MI3 Directory

Michelle Bradbury Laboratory

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Michelle Bradbury, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Professor of Radiology
  • MI3 Director

Michelle Bradbury, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Radiology and Endowed Professor of Imaging Research at Weill Cornell Medicine specializing in Neuroradiology. She is Director of the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI3) and the Perioperative Imaging and Engineered Technologies Program for Cancer Treatment. She is also Head of Cross-Campus Research Collaborations and Innovations within the Cornell Institute for Engineering Innovations in Medicine. Dr. Bradbury earned a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She then received an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland, followed by a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering (Radiological Sciences) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1997, she received her M.D. degree at George Washington University School of Medicine. Her laboratory is focused on co-developing and translating molecularly targeted, ultrasmall particle and cellular-engineered platforms to the clinic for image-guided surgical and theranostic applications. These efforts build on longstanding diagnostic and therapeutic research programs at the nano-bio interface in various tumor and other disease models.

Gabriel De Leon, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology
Sanchita Kashyap, Ph.D.
  • Research Specialist in Radiology
Nabil Saddiqui, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology
Avery Wood
  • Administrative Specialist in Radiology
Barney Yoo, Ph.D.
  • Research Associate in Radiology

Vanessa Bellat Laboratory

Vanessa Bellat
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Vanessa Bellat, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry in Radiology

By developing smart nanomedicines, Dr. Vanessa Bellat aims to achieve more specific and effective cancer treatment drug delivery. One of her main objectives is improving the safety and efficacy of chemotherapeutic treatments by designing on-demand nanocarriers that display organ-specific targeting and/or retention properties.

 

Henry Gong, M.S.
  • Bioinformatics Analyst in Radiology
Young Jae Lee, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Sarah M. Cheal Laboratory

Sarah M. Cheal
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Sarah M. Cheal, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry in Radiology

Dr. Sarah Cheal is originally from Santa Rosa, California. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in the Claude F. Meares group. She spent two years working with Gary Griffiths at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Imaging Probe Development Center core facility and did her postdoc at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the laboratory of Steven M. Larson. She enjoys visiting the national parks and exploring NYC/Long Island with her husband (Tony) and two children (Dominick and Lucia).

Brett A. Vaughn
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Brett A. Vaughn, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Brett Vaughn received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stony Brook University in 2021 for his work on the development of theranostic bifunctional chelators in the Eszter Boros group. He was a postdoc in the Steven Larson lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2021 working on pre-targeted radiotherapy. Currently, he is continuing that pre-targeting work as a post-doc in the Sarah Cheal lab at Weill Cornell School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Kansas State University in 2010 where he worked on gallium-doped quantum dots. Brett is from Denver, Colorado, and he enjoys cooking, movies, and bicycling.

Daniela Burnes Vargas
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Daniela Burnes Vargas
  • Research Specialist in Radiology

Daniela Burnes Vargas is originally from Monterrey, Mexico, and moved to the U.S. in 2015. She obtained a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in biosystems and biosignals from the University of Rochester in 2018 and is currently pursuing an M.S. in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Florida. She is experienced working with radioactivity and conducting animal and cell-based experiments.

Moustafa Gabr Laboratory

Moustafa Gabr
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Moustafa Gabr, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry in Radiology

Dr. Gabr completed his undergraduate studies in pharmaceutical sciences at Mansoura University. As an undergraduate student, he pursued research internships at the Complutense University of Madrid and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After earning his master’s degree in medicinal chemistry and drug design in a joint program between Georgia State University and Mansoura University, he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Iowa. His Ph.D. work focused on developing fluorescence-based theranostics for cancer and neurological disorders. Dr. Gabr completed his postdoctoral studies in the Gambhir lab at Stanford University where his work focused on developing small molecule immunomodulators as well as carbohydrate-based positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for molecular imaging of early bacterial infections.

Natalie Sabrina Fuchs, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology
Katarzyna Kuncewicz
  • Visiting Fellow in Radiology

Thomas Jeitner Laboratory

Tom Jeitner
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Thomas Jeitner, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Research in Radiology

Tom Jeitner, who holds a doctorate in experimental pathology from the University of Sydney, is broadly trained in that field. Consequently, he contributes the biological aspects of developing and validating the positron emission tomography (PET) tracers under investigation in the James Kelly Laboratory. Additionally, Dr. Jeitner investigates two novel entities formed by transglutaminase actions that may be important in neurodegeneration and its detection by PET.  

Nikolaos Karakatsanis Laboratory

Nikolaos (Nicolas) A. Karakatsanis
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Nikolaos A. Karakatsanis, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Radiology

Dr. Nikolaos (Nicolas) A. Karakatsanis has been an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and a nuclear medicine physicist in the radiology department at Weill Cornell Medicine since 2017. He previously held research scientist positions in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital (2015-2017), University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland (2014-2015) and Johns Hopkins University Hospital (2011-2013). Dr. Karakatsanis received his masters’ degree, and his Ph.D., in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2005 and 2010 respectively from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.

James Kelly Laboratory

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James Kelly, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences in Radiology

Dr. James Kelly received a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2011. His thesis work, supervised by Dr. Finian Leeper, focused on the development of conformationally restrained analogues of porphobilinogen as inhibitors of porphobilinogen deaminase. Upon completion of his doctoral work, Dr. Kelly spent one year as an Alfonso Casanava Research Fellow at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, supervised by Dr. Miguel Ángel Pozo, before transitioning to a two-year industrial research fellowship carried out at Instituto Tecnológico PET, Madrid. Dr. Kelly’s work in Spain focused on radiofluorination of small molecules for brain imaging and automation, and validation of radiosynthesis procedures on automated synthesis units. Dr. Kelly moved to the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI3) at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) in 2014 as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. John Babich. He was promoted to instructor in 2017, and assistant professor of radiopharmaceutical sciences in radiology in 2020. He is currently chief of radiopharmaceutical sciences at WCM. 

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Juan Azcona, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Juan Azcona is a postdoctoral associate in the Kelly lab. He acquired an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from New York Medical College. His research interests and specialties are in enzymology, metabolism and vascular biology. 

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Shuvra Debnath, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Shuvra Debnath was born and raised in Bangladesh. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Upon completing his master’s in 2015, he joined the research and development division of Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in Bangladesh to gain research experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He moved to the University of Illinois in Chicago in fall 2016 to pursue his Ph.D. During his Ph.D., he gained research experience in synthesizing precursor molecules and developing a novel methodology for 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F)-fluorination of drugs and bioactive molecules. He brings this experience to the Kelly Lab, joining in March 2022. Shuvra is a highly motivated researcher, and he would like to contribute to improving the health of human beings through our developed science. He plays chess and cricket, reads novels and watches movies in his spare time.

Tom Jeitner
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Thomas Jeitner, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Research in Radiology

Tom Jeitner, who holds a doctorate in experimental pathology from the University of Sydney, is broadly trained in that field. Consequently, he contributes the biological aspects of developing and validating the positron emission tomography (PET) tracers under investigation in the James Kelly Laboratory. Additionally, Dr. Jeitner investigates two novel entities formed by transglutaminase actions that may be important in neurodegeneration and its detection by PET.

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Chul-Hee Lee, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Chul-Hee Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Kelly Lab, is from South Korea. He is studying metabolic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in prostate cancer, as well as the evaluation of PET biomarkers in cardiotoxic models. He is enjoying life in New York City while actively conducting research.

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Pradeep Singh, Ph.D.
  • Research Associate in Radiology

After completing his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Dr. Singh came to Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) for his postdoctoral studies, investigating the ubiquitine-proteasome system for cancer therapy. In August 2021, he joined James Kelly’s lab, where he works on radiolabeling methodology for the development of  novel radiotracers for theranostic applications.

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Anja Wacker, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Anja Wacker is a postdoctoral associate, who joined Dr. Kelly’s lab in the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Radiology on March 14, 2022. She has a strong background in chemistry and biochemistry due to her M.Sc. and B.Sc. studies at the Technical University of Munich, and holds a Ph.D. in pharmacy from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg. Anja’s research interests focus on the design, synthesis and preclinical evaluation of innovative tracers for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging as well as the development of peptide-based compounds for targeted radiotherapy. She is inspired by the idea that advances in molecular imaging techniques can deepen our way of understanding biological functions, metabolic pathways and the evolution of pathological conditions, ultimately leading to improved personalized patient care.

Benedict Law Laboratory

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Benedict Law, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor in Radiology

Dr. Benedict Law is an associate professor of pharmacology in radiology, Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM). He was trained as a hospital pharmacist in the United Kingdom prior to obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Manchester. After he completed his postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General  Hospital, he was recruited as a faculty member at North Dakota State University. In 2013, he joined the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI3) at WCM 

Abhisek Bhattarai, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in Radiology

Seung Koo Lee Laboratory

Seung Koo Lee
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Seung Koo Lee, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Cell Biology Research in Radiology

Dr. Seung Koo Lee is an assistant professor of cell biology research in the Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) Department of Radiology. His research focuses on the development of, (1) innovative multi-functional molecular imaging probes for various disease states including cancers and, (2) drug delivery systems for diagnostic, therapeutic and clinical applications. He earned his Ph.D. in immunology from Seoul National University, where he studied the signaling mechanisms of vitamin C that control tumor proliferation, and apoptosis in colon cancer and melanoma. He then completed postdoctoral training at the Houston Methodist Research Institute under the guidance of Dr. Ching Tung, where he invented a layer-by-layer nanoplatform (LbLN) that delivers a short interfering RNA (siRNA) and imaging probe to various cancers. 

Sadek Nehmeh Laboratory

Sadek Nehmeh
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Sadek Nehmeh, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Medical Physics in Radiology

Dr. Sadek Nehmeh is an associate professor of medical physics in radiology, and the section chief of positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear physics, in the Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) Department of Radiology. In 2000, Dr. Nehmeh began his career as a postdoc and resident fellow in medical physics at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). In 2003, while at MSKCC, he was appointed to assistant physicist; the following year, he was promoted to assistant attending; and in 2009, he was promoted to associate attending. In 2017, Dr. Nehmeh joined the WCM Department of Radiology.

Phelipi Nunes Schuck, M.Sc
  • Staff Associate in Radiology