Director of the TRUST Program
Department of Radiology, UT Southwestern
Dr. Mattrey is Professor of Radiology and the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC) at UT Southwestern, whose clinical interests include extracting physiological data from clinical images, particularly when using ultrasound. He joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in July 2015.
He was recruited to develop a translational ultrasound research program funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Established Investigator Award, which provides $6 million over five years. He recruited four basic scientists and is developing collaborations with other UT Southwestern basic and clinical scientists. The main focus of Dr. Mattrey’s research is contrast media in general and molecular imaging in particular, with emphasis on ultrasound solutions. Once tumors are detected, the use of specific ultrasound instrumentation can then take advantage of the presence of the contrast agent to treat tumors directly or by enhancing drug and/or gene delivery. Over the past 20 years, he has translated several agents from concept through preclinical validation to the clinic, including multicenter trials, with two of these receiving approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
At the University of California-San Diego, Dr. Mattrey developed a clinician-scientist training program in radiology that he directed for 12 years, and was awarded a T32 training grant to fund this effort with a successful competitive renewal in 2013. He is developing a similar program at UT Southwestern. He has also served as a primary advisor to graduate students and postdoctoral trainees in bioengineering, nanotechnology, and material science and was funded as the corresponding PI on an NIH-R25 to crosstrain pre- and postdoctoral trainees in biological and physical sciences that was also renewed prior to leaving UCSD. He currently spends one day per week on the clinical ultrasound service and is mentoring residents and junior faculty. His continued clinical exposure has strengthened his position as a translational clinician scientist by continually refining his research objectives and has afforded him the opportunity to directly interact with residents and to serve as a role model for research-oriented residents.
Dr. Jacques Lux obtained his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Strasbourg under the guidance of Nobel laureate Prof. Jean-Pierre Sauvage. His doctoral projects aimed at designing and developing synthetic molecular machines reminiscent of biological systems. Dr. Lux conducted postdoctoral research at the faculty of pharmacy in Strasbourg, where he developed activatable optical probes for the detection of viral RNA. He then came to the U.S. to train in supramolecular chemistry in Prof. Julius Rebek Jr.’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Lux did additional postdoctoral research at the University of California-San Diego, applying his skills in organic and coordination chemistry to the field of material science, before becoming a Research Scientist to develop and translate theranostics for imaging and drug delivery.
While at UCSD, he designed and synthetized a novel MR contrast agent that incorporated gadolinium that was chelated and linked to hydrogel nanoparticles (nanogels). The advantage of this strategy is not only the development of high relaxivity T1 agents, but also minimizing demetallation. The versatility of this platform was demonstrated by incorporating 64Cu instead of gadolinium that allowed for in vivo PET/CT imaging of cancer. Dr. Lux also participated in the development of novel activatable optical nanoprobes for the detection of inflammation.
His current research interests lie in the development of novel nanomedicine platforms to diagnose and treat disease in vivo noninvasively with the long-term objective of developing clinically translatable theranostic agents. Dr. Lux received in November the 2017 Docstars Award by The Cary Council in recognition and support of promising early-stage research.
Dr. Lux' focuses on two main research topics:
- Bioresponsive nanomaterials for in vivo detection of disease and therapy
- Targeted and activatable ultrasound contrast agents
Department of Radiology, UT Southwestern
Caroline de Gracia Lux received her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Strasbourg under the mentorship of Marie Pierre Krafft, Ph.D., synthesizing and evaluating new classes of fluorinated surfactants to promote self-assembly and compartmentalized systems for material science applications.
She then completed postdoctoral training at the University of California-San Diego focusing on biocompatible materials for theranostic applications. She was instrumental in the success of various projects on polymeric materials that degrade and release their contents in response to either abnormal biological conditions or by remote optical activation. She concurrently completed a Micro-MBA program at UCSD (Rady School of Management) that focused on communication, leadership in high performance teams, finance, strategy and marketing.
Her current research interest is combining creative synthetic chemistry and formulation to develop ultrasound contrast agents with sophisticated architecture aimed to address a range of challenges in cancer imaging and treatment. Ongoing projects focus on the stabilization of low boiling point perfluorocarbon emulsion using a low interfacial tension approach, the development of new activatable ultrasound contrast agents and immunotherapy of B-cell malignancies using ultrasound-based gene delivery.
Department of Radiology, UT Southwestern
Dr. Udayakumar graduated from Medical College of Georgia, (Georgia Health Sciences University) Augusta GA in 2005 with a PhD in Molecular Medicine with emphasis on biochemical signaling in DNA damage and repair under the mentorship of Dr. William S. Dynan. She then completed her post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in the department of Dermatology studying the molecular genetics of Melanoma tumorigenesis.
In 2011 she held an Instructor appointment in the same laboratory investigating the Genetic determinants of UV induced skin carcinogenesis. In 2012, she joined University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as an Instructor in the Department of Radiation Oncology.
Since 2015, she has been appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her current research focus is to establish a program on Radiogenomic imaging with a special focus on prostate cancer.
Dr. Hoyt is trained in acoustics, bioinstrumentation, mathematical modeling, signal and image processing, and medical imaging. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and master's and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering. His academic training was enhanced by a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester, where he investigated soft tissue elasticity characterization and imaging of prostate cancer. Dr. Hoyt’s research is focused broadly on the development and use of ultrasound (US) technology for applications related to imaging of diseased tissue, therapy, and drug delivery. This research is categorized by four main pillars described as: Tissue elasticity imaging, quantitative US imaging using microbubble (MB) contrast agents, molecular US imaging, and US-stimulated drug delivery and treatment.
Dr. Sirsi is an expert in ultrasound contrast agents formulation for imaging and drug delivery applications. He holds bachelor's and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering. He is adept in designing tailored ultrasound contrast agents for perfusion imaging, molecular imaging, and drug delivery, and has authored several publications and reviews in this field, as well as successfully competed for NIH grant funding. His area of research is highly multidisciplinary and involves collaborations with vascular biologists, ultrasound imaging experts, and radiologists.