Ching H. Tung Laboratory

Associated Lab Members

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Ching H. TungPh.D.
  • Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Ching H. Tung’s lab develops novel multifunctional molecules for imaging, diagnostic, therapeutic and biotechnological applications, especially environmentally sensitive molecules that respond to biological and chemical changes during disease progression. By developing molecular imaging probes and drugs, the Tung lab manages various diseases, including cancer, inflammation, infection, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. 

Major Platform Technologies

1. Enzyme Activation System 

Enzymes involved in disease-associated pathophysiologic processes are ideal targets for molecular imaging and treatment, and knowing their activities provides valuable information in diagnosis, detection and disease management. Enzyme-sensitive probes or drugs are designed with “molecular switches” that are only turned on by intended disease-associated enzymes, resulting in significant property changes, such as fluorescence, absorbance or toxicity.  

2. Fluorescence Chemistry 

In recent years, experts have widely applied fluorescence imaging technology when studying biological systems’ molecular targets and when guiding surgical procedures. Fluorescence reporters with favorable optical properties are key components in all applications; hence, the Tung lab has developed novel fluorochromes with superior physical and chemical properties and biocompatibilities. Responsive fluorogenic reporters are particularly interesting to the Tung lab, and organic and inorganic fluorochromes with different reactivities have been developed.  

3. Targeted Delivery 

Drug delivery is essential to achieve a preferred medical outcome. Appropriated delivery vehicles are needed to transport drugs to various sites and targets, including specific organs, tissues, subcellular compartments, and biomolecules. By engineering natural and synthetic biomolecules, the Tung lab develops innovative delivery vectors to overcome biological barriers. The lab has now applied promising vectors to drug, gene and imaging probe delivery.  

4. Nanotechnology  

The Tung lab’s recent progress in nanomedicine research has resulted in the innovation of medical diagnosis and treatment. By integrating their expertise in delivery, enzyme-assisted activation systems and bio-conjugations, the Tung lab has designed a series of nanomolecules equipped with multiple functionalities. Guided by built-in navigation systems, these nanomedicines could report early-stage abnormalities; treat disease; direct surgical operation; and track treatment efficacy. 

LINK to publications list. 

Research Projects

The Tung lab has pioneered a layer-by-layer fabrication technology for nucleic acid-containing therapeutics, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), micro RNAs (miRNAs), peptides, and their combinations...

Cancerous tissue surgical resection is a critical procedure for solid tumor treatment. During the operation, the surgeon primarily identifies the cancerous tissues by naked-eye visualization under white light; therefore, the outcome heavily relies on...

By hitting multiple action mechanisms, combination therapy efficiently tackles cancer; however, drugs administered, simultaneously or sequentially, may not reach the targeted sites with the desired dose and ratio. The Tung lab develops various...

Weill Cornell Medicine
Department of Radiology
525 East 68th Street New York, NY 10065