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Xiao-an Zhang

Xiao-an Zhang

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Phone: 416-287-7202

Office: SW511


Research Homepage: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~xazhang/


Our research interests span across the interface of chemistry, biology and medical physics, and focus on the development of next generation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents (CAs). MRI is one of the major biomedical imaging modalities and is increasingly applied for clinical diagnosis and fundamental research due to its noninvasiveness, high resolution and deep tissue penetration. The key limitations of MRI, however, include low sensitivity and lack of molecular specificity. Next generation MRI CA with improved sensitivity, high molecular selectivity, low toxicity, and optimized pharmacokinetics can greatly enhance and extend the capability of MRI for functional and molecular imaging. These novel molecular imaging probes are powerful diagnostic and research tools, such as for detecting cancer, monitoring certain gene expression, and imaging brain structure and activity in vivo. We are currently focusing on three research directions:

  • Multifunctional High Relaxivity T1 MRI CAs;
  • Enzyme Activable MRI Reporter;
  • New Chemical Probes for Hyperpolarized MRI/MRS

Selected Publications

  • Enhui Pan1, Xiao-an Zhang1, Zhen Huang, Artur Krezel, Min Zhao, Christine E. Tinberg, James McNamara, Stephen J. Lippard, Vesicular Zinc Promotes Presynaptic and Inhibits Postsynaptic Long Term Potentia-tion of Mossyfiber-CA3 Synapse Neuron (Cell Press) 2011, In Press
  • Subrata Ghosh, Pilhan Kim, Xiao-an Zhang, Andy Yun, Anna Moore, Stephen Lippard, Zdravka Medarova, A Novel Imaging Approach for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer Based on Endogenous Zinc Sensing. Cancer Res. 2010, 70(15), 6119-6127 (Highlighted as an Editorís Choice in Science, 2010, 329, 885)
  • Taekwan Lee, Xiao-an Zhang, Shanta Dhar, Henryk Faas, Stephen J. Lippard, Alan Jasanoff, In Vivo Imaging with a Cell-Permeable Porphyrin-Based MRI Contrast Agent. Chem. & Bio. (Cell Press) 2010, 17, 665-673
  • Tatjana Atanasijevic, Xiao-an Zhang, Stephen J. Lippard, and Alan Jasanoff, MRI Sensing Based on the Displacement of Paramagnetic Ions from Chelated Complexes. Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49(6), 2589-2591
  • Xiao-an Zhang, Dugan Hayes, Sarah J. Smith, Simone Friedle, Stephen J. Lippard, New Strategy for Quantifying Biological Zinc by a Modified Zinpyr Fluorescence Sensor. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130(47), 15788-15789 (Highlighted in Chem. & Eng. News, 2010, 88(38), 29)
  • Xiao-an Zhang, Katherine Lovejoy, Alan Jasanoff, Stephen J. Lippard, Water-Soluble Porphyrins as a Dual-Function Molecular Imaging Platform for MRI and Fluorescence Zinc Sensing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2007, 104(26), 10780-10785
  • Xiao-an Zhang, Wolf-D Woggon, From the First Fluorescent Sensor of Pyrovanadate to the Functional Model of Vanadium Haloperoxidase. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127(41), 14138-14139.