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Zaver Bhujwalla


Professor of Radiology and Oncology
Director, Molecular Imaging Program


University of Bombay, India (B.Sc.) University of Bombay, India (M.Sc. - Biophysics) University of London (M.Sc. - Radiation Biology) University of London (Ph.D. - Radiation Biology)

Research Summary

Dr. Bhujwalla’s work has focused on the applications of MR imaging and spectroscopy and more recently multi-modality imaging to understand and treat cancer. Dr. Bhujwalla has over 120 publications in this field. Currently her research covers understanding the role of inflammation and hypoxia in cancer invasion and metastasis, identifying tumor microenvironments that are permissive for ‘stem-like’ cancer cells, developing theranostic agents to target metastatic cancer, and identifying early noninvasive biomarkers for cancer-induced cachexia.

Journal Citations

Gimi, B.; Mori, N.; Ackerstaff, E.; Frost, E.E.; Bulte, J.W.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Noninvasive MRI of endothelial cell response to human breast cancer cells. Neoplasia. 2006 Mar;8(3):207-213.
Glunde, K.; Ackerstaff, E.; Mori, N.; Jacobs, M.A.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Choline phospholipid metabolism in cancer: consequences for molecular pharmaceutical interventions. Molecular pharmaceutics. 2006 Sep-Oct;3(5):496-506.
Glunde, K.; Jacobs, M.A.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Choline metabolism in cancer: implications for diagnosis and therapy. Expert review of molecular diagnostics. 2006 Nov;6(6):821-829.
Glunde, K.; Jie, C.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Mechanisms of indomethacin-induced alterations in the choline phospholipid metabolism of breast cancer cells. Neoplasia. 2006 Sep;8(9):758-771.
Li, C.; Greenwood, T.R.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Glunde, K. Synthesis and characterization of glucosamine-bound near-infrared probes for optical imaging. Org Lett. 2006 Aug 17;8(17):3623-3626.
Li, C.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Takagi, T.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Multimodal image-guided enzyme/prodrug cancer therapy. J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Nov 29;128(47):15072-15073.
Pathak, A.P.; Artemov, D.; Neeman, M.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Lymph node metastasis in breast cancer xenografts is associated with increased regions of extravascular drain, lymphatic vessel area, and invasive phenotype. Cancer Res. 2006 May 15;66(10):5151-5158.
Raman, V.; Artemov, D.; Pathak, A.P.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; McNutt, S.; Yudina, A.; Bogdanov, A., Jr.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Characterizing vascular parameters in hypoxic regions: a combined magnetic resonance and optical imaging study of a human prostate cancer model. Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15;66(20):9929-9936.
Ackerstaff, E.; Artemov, D.; Gillies, R.J.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Hypoxia and the presence of human vascular endothelial cells affect prostate cancer cell invasion and metabolism. Neoplasia. 2007 Dec;9(12):1138-1151.
Ackerstaff, E.; Gimi, B.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Anti-inflammatory agent indomethacin reduces invasion and alters metabolism in a human breast cancer cell line. Neoplasia. 2007 Mar;9(3):222-235.
Gao, P.; Zhang, H.; Dinavahi, R.; Li, F.; Xiang, Y.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Felsher, D.W.; Cheng, L.; Pevsner, J.; Lee, L.A.; Semenza, G.L.; Dang, C.V. HIF-dependent antitumorigenic effect of antioxidants in vivo. Cancer Cell. 2007 Sep;12(3):230-238.
Gimi, B.; Artemov, D.; Leong, T.; Gracias, D.H.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. MRI of regular-shaped cell-encapsulating polyhedral microcontainers. Magn Reson Med. 2007 Dec;58(6):1283-1287.
Gimi, B.; Artemov, D.; Leong, T.; Gracias, D.H.; Gilson, W.; Stuber, M.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Cell viability and noninvasive in vivo MRI tracking of 3D cell encapsulating self-assembled microcontainers. Cell transplantation. 2007;16(4):403-408.
Glunde, K.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Choline kinase alpha in cancer prognosis and treatment. Lancet Oncol. 2007 Oct;8(10):855-857.

Glunde, K.; Pathak, A.P.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Molecular-functional imaging of cancer: to image and imagine. Trends in molecular medicine. 2007 Jul;13(7):287-297.

Kato, Y.; Okollie, B.; Raman, V.; Vesuna, F.; Zhao, M.; Baker, S.D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Artemov, D. Contributing factors of temozolomide resistance in MCF-7 tumor xenograft models. Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Jun;6(6):891-897.

Mori, N.; Glunde, K.; Takagi, T.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Choline kinase down-regulation increases the effect of 5-fluorouracil in breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2007 Dec 1;67(23):11284-11290.

Raman, V.; Pathak, A.P.; Glunde, K.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy of transgenic models of cancer. NMR Biomed. 2007 May;20(3):186-199.

Shan, L.; Wang, S.; Sridhar, R.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Wang, P.C. Dual probe with fluorescent and magnetic properties for imaging solid tumor xenografts. Mol Imaging. 2007 Mar-Apr;6(2):85-95.

Stasinopoulos, I.; O'Brien, D.R.; Wildes, F.; Glunde, K.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Silencing of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibits metastasis and delays tumor onset of poorly differentiated metastatic breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2007 May;5(5):435-442.

Vogel-Claussen, J.; Gimi, B.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Diffusion-weighted and macromolecular contrast enhanced MRI of tumor response to antivascular therapy with ZD6126. Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Sep;6(9):1469-1475.

Glunde, K.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Will magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based contrast agents for molecular receptor imaging make their way into the clinic? Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 2008 Jan-Feb;12(1):187-188.

Glunde, K.; Shah, T.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Raman, V.; Takagi, T.; Vesuna, F.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Hypoxia regulates choline kinase expression through hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha signaling in a human prostate cancer model. Cancer Res. 2008 Jan 1;68(1):172-180.

Li, C.; Penet, M.F.; Winnard, P., Jr.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Image-guided enzyme/prodrug cancer therapy. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 2008 Jan 15;14(2):515-522.

Li, C.; Wildes, F.; Winnard, P., Jr.; Artemov, D.; Penet, M.F.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Conjugation of poly-L-lysine to bacterial cytosine deaminase improves the efficacy of enzyme/prodrug cancer therapy. J Med Chem. 2008 Jun 26;51(12):3572-3582.

Mikhaylova, M.; Mori, N.; Wildes, F.B.; Walczak, P.; Gimi, B.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Hypoxia increases breast cancer cell-induced lymphatic endothelial cell migration. Neoplasia. 2008 Apr;10(4):380-389.

Penet, M.F.; Glunde, K.; Jacobs, M.A.; Pathak, A.P.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Molecular and functional MRI of the tumor microenvironment. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine. 2008 May;49(5):687-690.

Shan, L.; Hao, Y.; Wang, S.; Korotcov, A.; Zhang, R.; Wang, T.; Califano, J.; Gu, X.; Sridhar, R.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Wang, P.C. Visualizing head and neck tumors in vivo using near-infrared fluorescent transferrin conjugate. Molecular imaging : official journal of the Society for Molecular Imaging. 2008 Jan-Feb;7(1):42-49.

Song, H.; Shahverdi, K.; Huso, D.L.; Wang, Y.; Fox, J.J.; Hobbs, R.F.; Gimi, B.; Gabrielson, K.L.; Pomper, M.G.; Tsui, B.M.; Bhujwalla, Z.; Reilly, R.T.; Sgouros, G. An immunotolerant HER-2/neu transgenic mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Oct 1;14(19):6116-6124.

Stasinopoulos, I.; Mori, N.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. The malignant phenotype of breast cancer cells is reduced by COX-2 silencing. Neoplasia. 2008 Nov;10(11):1163-1169.

Zhu, W.; Okollie, B.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Artemov, D. PAMAM dendrimer-based contrast agents for MR imaging of Her-2/neu receptors by a three-step pretargeting approach. Magn Reson Med. 2008 Apr;59(4):679-685.

Bhujwalla, Z.M. Molecular and functional imaging of cancer. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:47-49.

Glunde, K.; Jacobs, M.A.; Pathak, A.P.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Molecular and functional imaging of breast cancer. NMR Biomed. 2009 Jan;22(1):92-103.

Koskimaki, J.E.; Karagiannis, E.D.; Rosca, E.V.; Vesuna, F.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Popel, A.S. Peptides derived from type IV collagen, CXC chemokines, and thrombospondin-1 domain-containing proteins inhibit neovascularization and suppress tumor growth in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer xenografts. Neoplasia. 2009 Dec;11(12):1285-1291.

Krishnamachary, B.; Glunde, K.; Wildes, F.; Mori, N.; Takagi, T.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Noninvasive detection of lentiviral-mediated choline kinase targeting in a human breast cancer xenograft. Cancer Res. 2009 Apr 15;69(8):3464-3471.

Li, C.; Winnard, P.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Facile synthesis of 1-(acetic acid)-4,7,10-tris(tert-butoxycarbonylmethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraaza-cyclododeca ne: a reactive precursor chelating agent. Tetrahedron Lett. 2009 Jun 17;50(24):2929-2931.

Mikhaylova, M.; Stasinopoulos, I.; Kato, Y.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Imaging of cationic multifunctional liposome-mediated delivery of COX-2 siRNA. Cancer Gene Ther. 2009 Mar;16(3):217-226.

Nimmagadda, S.; Glunde, K.; Pomper, M.G.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Pharmacodynamic markers for choline kinase down-regulation in breast cancer cells. Neoplasia. 2009 May;11(5):477-484.

Penet, M.F.; Pathak, A.P.; Raman, V.; Ballesteros, P.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Noninvasive multiparametric imaging of metastasis-permissive microenvironments in a human prostate cancer xenograft. Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 15;69(22):8822-8829.

Stasinopoulos, I.; O'Brien, D.R.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Inflammation, but not hypoxia, mediated HIF-1alpha activation depends on COX-2. Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;8(1):31-35.
Glunde, K.; Artemov, D.; Penet, M.F.; Jacobs, M.A.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy in metabolic and molecular imaging and diagnosis of cancer. Chem Rev. 2010 May 12;110(5):3043-3059.

Iorio, E.; Ricci, A.; Bagnoli, M.; Pisanu, M.E.; Castellano, G.; Di Vito, M.; Venturini, E.; Glunde, K.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Mezzanzanica, D.; Canevari, S.; Podo, F. Activation of phosphatidylcholine cycle enzymes in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 1;70(5):2126-2135.

Jacobs, M.A.; Stearns, V.; Wolff, A.C.; Macura, K.; Argani, P.; Khouri, N.; Tsangaris, T.; Barker, P.B.; Davidson, N.E.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Bluemke, D.A.; Ouwerkerk, R. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, spectroscopy and multinuclear ((2)(3)Na) imaging monitoring of preoperative chemotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer. Acad Radiol. 2010 Dec;17(12):1477-1485.

Kakkad, S.M.; Solaiyappan, M.; O'Rourke, B.; Stasinopoulos, I.; Ackerstaff, E.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Glunde, K. Hypoxic tumor microenvironments reduce collagen I fiber density. Neoplasia. 2010 Aug;12(8):608-617.

Li, C.; Penet, M.F.; Wildes, F.; Takagi, T.; Chen, Z.; Winnard, P.T.; Artemov, D.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Nanoplex delivery of siRNA and prodrug enzyme for multimodality image-guided molecular pathway targeted cancer therapy. ACS Nano. 2010 Nov 23;4(11):6707-6716.

Nimmagadda, S.; Pullambhatla, M.; Stone, K.; Green, G.; Bhujwalla, Z.M.; Pomper, M.G. Molecular imaging of CXCR4 receptor expression in human cancer xenografts with [64Cu]AMD3100 positron emission tomography. Cancer Res. 2010 May 15;70(10):3935-3944.

Pathak, A.P.; Penet, M.F.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. MR molecular imaging of tumor vasculature and vascular targets. Adv Genet. 2010;69:1-30.

Penet, M.F.; Mikhaylova, M.; Li, C.; Krishnamachary, B.; Glunde, K.; Pathak, A.P.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Applications of molecular MRI and optical imaging in cancer. Future Med Chem. 2010 Jun;2(6):975-988.

Shah, T.; Wildes, F.; Penet, M.F.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Glunde, K.; Artemov, D.; Ackerstaff, E.; Gimi, B.; Kakkad, S.; Raman, V.; Bhujwalla, Z.M. Choline kinase overexpression increases invasiveness and drug resistance of human breast cancer cells. NMR Biomed. 2010 Jul;23(6):633-642.

Penet MF, Pathak AP, Raman V, Ballesteros P, Artemov D, Bhujwalla ZM. Noninvasive multiparametric imaging of metastasis-permissive microenvironments in a human prostate cancer xenograft. Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 15;69(22):8822-9.

Kakkad, S, Solaiyappan, M, O'Rourke, B, Stasinopoulos, I, Ackerstaff, E, Raman, V, Bhujwalla, ZM, and Glunde, K. (2010) Hypoxic tumor microenvironments reduce collagen I fiber density. Neoplasia. 2010 Aug;12(8):608-17.

Shah, T, Wildes, F, Penet, M-F, Winnard, PT, Glunde, K, Artemov, D, Ackerstaff, E, Gimi, B, Kakkad, S, Raman, V, and Bhujwalla, ZM. Choline kinase overexpression increases invasiveness and drug resistance of human breast cancer cells. NMR Biomed. 2010 Jul;23(6):633-42.

Penet MF, Mikhaylova M, Li C, Krishnamachary B, Glunde K, Pathak AP, and Bhujwalla ZM. Applications of molecular MRI and optical imaging in cancer. Future Medicinal Chemistry, June 2010, Vol. 2, No. 6, Pages 975-988.

Glunde K, Artemov D, Penet MF, Jacobs MA, and Bhujwalla ZM. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Metabolic and Molecular Imaging and Diagnosis of Cancer. Chem Rev. 2010 May 12;110(5):3043-59.

Honors and Awards

Teaching and Research: President-Elect of the Society for Molecular Imaging; Outstanding Teacher Award, ISMRM, Honolulu, 2009; Fellow of the ISMRM, 2007; Fellow of the AIMBE, 2007; The Negendank Lecture: To Image and Imagine, 2006.

Editorial boards: Cancer Biology and Therapy, Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, Molecular Imaging, NMR in Biomedicine.

Review panels: NIH, USAMRMC, Komen Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Fondation InNaBioSante.

Membership in Scientific Societies

Society for Molecular Imaging, USA (past council member, current President-Elect) American Association of Cancer Research, USA American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), USA International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), USA (past chair, Cancer MR study group) Radiation Research Society, USA


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