The Resource for Molecular Imaging Agents in Precision Medicine is a transdisciplinary enterprise that is a member of the National Centers for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NCBIB) network, which is supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Reflecting the translational nature of the program, the NCBIB is centered within the School of Medicine. Involvement of the NCBIBs at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute and the Whiting School of Engineering is necessary for leveraging greater local expertise in translation of protocols, methods and materials in magnetic resonance imaging and in nanomedicine, respectively. Furthermore, because those latter two capabilities are themselves held within their own NCBIBs, and therefore have similar missions, i.e., dissemination, there is strict alignment of vision for the overall program.
The long-term objective of the NCBIB is to promote the translation and dissemination of new molecular imaging and theranostic agents and their attendant best practices along the spectrum of cancer, inflammation and immunity. The confluence of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), sensitive and translational new imaging devices, nanotechnology, gene manipulation and new ways to produce specific molecular affinity agents provides a scientific ecosystem replete with potential to transform healthcare. Collaborative academic centers such as ours, while steeped in the culture of fundamental discovery, are beginning to pivot toward the development of new work products – working backwards from unmet needs – in the context of increasing academic-industrial partnerships and entrepreneurship. It is in this spirit that we will leverage these advances in scientific and academic cultural thinking by aligning with them and providing new materials to our collaborating and service partners to address the pressing medical problems.
The Resource for Molecular Imaging Agents in Precision Medicine has four Technology Research and Development (TR&D) projects that provide a platform on which new technology is developed and disseminated. The TR&Ds are complementary and integrated and extend from the development of reagents to detect and promote an immune reactive tumor microenvironment to the synthesis of nanodrones to treat cancer and combined small-molecule diagnostic and therapeutics (theranostic agents). We focus on generation of next-generation precision platforms, tools and techniques for tackling problems at the forefront of biomedical research with a focus on those that will lead to near-term translation.