Carlos Pérez Medina, PhD, is Instructor of Radiology at the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, graduating with honors, and a PhD cum laude in Organic Chemistry, both obtained in Madrid (Spain). After postdoctoral stays at Trinity College in Dublin (Ireland) and University College in London (UK), he joined the Nanomedicine lab at TMII in 2013. His research work has been carried out on the interface between chemistry and the biomedical sciences, revolving around radiotracer design and development and the implementation of radiolabeling strategies for nanoparticles for their imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In 2015 he was awarded the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Alavi-Mandell prize.
2008 Marie Curie Fellowship
2015 The SNMMI Alavi-Mandell award
BSc, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
MSc, UNED, Madrid (Spain)
PhD, UNED, Madrid (Spain)
New PET radiotracers for atherosclerosis imaging
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease that affects the arteries and underlies cardiovascular disease. The atherosclerotic process is slow and results in the formation of focal lesions -the atherosclerotic plaque- and the thickening of the vessel wall. Current diagnostic methods often fail to identify patients most at risk of clinical events such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Dr. Pérez Medina’s research in this area focuses on the development of radiolabeled tracers specific towards hallmarks of the vulnerable plaque for their imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Antibody fragments radiolabeled with 64Cu or 89Zr are being tested in preclinical models of the disease and have shown promise as target-specific agents for identifying plaque vulnerability in vivo. These studies are being carried out on a clinical PET/MRI hybrid scanner, which allows evaluation of other important aspects of plaque vulnerability like inflammation (FDG-PET) and endothelial permeability (DCE-MRI).
PET imaging with radiolabeled nanoparticles
The use nanotherapeutic formulations is becoming increasingly integrated in clinical cancer care. However, not all patients benefit equally due to individual factors that are difficult to predict. Using non-invasive imaging methods to visualize biodistribution of these nanomaterials could help stratify patients into the right treatment group. Dr. Pérez Medina works on developing radiolabeling strategies for nanoparticles like liposomes or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). He has used 89Zr-labeled liposomes to monitor liposomal doxorubicin nanotherapy in a mouse model of breast cancer, showing strong correlations between drug accumulation and PET signal intensity. Moreover, PET signal intensity was inversely correlated with tumor growth rate, demonstrating a predictive value for this imaging tool. This strategy can be readily applied to other nanotherapies and there are ongoing projects to use it with 89Zr-HDL nanoparticles in atherosclerosis.
PET imaging of high-density lipoprotein
HDL is a natural nanoparticle that carries cholesterol and other fats around the body and has a natural affinity towards macrophages. Its blood concentration is inversely associated with risk of coronary heart disease and remains one of the strongest independent predictors of incident cardiovascular events. Dr. Pérez Medina has developed 89Zr-labeling strategies for imaging HDL with PET that allow in vivo visualization of its biodistribution. These non-invasive imaging tools have been tested in preclinical mouse, rabbit and porcine models of atherosclerosis and revealed plaque-specific accumulation of the nanoparticles. He has also used 89Zr-HDL for imaging tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in a mouse model of breast cancer.
Pérez-Medina C, Tang J, Abdel-Atti D, Hogstad B, Merad M, Fisher EA, Fayad ZA, Lewis JS, Mulder WJM, and Reiner T. PET Imaging of Tumor-Associated Macrophages with 89Zr-Labeled High-Density Lipoprotein Nanoparticles. J Nucl Med, 2015
Ye YX, Calcagno C, Binderup T, Courties G, Keliher EJ, Wojtkiewicz GR, Iwamoto Y, Tang J, Pérez-Medina C, Mani V, Ishino S, Johnbeck CB, Knigge U, Fayad ZA, Libby P, Weissleder R, Tawakol A, Dubey S, Belanger AP, Di Carli MF, Swirski FK, Kjaer A, Mulder WJ, Nahrendorf M. Imaging Macrophage and Hematopoietic Progenitor Proliferation in Atherosclerosis. Circ Res, 2015Tang J, Lobatto ME, Hassing L, van der Staay S, van Rijs SM, Calcagno C, Braza MS, Baxter S, Fay F, Sanchez-Gaytan BL, Duivenvoorden R, Sager HB, Astudillo YM, Leong W, Ramachandran S, Storm G, Pérez-Medina C, Reiner T, Cormode DP, Strijkers GJ, Stroes ESG, Swirski FK, Nahrendorf M, Fisher EA, Fayad ZA, Mulder WJM. Inhibiting macrophage proliferation suppresses atherosclerotic plaque inflammation. Sci Adv, 2015.
Pérez-Medina C, Abdel-Atti D, Zhang Y, Longo VA, Irwin CP, Binderup T, Ruiz-Cabello J, Fayad ZA, Lewis JS, Mulder WJM, Reiner T. A Modular Labeling Strategy for In Vivo PET and Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging of Nanoparticle Tumor Targeting. J Nucl Med, 2014
Arias T, Petrov A, Chen J, de Haas H, Pérez-Medina C, Strijkers GJ, Hajjar RJ, Fayad ZA, Fuster V, Narula J. Labeling galectin-3 for the assessment of myocardial infarction in rats. EJNMMI Res, 2014
Pérez-Medina C, Patel N, Robson M, Badar A, Lythgoe M, Arstad E. Evaluation of a 125I-Labelled Benzazepinone Derived Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Blocker for Imaging with SPECT. Org Biomol Chem, 2012
Pérez-Medina C, Patel N, Robson M, Lythgoe M, Arstad E. Synthesis and Evaluation of a 125I-Labeled Iminodihydroquinoline-derived Tracer for Imaging of Voltage Gated Sodium Channels. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 2013