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The research interests in my laboratory focus on developing novel radiolabeled peptides for cancer (melanoma, breast and prostate cancers) diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, we are using radiolabeled peptides to target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are over-expressed on cancer cells for cancer detection and therapy. Radiolabeled peptides are attractive probes for cancer imaging and therapy due to their specific nanomolar binding with the GPCRs on cancer cells. Radiolabeled peptides can selectively deliver diagnostic and therapeutic radionuclides to cancer cells through peptide-receptor interactions for imaging and therapy. Hence, malignant tumors can be detected non-invasively by imaging modalities (SPECT or PET) through the collection of photons generated from diagnostic radionuclides. Moreover, malignant tumors can be effectively treated by targeted radiation yielded from therapeutic radionuclides delivered by peptides.
—Yubin Miao, PhD