Skip to Content

Pratip K. Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

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

Bio Statement

The focus of research in Dr. Bhattacharya's laboratory in the Department of Cancer Systems Imaging  is the development of real-time metabolic and imaging applications by hyperpolarization. We are exploring novel ways to utilize Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to create more detailed metabolic and molecular imaging studies by employing hyperpolarized, non-radioactive carbon 13 (13C) and nitrogen 15 (15N)-labeled compounds and silicon particles and nanoparticles (SiNPs) to tag specific metabolic and biochemical structures and functions that are altered in cancer. Hyperpolarized MR is a non-toxic, non-radioactive method for non-invasively assessing tissue metabolism and other physiologic properties. Hyperpolarization allows for a >10,000-fold signal enhancement relative to conventional MRI or MRS. After hyperpolarization, the signal enhancement can be retained on the metabolites of the hyperpolarized molecules for several minutes. Dr. Bhattacharya’s, lab is working on techniques to extend this relaxation time so that more detailed metabolic and molecular imaging studies can be considered.  

Magnetic Resonance laboratory is involved in three primary areas of research: 

· Real time metabolic MR imaging with hyperpolarized 13C and 15N labeled non-radioactive compounds. The goal of this research is to use mostly endogenous compounds to track different metabolic pathways in vivo in real time both in preclinical animal models and in human applications.  

·  Real-time molecular MR imaging with hyperpolarized silicon nanoparticle (SiNPs) functionalized to target specific biological functions and structure. Hyperpolarized SiNPs have opened the door for targeted functional imaging by MR that used to be in the realm of PET and SPECT. Due to the simple surface chemistry, the hyperpolarized SiNPs can serve as a nanoplatform, allowing a variety of targeting agents and potentially therapeutic drugs to be loaded onto the particles, which enables real-time targeted Theranostics imaging studies with an imaging time window of roughly one hour.  

·   High resolution MR metabolomics of animal and human tissues. To complement the real-time in vivo hyperpolarization studies, we have developed an MR based metabolomics program to generate comprehensive metabolic profiles of cancerous and non-cancerous tissues in vitro.

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2004 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Pasadena, CA, PHD, Chemistry

Postgraduate Training

6/2004-8/2006 James G. Boswell Fellowship, MR Physics, Huntington Medical Research Institutes/Caltech, Pasadena, CA, Daniel P. Weitekamp and Brian D. Ross


Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 3/2012-5/2013
Assistant Professor, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 8/2006-2/2012

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

James G. Boswell Fellow, California Institute of Technology & MR Unit, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena, CA, 5/2004-8/2006

Professional Memberships

American Chemical Society (ACS), Washington,, DC
Member, 2000-present
European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB), Vienna, Austria
Member, 2004-present
International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Berkeley, CA
Member, 2003-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Zand B, Previs R, Zacharias N, Rupaimoole R, Mitamura T, Nagaraja AS, Guindani, M.; Dalton H, Yang L, Baddour J, Achreja A, Hu W, Pecot C, Ivan C, Wu S, McCullough C, Gharpure K, Shoshan E, Pradeep S, Mangala L, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Taylor M, Wan YA, Davies M,Armaiz-Pena G, Liu J, Lutgendorf S, Baggerly K, Eli MB, Lopez-Berestein G, Nagrath D, Bhattacharya PK, Sood A. Role of increased n-acetylaspartate levels in cancer. Journal of National Cancer Institute. In Press.
2. Millward NZ, McCullough CR, Wagner S, Sailasuta P, Chan HR, Lee Y, Hu J, Perman WH, Henneberg C, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK. Towards Real-time Metabolic Profiling of Cancer with Hyperpolarized Succinate. Journal of Mol Imaging Dynamic, doi:10.4172/2155-9937.1000123, 1/2016.
3. Rupaimoole R, Lee J, Haemmerle M, Ling H, Previs RA, Pradeep S, Wu SY, Ivan C, Ferracin M, Dennison JB, Millward NM, Nagaraja AS, Gharpure KM, McGuire M, Sam N, Armaiz-Pena GN, Sadaoui NC, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Calin GA, Drapkin RI, Kovacs J, Mills GB, Zhang W, Lopez-Berestein G, Bhattacharya PK, Sood AK. Long Noncoding RNA Ceruloplasmin Promotes Cancer Growth by Altering Glycolysis. Cell Rep 13(11):2395-402, 12/2015. e-Pub 12/2015. PMCID: PMC4691557.
4. Benito J, Ramirez MS, Millward NZ, Velez J, Harutyunyan KG, Lu H, Shi YX, Matre P, Jacamo R, Ma H, Konoplev S, McQueen T, Volgin A, Protopopova M, Mu H, Lee J, Bhattacharya PK, Marszalek JR, Davis RE, Bankson JA, Cortes JE, Hart CP, Andreeff M, Konopleva M. Hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302 targets hypoxic bone marrow niches in pre-clinical leukemia models. Clin Cancer Res. e-Pub 11/2015. PMID: 26603259.
5. Lai SY, Fuller CD, Bhattacharya PK, Frank SJ. Metabolic Imaging as a Biomarker of Early Radiation Response in Tumors. Clin Cancer Res 21(22):4996-8, 11/2015. e-Pub 7/2015. PMCID: PMC4644683.
6. Whiting N, Hu J, Shah JV, Cassidy MC, Cressman E, Millward NZ, Menter DG, Marcus CM, Bhattacharya PK. Real-Time MRI-Guided Catheter Tracking Using Hyperpolarized Silicon Particles. Sci Rep 5:12842, 2015. e-Pub 8/2015. PMCID: PMC4523869.
7. Lee Y, Zacharias N, Piwnica-worms D, Bhattacharya PK. Chemical Reaction-Induced Multi-molecular Polarization (CRIMP). Chemical Communications 50, 2014. PMID: 25224323.
8. Cassidy MC, Chan HR, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK, Marcus CM. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of hyperpolarized silicon particles. Nat Nanotechnol 8(5):363-8, May, 5/2013. e-Pub 5/2013. PMID: 23644571.
9. Lingwood MD, Siaw TA, Sailasuta N, Abulseoud OA, Chan HR, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK, Han S. Hyperpolarized Water as an MR Imaging Contrast Agent: Feasibility of in Vivo Imaging in a Rat Model. Radiology 265(2):418-425, 2012. PMCID: PMC3480810.
10. Zacharias NM, Chan HR, Sailasuta N, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK. Real-Time Molecular Imaging of Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Metabolism. Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(2):934-943, 2012. PMCID: PMC3262122.
11. Bhattacharya PK, Chekmenev E, Reynolds WF, Wagner S, Zacharias N, Chan HR, Bunger R, Ross BD. PHIP Hyperpolarized MR Receptor Imaging In Vivo: A Pilot Study of 13C Imaging of Atheroma in Mice. NMR in Biomedicine 24(Special Issue Research Article):1023-1028, 2/2011. PMCID: PMC3240663.
12. Ross B, Tran T, Bhattacharya PK, Watterson DM, Sailasuta N. Application of NMR Spectroscopy in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 11(1):93-114, 2011. PMID: 20809893.
13. Lingwood MD, Siaw TA, Sailasuta N, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK, Han S. Continuous flow Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization of water in the fringe field of a clinical magnetic resonance imaging system for authentic image contrast. J Magn Reson 205(2):247-254, 8/2010. e-Pub 5/2010. PMID: 20541445.
14. Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK, Wagner S, Tran T, Sailasuta N. Hyperpolarized MR imaging: neurologic applications of hyperpolarized metabolism. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 31(1):24-33, 1/2010. e-Pub 10/2009. PMID: 19875468.
15. Perman WH, Bhattacharya PK, Leupold J, Lin AP, Harris KC, Norton VA, Hovener JB, Ross BD. Fast volumetric spatial-spectral MR imaging of hyperpolarized 13C-labeled compounds using multiple echo 3D bSSFP. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 28(4):459-465, 2010. PMCID: PMC2860036.
16. Bhattacharya PK, Ross BD, Bünger R. Cardiovascular Applications of Hyperpolarized Contrast Media and Metabolic Tracers. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 234(12):1395-1416, 12/2009. PMID: 19934362.
17. Chekmenev EY, Norton VA, Weitekamp DP, Bhattacharya PK. Hyperpolarized 1H NMR Employing Low γ Nucleus for Spin Polarization Storage. J Am Chem Soc 131(9):3164-3165, 2/2009. PMCID: PMC2662390.
18. Hovener JB, Chekmenev EY, Harris KC, Perman WH, Robertson LW, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK. PASADENA Hyperpolarization of 13C Biomolecules: Equipment Design and Installation. MAGMA-Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine 22(2):111-121, 2009. PMCID: PMC2664858.
19. Hovener J-B, Chekmenev EY, Harris KC, Perman WH, Tran TT, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK. Quality assurance of PASADENA hyperpolarization for. MAGMA-Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine 22(2):123-134, 2009. PMCID: PMC2664864.
20. Chekmenev EY, Hövener J, Norton VA, Harris K, Batchelder LS, Bhattacharya PK, Ross BD, Weitekamp DP. PASADENA hyperpolarization of succinic acid for MRI and NMR spectroscopy. J Am Chem Soc 130(13):4212-3, 4/2008. e-Pub 3/2008. PMCID: PMC2662769.
21. Chekmenev EY, Chow S-K, Tofan D, Weitekamp DP, Ross BD, Bhattacharya PK. Fluorine-19 NMR Chemical Shift Probes Molecular Binding to Lipid Membranes. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 112(20):6285-6287, 2008. PMCID: PMC2663341.
22. Bhattacharya PK, Chekmenev EY, Harris KC, Perman WH, Li AP, Norton VA, Chow CT, Ross BD, Weitekamp DP. Towards Hyperpolarized (13)C-succinate Imaging of Brain Cancer. J Magn Reson 186(1):150-155, 1/2007. PMCID: PMC2657725.
23. Bhattcharya PK, Harris K, Lin AP, Mansson M, Norton VA, Perman WH, Weitekamp DP, Ross BD. Ultra-fast Three Dimensional Imaging of Hyperpolarized 13C In Vivo. Biology and Medicine Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics 18(5):245-256, 11/2005.
24. Bhattacharya PK, Lawson HJ, Barton JK. 1H NMR Studies of Nickel(II) Complexes Bound to Oligonucleotides: A Novel Technique for Distinguishing the Binding Locations of Metal Complexes in DNA. Inorg Chem 42(26):8811-8817, 12/2003. PMID: 14686861.
25. Ross B, Lin A, Harris K, Bhattacharya PK, Schweinsburg B. Clinical experience with 13C MRS in vivo. NMR in Biomedicine 16(6-7):358-369, 2003. PMID: 14679500.
26. Bhattacharya PK, Cha J, Barton JK. 1H NMR determination of base-pair lifetimes in oligonucleotides containing single base mismatches. Nucleic Acids Res 30(21):4740-50, 11/2002. PMCID: PMC135820.
27. Delaney S, Pascaly M, Bhattacharya PK, Han K, Barton JK. Oxidative damage by ruthenium complexes containing the dipyridophenazine ligand or its derivatives: a focus on intercalation. Inorg Chem 41(7):1966-74, 4/2002. PMID: 11925195.
28. Bhattacharya PK, Barton JK. Influence of Intervening Mismatches on Long-Range Guanine Oxidation in DNA Duplexes. J Am Chem Soc 123(36):8649-8656, 9/2001. PMID: 11535068.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Functional Imaging and Prostate Cancer
Funding Source: MDACC Philanthropy, Koch Functional Imaging and Prostate Cancer Project
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 10/1/2015 - 9/30/2017
Title: Non-invasive Colonoscopy by Molecular Imaging of Mucin Targeted Hyperpolarized Silicon Nanoparticles
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2017
Title: Early assessment of ovarian cancer aggressiveness and therapeutic efficacy by real-time hyperpolarized metabolic imaging
Funding Source: Institutional Research Grant Program (IRG)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016
Title: Hyperpolarized Metabolic Imaging of Brain Cancer Therapy to Predict Outcome
Funding Source: NCI SPORE
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016
Title: Brain Tumor SPORE Development Research Project
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016
Title: Non-invasive Assessment of Ovarian Cancer Aggressiveness Using Real-time Hyperpolarized Metabolic Imaging
Funding Source: Sprint for Life Research Award
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 6/1/2015 - 5/31/2016
Title: Inhibiting Oxidative Phosphorylation: A Novel Strategy in Leukemia
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Konopleva
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017
Title: Therapeutic Targeting of Glioblastoma
Funding Source: MD Anderson Brain Tumor Moonshot Award
Role: Co-Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2016
Title: Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer In Vivo by Molecular Imaging of Lactose-functionalized Silicon Nanoparticles and Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 4/1/2014 - 3/31/2016
Title: Prostate Cancer Research Program Idea (PCRP-DoD)
Funding Source: DOD/Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (DOD/CDMRP)
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Zacharias-Millward, Niki
Duration: 9/30/2012 - 9/29/2016
Title: Institutional Startup Research Funding
Funding Source: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Cancer System Imaging Department
Role: Principal Investigator-MDACC
Principal Investigator: Pratip Bhattacharya
Duration: 4/1/2012 - 3/30/2017

Last updated: 5/17/2016