melancon MP, Elliott A, Ji X, Shetty A, Yang Z, Tian M, Taylor B, Stafford RJ, Li C. Theranostics with multifunctional magnetic gold nanoshells: photothermal therapy and T2* magnetic resonance imaging. Invest Radiol 46(2):132-40, 2011. PMCID: PMC3435880.
28. Zhou M, Zhang R, Huang M, Lu W, Song S, Melancon MP, Tian M, Liang D, Li C. A chelator-free multifunctional [64Cu]CuS nanoparticle platform for simultaneous micro-PET/CT imaging and photothermal ablation therapy. J Am Chem Soc 132(43):15351-8, 2010. PMCID: PMC2966020.
29. Li Y, Lu W, Huang Q, Huang M, Li C, Chen W. Copper sulfide nanoparticles for photothermal ablation of tumor cells. Nanomedicine (Lond) 5(8):1161-71, 2010. PMID: 21039194.
30. Belousova N, Mikheeva G, Xiong C, Soghomonian S, Young D, Le Roux L, Naff K, Bidaut L, Wei W, Li C, Gelovani J, Krasnykh V. Development of a targeted gene vector platform based on simian adenovirus serotype 24. J Virol 84(19):10087-101, 2010. PMCID: PMC2937776.
31. You J, Zhang G, Li C. Exceptionally high payload of doxorubicin in hollow gold nanospheres for near-infrared light-triggered drug release. ACS Nano 4(2):1033-41, 2010. PMCID: PMC2835401.
32. Fang C, Veiseh O, Kievit F, Bhattarai N, Wang F, Stephen Z, Li C, Lee D, Ellenbogen RG, Zhang M. Functionalization of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles with targeting ligands: their physicochemical properties and in vivo behavior. Nanomedicine (London) 5(9):1357-69, 2010. PMCID: PMC3057775.
33. You J, Shao R, Wei X, Gupta S, Li C. Near-infrared light triggers release of Paclitaxel from biodegradable microspheres: photothermal effect and enhanced antitumor activity. SMALL 6(9):1022-31, 2010. PMCID: PMC3435885.
34. Lu W, Huang Q, Ku G, Wen X, Zhou M, Guzatov D, Brecht P, Su R, Oraevsky A, Wang LV, Li C. Photoacoustic imaging of living mouse brain vasculature using hollow gold nanospheres. Biomaterials 31(9):2617-26, 2010. PMCID: PMC2813997.
35. Melancon MP, Lu W, Huang Q, Thapa P, Zhou D, Ng C, Li C. Targeted imaging of tumor-associated M2 macrophages using a macromolecular contrast agent PG-Gd-NIR813. Biomaterials 31(25):6567-73, 2010. PMCID: PMC2900486.
36. Lu W, Zhang G, Zhang R, Flores LG, Huang Q, Gelovani JG, Li C. Tumor site-specific silencing of NF-kappaB p65 by targeted hollow gold nanosphere-mediated photothermal transfection. Cancer Res 70(8):3177-88, 2010. PMCID: PMC2856125.
37. Xiong C, Yang Z, Zhang R, Tong W, Gelovani J, Li C. 99mTc-labeled Ac-DEVD peptides as a substrate for measuring caspase activity. Adv Exp Med Biol 611:455-6, 2009. PMID: 19400264.
38. Xiong C, Lu W, Zhang R, Tian M, Tong W, Gelovani J, Li C. Cell-permeable [99mTc(CO3)]-labeled fluorogenic caspase 3 substrate for dual-modality detection of apoptosis. Chemistry 15(36):8979-84, 2009. PMID: 19637160.
39. Yang Z, Kontoyiannis DP, Wen X, Xiong C, Zhang R, Albert ND, Li C. Gamma scintigraphy imaging of murine invasive pulmonary aspergillosis with a (111)In-labeled cyclic peptide. Nucl Med Biol 36(3):259-66, 2009. PMID: 19324271.
40. Zhang G, Yang Z, Lu W, Zhang R, Huang Q, Tian M, Li L, Liang D, Li C. Influence of anchoring ligands and particle size on the colloidal stability and in vivo biodistribution of polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles in tumor-xenografted mice. Biomaterials 30(10):1928-36, 2009. PMCID: PMC2745599.
41. Thapa P, Zhang G, Xia C, Gelbard A, Overwijk WW, Liu C, Hwu P, Chang DZ, Courtney A, Sastry JK, Wang PG, Li C, Zhou D. Nanoparticle formulated alpha-galactosylceramide activates NKT cells without inducing energy. Vaccine 27(25-26):3484-8, 2009. PMID: 19200815.
42. Yang Z, Leon J, Martin M, Harder JW, Zhang R, Liang D, Lu W, Tian M, Gelovani JG, Qiao A, Li C. Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of near-infrared fluorescence polymeric nanoparticles. Nanotechnology 20(16):165101, 2009. PMCID: PMC2745816.
43. Cao W, Bover L, Cho M, Wen X, Hanabuchi S, Bao M, Rosen DB, Wang YH, Shaw JL, Du Q, Li C, Arai N, Yao Z, Lanier LL, Liu YJ. Regulation of TLR7/9 responses in plasmacytoid dendritic cells by BST2 and ILT7 receptor interaction. J Exp Med 206(7):1603-14, 2009. PMCID: PMC2715090.
44. Lu W, Xiong C, Zhang G, Huang Q, Zhang R, Zhang JZ, Li C. Targeted photothermal ablation of murine melanomas with melanocyte-stimulating hormone analog-conjugated hollow gold nanospheres. Clin Cancer Res 15(3):876-86, 2009. PMCID: PMC2727065.
45. Wang W, Shao R, Wu Q, Ke S, McMurray J, Lang FF, Charnsangavej C, Gelovani JG, Li C. Targeting gelatinases with a near-infrared fluorescent cyclic His-Try-Gly-Phe peptide. Mol Imaging Biol 11(6):424-33, Nov-Dec, 2009. PMCID: PMC3435882.
46. Frank SJ, Stafford RJ, Bankson JA, Li C, Swanson DA, Kudchadker RJ, Martirosyan KS. A novel MRI marker for prostate brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 71:5-8, 2008. PMID: 18406882.
47. Melancon MP, Lu W, Yang Z, Zhang R, Cheng Z, Elliot AM, Stafford J, Olson T, Zhang JZ, Li C. In vitro and in vivo targeting of hollow gold nanoshells directed at epidermal growth factor receptor for photothermal ablation therapy. Mol Cancer Ther 7(6):1730-9, 2008. PMCID: PMC2727060.
48. Zhang G, Zhang R, Wen X, Li L, Li C. Micelles based on biodegradable poly(L-glutamic acid)-b-polylactide with paramagnetic Gd ions chelated to the shell layer as a potential nanoscale MRI-visible delivery system. Biomacromolecules 9(1):36-42, 2008. PMCID: PMC2547341.
49. Li M-L, Oh J-T, Xie X, Ku G, Wang W, Li C, Lungu G, Stoica G, Wang LV. Simultaneous molecular and hypoxia imaging of brain tumors in vivo using spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography. Proceedings of the IEEE 96:481-9, 2008.
50. Melancon MP, Wang Y, Wen X, Bankson JA, Stephens LC, Jasser S, Gelovani JG, Myers JN, Li C. Development of a macromolecular dual-modality MR-optical imaging for sentinel lymph node mapping. Invest Radiol 42(8):569-78, 8/2007. PMCID: PMC2746745.
51. Melancon MP, Wang W, Wang Y, Shao R, Ji X, Gelovani JG, Li C. A novel method for imaging in vivo degradation of poly(L-glutamic acid), a biodegradable drug carrier. Pharm Res 24(6):1217-24, 2007. PMCID: PMC2746742.
52. Zou C, Brewer M, Cao X, Zhang R, Lin J, Deng Y, Li C. Antitumor activity of 4-(N-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide conjugated with poly(L-glutamic acid) against ovarian cancer xenografts. Gynecol Oncol 107(3):441-9, 2007. PMID: 17854871.
53. Ji X, Shao R, Elliott AM, Stafford RJ, Esparza-Coss E, Liang G, Luo ZP, Park K, Markert JT, Li C. Bifunctional gold nanoshells with a superparamagnetic iron oxide-silica core suitable for both MR imaging and photothermal therapy. J Phys Chem, C 111(17):6245, 2007. PMCID: PMC2822349.
54. Yang Z, Zheng S, Harrison WJ, Harder J, Wen X, Gelovani JG, Qiao A, Li C. Long-circulating near-infrared fluorescence core-cross-linked polymeric micelles: synthesis, characterization, and dual nuclear/optical imaging. Biomacromolecules 8(11):3422-8, 2007. PMCID: PMC2542943.
55. Jackson EF, Esparza-Coss E, Wen X, Ng CS, Daniel SL, Price RE, Rivera B, Charnsangavej C, Gelovani JG, Li C. Magnetic resonance imaging of therapy-induced necrosis using gadolinium-chelated polyglutamic acids. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 68(3):830-8, 2007. PMCID: PMC1997292.
56. Zhu G, Cao X, Chang JY, Milas L, Wallace S, Li C. Polymeric retinoid prodrug PG-4HPR enhances the radiation response of lung cancer. Oncol Rep 18(3):645-51, 2007. PMID: 17671714.
57. Park K, Liang G, Ji X, Luo ZP, Li C, Croft M, Markert JT. Structural and magnetic properties of gold and silica doubly coated γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles. J Phys Chem, C 111:18512–19, 2007.
58. Shao R, Xiong C, Wen X, Gelovani JG, Li C. Targeting phosphatidylserine on apoptotic cells with phages and peptides selected from a bacteriophage display library. Mol Imaging 6(6):417-26, 2007. PMID: 18053412.
59. Oh SH, Lee OH, Schroeder CP, Oh YW, Ke S, Cha HJ, Park RW, Onn A, Herbst RS, Li C, Lee HY. Antimetastatic activity of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in lung cancer is mediated by insulin-like growth factor-independent urokinase-type plasminogen activator inhibition. Mol Cancer Ther 5(11):2685-95, 2006. PMID: 17121915.
60. Li C, Wang W, Wu Q, Ke S, Houston J, Sevick-Muraca E, Dong L, Chow D, Charnsangavej C, Gelovani JG. Dual optical and nuclear imaging in human melanoma xenografts using a single targeted imaging probe. Nucl Med Biol 33(3):349-58, 2006. PMID: 16631083.
61. Wang W, McMurray JS, Wu Q, Campbell ML, Li C. Convenient solid-phase synthesis of diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid (DTPA)- conjugated cyclic RGD peptide analogues. Cancer Biother Radiopharm 20:547-56, 2005.
62. Kwon S, Ke S, Houston JP, Wang W, Wu QP, Sevick-Muraca EM, Li C. Dose-dependent uptakes of an RGD-fluorescent dye-targeted to avb3 receptor expressed in Kaposi’s sarcoma. Mol Imaging 4:75-88, 2005.
63. Hwang K, Houston JP, Rasmussen JC, Joshi A, Ke S, Li C, Sevick-Muraca EM. Improved excitation light rejection enhances small-animal fluorescent optical imaging. Mol Imaging 4:194-204, 2005.
64. Wang W, Wu Q, Pasuelo M, McMurray JS, Li C. Probing for integrin alpha v beta3 binding of RGD peptides using fluorescence polarization. Bioconjug Chem 16(3):729-34, 2005. PMID: 15898744.
65. Houston JP, Ke S, Wang W, Sevick-Muraca EM, Li C. Quality analysis of in vivo near-infrared fluorescence and conventional gamma images acquired using a dual-labeled tumor-targeting probe. J Biomed Opt 10:54010, 2005.
66. Gurfinkel M, Ke S, Wang W, Sevick-Muraca EM, Li C. Quantifying molecular specificity of avb3 integrin-targeted optical contrast agents with dynamic optical imaging. J Biomed Opt 10:1-9, 2005.
67. Ke S, Wen X, Wu QP, Wallace S, Charnsangavej C, Stachowiak AM, Stephens CL, Abbruzzese JL, Podoloff DA, Li C. Imaging taxane-induced tumor apoptosis using PEGylated, 111In-labeled annexin V. J Nucl Med 45:108-15, 2004.
68. Wang W, Ke S, Wu Q, Charnsangavej C, Gurfinkel M, Gelovani JG, Abbruzzese JL, Sevick-Muraca EM, Li C. Near-infrared optical imaging of integrin alphavbeta3 in human tumor xenografts. Mol Imaging 3:343-51, 2004.
69. Tansey W, Ke S, Cao XY, Pasuelo MJ, Wallace S, Li C. Synthesis and characterization of branched poly(L-glutamic acid) as a biodegradable drug carrier. J Control Release 94:39-51, 2004.
70. Wen X, Jackson EF, Price RE, Kim EE, Wu Q, Wallace S, Charnsangavej C, Gelovani JG, Li C. Synthesis and characterization of poly(L-glutamic acid) gadolinium chelate: a new biodegradable MRI contrast agent. Bioconjug Chem 15:1408-15, 2004.
71. Le XF, Hittelman WN, Liu J, McWatters A, Li C, Mills GB, Bast RC. Paclitaxel-induced inactivation of p70 S6 kinase is associated with phosphorylation of Thr421 and Ser424 via multiple signaling pathways in mitosis. Oncogene 22:484-497, 1/2003.
72. Wen X, Wu QP, Ke S, Wallace S, Charnsangavej C, Huang P, Liang D, Chow D, Li C. Improved radiolabeling of PEGylated protein: PEGylated annexin V for noninvasive imaging of tumor apoptosis. Cancer Biother Radiopharm 18:819-27, 2003.
73. Ke S, Wen X, Gurfinkel M, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S, Sevick-Muraca EM, Li C. Near-infrared optical imaging of epidermal growth factor receptor in breast cancer xenografts. Cancer Res 63:7870-5, 2003.
74. Milas L, Mason KA, Hunter N, Li C, Wallace S. Poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate is a potent enhancer of tumor radiocurability. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 55:707-12, 2003.
75. Vega J, Ke S, Fan Z, Wallace S, Charnsangavej C, Li C. Targeting doxorubicin to epidermal growth factor receptors by site-specific conjugation of C225 to poly(L-glutamic acid) through a polyethylene glycol spacer. Pharm Res 20:826-32, 2003.
76. Auzenne E, Donato NJ, Li C, Leroux E, Price RE, Farquhar D, Klostergaard J. Superior therapeutic profile of poly-L-glutamic acid-paclitaxel copolymer compared with taxol in xenogeneic compartmental models of human ovarian carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res 8:573-81, 2002.
77. Wen X-X, Wu Q-P, Ke S, Ellis L, Charnsangavej C, Delpassand AS, Wallace S, Li C. Conjugation with (111)In-DTPA-poly(ethylene glycol) improves imaging of anti-EGF receptor antibody C225. J Nucl Med 42:1530-1537, 2001.
78. Zou Y, Wu QP, Tansey W, Chow D, Hung MC, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S, Li C. Effectiveness of water soluble poly(L-glutamic acid)-camptothecin conjugate against resistant human lung cancer xenografted in nude mice. Int J Oncol 18:331-6, 2001.
79. Wen X, Wu QP, Lu Y, Fan Z, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S, Chow D, Li C. Poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated anti-EGF receptor antibody C225 with radiometal chelator attached to the termini of polymer chains. Bioconjug Chem 12:545-53, 2001.
80. Ke S, Milas L, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S, Li C. Potentiation of radioresponse by polymer-drug conjugates. J Control Release 74:237-42, 2001.
81. Li C, Newman RA, Wu QP, Ke S, Chen W, Hutto T, Kan Z, Brannan MD, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S. Biodistribution of paclitaxel and poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate in mice with ovarian OCa-1 tumor. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 46:416-22, 2000.
82. Oldham EA, Li C, Ke S, Wallace S, Huang P. Comparison of action of paclitaxel and poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate in human breast cancer cells. Int J Oncol 16:125-32, 2000.
83. Wallace S, Kan Z, Li C. Hepatic chemoembolization: clinical and experimental correlation. Acta Gastroenterol Belg 63:169-73, 2000.
84. Li C, Ke S, Wu QP, Tansey W, Hunter N, Buchmiller LM, Milas L, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S. Potentiation of ovarian OCa-1 tumor radioresponse by poly (L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 48:1119-26, 2000.
85. Li C, Ke S, Wu QP, Tansey W, Hunter N, Buchmiller LM, Milas L, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S. Tumor irradiation enhances the tumor-specific distribution of poly(L-glutamic acid)-conjugated paclitaxel and its antitumor efficacy. Clin Cancer Res 6:2829-34, 2000.
86. Li C, Price JE, Milas L, Hunter NR, Ke S, Yu DF, Charnsangavej C, Wallace S. Antitumor activity of poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel on syngeneic and xenografted tumors. Clin Cancer Res 5:891-7, 1999.
87. Multani AS, Li C, Ozen M, Imam AS, Wallace S, Pathak S. Cell-killing by paclitaxel in a metastatic murine melanoma cell line is mediated by extensive telomere erosion with no decrease in telomerase activity. Oncol Rep 6:39-44, 1999.
88. Inoue T, Li C, Yang DJ, Higuchi T, Oriuchi N, Yu D, Milas L, Hunter N, Wallace S, Kim EE, Podoloff DA. Evaluation of In-111 DTPA-paclitaxel scintigraphy to predict response on murine tumors to paclitaxel. Ann Nucl Med 13:169-74, 1999. PMID: 10435377.
89. Li C, Yu DF, Newman RA, Cabral F, Stephens LC, Hunter N, Milas L, Wallace S. Complete regression of well-established tumors using a novel water-soluble poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate. Cancer Res 58:2404-9, 1998.
90. Multani AS, Li C, Ozen M, Yadav M, Yu DF, Wallace S, Pathak S. Paclitaxel and water-soluble poly (L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel, induce direct chromosomal abnormalities and cell death in a murine metastatic melanoma cell line. Anticancer Res 17:4269-74, 1997.
91. Li C, Yu D-F, Inoue T, Yang DJ, Milas L, Hunter NR, Kim, EE, Wallace S. Synthesis, biodistribution and imaging properties of indium-111-DTPA-paclitaxel in mice bearing mammary tumors. J Nucl Med 38(7):1042-1047, 1997. PMID: 9225788.
92. Kim CG, Yang DJ, Kim EE, Cherif A, Kuang LR, Li C, Tansey W, Liu CW, Li SC, Wallace S, Podoloff DA. Assessment of tumor cell proliferation using [18F]fluorodeoxyadenosine and[18F]fluoroethyluracil. J Pharm Sci 85:339-44, 1996. PMID: 8699341.
93. Li C, Yu D, Kan Z, Yang DJ, Tansey W, Kuang LR, Wallace S. Biodistribution of cyclic carbonate of ioxilan: a radiopaque particulate macrophage imaging agent. Acad Radiol 3:500-6, 1996. PMID: 8796708.
94. Li C, McCuskey P, Yu D-F, Yang DJ, Kan Z-X, Wallace S. Development of biodegradable Ioxilan carbonate particles for contrast enhancement of the liver in computed tomography scanning: toxicity assessment. Acad Radiol 3:S001-S003, 1996.
95. Li C, Yu D-F, Inoue T, Yang DJ, Milas L, Hunter NR, Wallace S. Synthesis and evaluation of polyethylene glycol Taxol conjugate as a paclitaxel prodrug. Anti-Cancer Drugs 7:642-648, 1996.
96. Yang DJ, Wallace S, Cherif A, Li C, Gretzer MB, Kim EE, Podoloff DA. Development of F-18-labeled fluoroerythronitroimidazole as a PET agent for imaging tumor hypoxia. Radiology 194:795-800, 1995. PMID: 7862981.
97. Yang DJ, Kuang LR, Li C, Kan Z, Wallace S. Computed tomographic liver enhancement with poly(d,1-lactide)-microencapsulated contrast media. Invest Radiol 29:S267-70, 1994. PMID: 7928253.
98. Yang DJ, Li C, Nikiforow S, Gretzer MB, Kuang LR, Lopez MS, Vargas K, Wallace S. Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of poly(benzyl L-glutamate). J Pharm Sci 83:328-31, 1994. PMID: 7515964.
99. Li C, Yang DJ, Nikiforow S, Tansey W, Kuang LR, Wright KC, Wallace S. Formation and characterization of cisplatin-loaded poly(benzyl l-glutamate) microspheres for chemoembolization. Pharm Res 11:1792-9, 1994. PMID: 7534920.
100. Yang DJ, Li C, Kuang LR, Price JE, Buzdar AU, Tansey W, Cherif A, Gretzer M, Kim EE, Wallace S. Imaging, biodistribution and therapy potential of halogenated tamoxifen analogues. Life Sci 55:53-67, 1994. PMID: 8015349.
101. Li C, McCuskey P, Kan Z, Yang DJ, Wright KC, Wallace S. In vivo and electron microscopic studies of rat liver after intravenous injection of polyamino acid microspheres. J Biomed Mater Res 28:881-90, 1994. PMID: 7527046.
102. Li C, Kan Z, Yang DJ, Kuang LR, Liu CW, Wright KC, Wallace S. Preparation, characterization, and evaluation of ioxilan carbonate particles for computed tomography contrast enhancement of liver. Invest Radiol 29:1006-13, 1994. PMID: 7890508.
103. Li C, Yang DJ, Kuang L-R, Wallace S. Polyamino acid microspheres: preparation, characterization, and distribution after intravenous injection in rats. Int J Pharm 94:143-152, 1993.
104. Yang D, Kuang LR, Cherif A, Tansey W, Li C, Lin WJ, Liu CW, Kim EE, Wallace S. Synthesis of [18F]fluoroalanine and [18F]fluorotamoxifen for imaging breast tumors. J Drug Target 1:259-67, 1993. PMID: 8069568.
105. Silver FH, Marks M, Kato YP, Li C, Pulapura S, Kohn J. Tissue compatibility of tyrosine-derived polycarbonates and polyiminocarbonates: an initial evaluation. J Long-Term Effects Med Impl 1:329-346, 1992. PMID: 10171118.
106. Pulapura S, Li C, Kohn J. Structure-property relationships for the design of polyiminocarbonates. Biomaterials 11(9):666-78, 1990. PMID: 2090301.
107. Li C, Kohn J. Synthesis of poly(iminocarbonates): degradable polymers with potential applications as disposable plastics and as biomaterials. Macromolecules 22(5):2029-2036, 1989.

Invited Articles

1. Li C. A targeted approach to cancer imaging and therapy. Nat Mater 13(2):110-5, 2014. PMID: 24452345.
2. Melancon MP, Stafford RJ, Li C. Challenges to effective cancer nanotheranostics. J Control Release 164(2):177-82, 2012. PMCID: PMC3504179.
3. Li C. Image-guided photonic energy deposition for cancer ablation and drug delivery. Curr Med Imaging Rev 8:267-277, 2012.
4. Melancon MP, Li C. Multifunctional synthetic poly(L-glutamic acid)-based cancer therapeutic and imaging agents. Mol Imaging 10(1):28-42, 2/2011. PMCID: PMC3435883.
5. Melancon MP, Zhou M, Li C. Cancer theranostics with near-infrared light-activatable multimodal nanoparticles. Acc Chem Res 44(10):947-956, 2011. PMCID: PMC3196765.
6. Melancon M, Lu W, Li C. Gold-based magneto/optical nanostructures: Challenges for in vivo applications in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Mater Res Bull 34:415-421, 2009.
7. Li C, Wallace S. Polymer-drug conjugates: Recent development in clinical oncology. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 60:886-98, 2008.
8. Belhocine TZ, Tait JF, Vanderheyden J-L, Li C, Blankenberg FG. Nuclear medicine in the era of genomics and proteomics: lessons from annexin V (Perspectives). J Proteome Res 3:345-349, 2004.
9. Wen XX, Cao XY, Pasuelo MJ, Wendt R, Li C. Polymeric radiotracers in nuclear imaging. Curr Drug Deliv 1:377-384, 2004.
10. Belhocine T, Steinmetz N, Li C, Green A, Blankenberg FG. The imaging of apoptosis with radiolabeled Annexin V: Optimal timing for clinical feasibility. Tech Cancer Res Treat 3:23-32, 2004.
11. Gurfinkel M, Ke S, Wen X, Li C, Sevick-Muraca EM. Near-infrared fluorescence optical imaging and tomography. Dis Markers 19(2-3):107-121, 2004, 2003. PMID: 15096708.
12. Li C. Poly(L-glutamic acid)-anticancer drug conjugates. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 54:695-713, 2002.
13. Li C, Newman R, Wallace S. Reformulating paclitaxel. Science & Medicine 6:38-47, 1999.

Book Chapters

1. Li C, Zhang JZ. Hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS). In: Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology. Springer Verlag GmbH: Heidelberg, Germany, 2012.
2. Lu W, Melancon MP, Li C. Theranostic applications of gold core-shell structured nanoparticles. In: Theranostic Nanoplatform-Based Molecular Imaging. Ed(s) Chen X. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ, 2012.
3. Melancon MP, Wen X-X, Zhang G-D, Li C. Multi-functional, multi-modality cancer imaging with water- soluble synthetic polymers. In: Nanoimaging. Ed(s) Goinss B, Phillips W. Pan Stanford Publishing Pte Ltd: Singapore, 171-195, 2011.
4. Melancon MP, Li C. Core-shell magnetic nanomaterials in medical diagnosis and therapy. In: Magnetic Nanomaterials. Ed(s) CSSR Kumar. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. Weinheim, Germany, 259-290, 2009.
5. Zhang G-D, Jackson E, Wallace S, Li C. Poly (L-glutamic acid): efficient carrier of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. In: Nanotechnology for Cancer Therapeutics. Ed(s) Amiji MM: Boca Raton, FL, 185-199, 2007.
6. Yang DJ, Li C, Kim EE. Imaging of anticancer drugs, response and prognosis. In: Targeted Imaging in Oncology. Ed(s) Kim EE, Yang DJ. Springer-Verlag: New York, 185-200, 2001.
7. Li C, Jackson E. Polymer-based compounds for targeted imaging. In: Targeted Imaging in Oncology. Ed(s) EE Kim, DJ Yang. Springer-Verlag: New York, 111-121, 2001.
8. Singer J, De Vries P, Bhatt R, Tulinsky J, Klein P, Li C, Milas L, Lewis RA, Wallace S. Conjugation of camptothecins to poly(L-glutamic acid). In: The Camptothecins: Unfolding Their Anticancer Potential. Ed(s) Liehr JG, Giovanella BC, Verschraegen C. The New York Academy of Sciences: New York, 136-150, 2000.
9. Yang DJ, Gretzer MB, Kuang L-R, Cherif A, Li C, Diaz MF, Liu C-W, Emran A, Tansey W, Wallace S. Radiolabeled tamoxifen analogues for imaging breast cancer with SPECT. In: Chemists' View of Imaging Center. Ed(s) Emran AM. Plenum Publishing Corporation: New York, 513-526, 1995.
10. Yang DJ, Wallace S, Kuang L-R, Li C, Cherif A, Kan Z-X, McCuskey P, Wright KC. Microencapsulation, tamoxifen analogues and in vivo microscopy for tumor targeting. In: Cancer Treatment, An Update. Ed(s) Banzet P, Holland JF, Khayat D, Weil M. Springer-Verlag: Paris, 817-819, 1994.
11. Yang DJ, Kuang L-R, Li C, Liu C-W, Tsai T, Lin WJ, Tansey W, Nikiforow S, McCuskey P, Kan Z-X, Wright KC, Wallace S. Evaluation of poly(dl-lactide) encapsulated radiopaque microspheres. In: Polymeric Delivery System. Ed(s) El-Nokaly M. American Chemistry Society: Washington DC, 372-382, 1992.


1. Book Review. Contrast Agents III: Radiopharmaceuticals—From Diagnostics to Therapeutics, W. Krause, ed., New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2005. J Nucl Med 47:628, 2006.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Selective Photothermal Ablation of HCC with Renal Clearable [64Cu]CuS Nanodots
Funding Source: Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI) - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 11/1/2015 - 10/31/2017
Title: Targeted delivery of cyclopamine by biodegradable core-crosslinked polymeric micelles for radio-chemotherapy of pancreatic cancer
Funding Source: Skip Viragh Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 7/1/2012 - 6/30/2017
Title: Texas Center for Cancer Nanomedicine (TCCN)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Gorenstein, Ferrari, Sood, Lopez
Duration: 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2015

Last updated: 2/1/2016