Skip to main content


NextGen Precision Health & Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Science Seminar – July 18, 2024

The goal of the NextGen Precision Health & Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Science Seminar is to highlight transdisciplinary precision research taking place in the cancer field, provide opportunities for collaboration among researchers to build their own research efforts and promote clinical/researcher activity across the University of Missouri System and our partners.

For questions about this event, please reach out to Veronica Lemme.

Development of New CD38 Targeted Peptides for Cancer Imaging

Speaker: Monica Shokeen, Ph.D., Vice Chair, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice; Associate Professor, Radiology; Director, Molecular Imaging Center; Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Date: July 18, 2024, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Location: Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building, Atkins Family Seminar Room

*Zoom option available

Register Here



Multiple myeloma (MM) is a debilitating, immune suppressive malignancy of bone marrow plasma cells that causes severe skeletal related events among other organ damage. In 2024, the estimated new cases of MM in the U.S. are over 35,000 and the estimated deaths are over 12,000. Imaging is integral to managing patients with MM. However, there remains a need for versatile Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers for the detection, accurate staging and monitoring of treatment response of MM that have optimal specificity and translational attributes. Cluster of differentiation 38 (CD38) is uniformly overexpressed in MM and thus represents an ideal target to develop CD38-targeted small molecule PET radiopharmaceuticals to address these challenges. In this talk, I will describe our efforts toward generating new CD38 targeted peptides using phage display peptide libraries and pioneering algorithms. I will discuss our results on the novel imaging bioconjugates that were synthesized using solid phase peptide chemistry, and systematically analyzed in vitro and in vivo in relevant MM systems. In closing, I will share our recent work on the efficient quantification of tumor burden in the bone using automated bone segmentation.

About the Speaker

Dr. Monica Shokeen is associate professor of Radiology, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she received her Ph.D. in chemistry. She has faculty appointments in the Imaging Science Ph.D. Program and the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). She is the vice chair of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, director of the Molecular Imaging Center and co-director of the Imaging Science Pathway (T32). Dr. Shokeen’s laboratory is focused on investigating the biology of bone damaging cancers such as multiple myeloma. Her lab designs molecules and employs molecularly targeted imaging approaches across modalities to evaluate disease pathogenesis. A significant part of her research program is dedicated to translational science. She is a founder of an imaging biotech company, which has received fast-track funding from the National Institutes of Health. She is an inductee in the Washington University School of Medicine Academy of Educators and the inaugural Siteman Cancer Center Health Equity Fellow. She has received several awards including the 2023 WIMIN Mid-career Leadership Award, 2023 Distinguished Investigator Award by the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research, 2024 International Suffrage Science Award for Life Sciences from the University of Oxford and the 2024 Dean’s Impact Award.