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NextGen Precision Health & Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Science Seminar - June 10, 2021


More information and a recording of the talk is available below.

For questions about this event, please reach out to Mary Christie at

NextGen Precision Health & Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Science Seminar


Description and Speaker Bio

Headshot of Dr. Carolyn Anderson

"VLA-4 Targeted Theranostics for Seeing and Treating Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease"

Dr. Anderson’s research throughout the past 30 years laid a foundation for the growth of radiometal-based agents for diagnostic imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy of cancer, a field now coined “theranostics”. Her lab performed early research on the development of copper-64-labeled antibodies and peptides for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of cancer, and she and colleagues at Washington University led the first human study of a copper-64-labeled somatostatin analog to image neuroendocrine tumors. The first commercial copper-64-labeled agent in this class is now moving towards FDA approval and commercialization (Cu-64 DOTATATE).  Nearly 20 years ago her lab published pre-clinical toxicity of the 177Lu-labeled version of DOTATATE, and that agent is now FDA-approved and commercially available for treating neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Anderson has received numerous honors, including the Michael J. Welch Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in 2012, a Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research in 2014, and the Paul C. Aebersold award (SNMMI) for outstanding achievement for basic science research applied to nuclear medicine in 2020.

Dr. Anderson’s unique expertise in inorganic chemistry, radiochemistry, and medical applications in cancer and other diseases will greatly complement the ongoing research at MU. Her lab will develop radiometal-based agents to image specific cell types in the immune system for early response assessment of immune-based therapies, as well as targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy agents for melanoma and other types of cancer.

Dr. Anderson’s goal for the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics Center (MITC) at MU is that it will be a place for discovery of novel radiolabeled agents that can see and/or treat cancer.  Her vision for the center is to be a hub for collaborators throughout the MU campus, scientists from nearby powerhouses such as Washington University in St. Louis, and small and large industry partners to brainstorm and perform the initial pre-clinical experiments that set the stage for translation into first-in-human studies. Being closely affiliated with MURR and Veterinary Medicine will foster innovation by incorporating novel reactor-produced radionuclides into cancer targeted agents with the ability to perform clinical trials in companion animals prior to human studies. The unique infrastructure, outstanding scientists with diverse expertise, and strong institutional support will make MU a center of excellence in the center of the US.