- BS in Applied Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
- MS in Organic Chemistry, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Research Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
- MS in Medicinal Chemistry, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL.
My research focuses on the application of different MRI modalities for the detection of biomarkers especially those important in cancer such as pH, enzyme activity and hypoxia. CEST and T2-exchange (T2ex) are two main MRI modalities that I use most in my research.
I have synthesized and studied MRI properties of a new type of paramagnetic contrast agent, Tm-DO3A-oAA, that shows changes in T2 relaxation due to T2ex relaxation mechanism before and after reacting with nitric oxide (NO). Tm-DO3A-oAA is not a great T2-type contrast agent as it shows relatively small T2 relaxation. However, its product upon reacting with NO gas exhibited relatively large T2 relaxation due to T2ex mechanism.
My interest in developing new contrast agents that work based on T2ex mechanism led to synthesis and study of a series of Ln(III) such as Dy(III), Tm(III), and Yb(III) complexes with a variety of substituents on different positions of a benzyl ring attached to DO3A backbone. We expect that these complexes produce relatively large T2 relaxation with negligible T1 relaxation. This is an advantage because a radiometric R2/R1 can be utilized to cancel effect of undesired parameters affecting T2 relaxation such as concentration in vivo. Measurement of chemical exchange rate in these series of complexes will determine contribution of chemical exchange to the total T2 relaxation. Investigation on these molecules has shown that there is nice correlation between changes in R2/R1 ratio and biological relevant pH.
Investigation on enzyme activity using CEST and T2ex MRI is another interesting research field. I synthesize and study application of Ln(III) complexes such as Yb-DO3A-oAA derivatives as PARACEST contrast agents and salicylic acid derivatives such as fosfosal as DIACEST contrast agents to measure activity of various types of enzymes. I have developed MRI contrast agents for the detection of alkaline phosphatase, DT-diaphorases, nitroreducatses, and sulfatases.
- 2015 Young Chemist Committee (YCC) Travel Grant
- 2014 Summer Internship at Sanofi, Tucson, AZ
- 2013 & 2014 Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) Travel Grant, UofA
- 2014 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Travel Grant, UofA
- 2012 Exceeding Expectations Teaching Assistant, UofA
- 2011 Graduate Research Award, College of Art and Sciences, SIUe
- 2011 SIUe Thomas D. Bouman Memorial Research Scholar Award, College of Art and Sciences, SIUe
- Member of Iran’s National Elites Foundation since 2009
- Synthesis and evaluation of a series of lanthanide chelates that act as T2ex MRI contrast agents, 250th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, Aug 2015, Oral Presentation
- Measuring pH using Tm(III) and Dy(III) MRI contrast agents in a concentration independent manner, 2015 World Molecular Imaging Congress, Honolulu, HI, Sep 2015, Poster Presentation
- Detection of Alkaline Phosphatase Enzyme Activity with Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) MRI, 2015 World Molecular Imaging Congress, Honolulu, HI, Sep 2015, Poster Presentation
- Monitoring response to drug-loaded PLGA nanoparticles in a Mia PaCa-2 pancreatic tumor model with T2 and diffusion- weighted MRI, Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM-ESMRMB, Milan, Italy, May 2014, Poster Presentation
- CatalyCEST MRI contrast agents that detect enzyme activities, Marty D Pagel, Byunghee Yoo, Dina V Hingorani, Iman Daryaei, Paul J Akhenblit, 247th ACS National Meeting, Dallas, TX, Mar 2014
- A New type of responsive MRI contrast agent that modulate T2ex relation: Detection of nitric oxide
- Oral Presentation, 247th ACS National Meeting, Dallas, TX, Mar 2014
- Poster Presentation, ISMRM 21st Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, UT, Apr 2013
- Synthesis of Trisubstituted-1,2,4-Triazoles as Somatostatin Subtype-4 Receptor (sst4) Ligands, 243rd ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, Mar 2012
- “(H2O2–HBr) in water: A Mild, Convenient, Metal–free and Organic Solvent–free System for the Bromination and α-Bromination of Methylarenes”, 44th Midwest Regional ACS Meeting, Iowa City, IA, Oct 2009
- “An Eco-friendly and Solvent-free Bromination Method by the H2O2-HBr System”, 17th International Conference on Organic Synthesis, South Korea, Jun 2008
- H2O2–HBr: A Metal-free and Organic Solvent-free Reagent System for the Synthesis of Arylaldehydes from Methylarenes, J. Chem. Sci., 2009, 121, 2, 177–182.