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Zaver M. Bhujwalla, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Zaver M. Bhujwalla, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Director, Division of Cancer Imaging Research, Department of Radiology

Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Research Interests: Choline metabolism in cancer; Inflammation and COX-2 in breast cancer; Vascularization, cancer stem cells, hypoxia, pH, collagen, macromolecular transport; Theranostic imaging for precision medicine; Cancer-induced cachexia ...read more

Background

Dr. Bhujwalla is Professor of Radiology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her work has focused on the applications of multi-modality imaging to understand and target cancer and the tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Bhujwalla is a Fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the American Institute of Biomedical Engineers, and the World Molecular Imaging Society. She is a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research.

Dr. Bhujwalla is currently associated with the editorial boards of Cancer Biology and Therapy, Cancer ResearchContrast Media and Molecular Imaging, Molecular Imaging, NMR in Biomedicine, and Tomography.

She previously served as President of the World Molecular Imaging Society.

At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine she serves as the Director of the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology, and as the Co-Director of the Cancer Molecular and Functional Imaging Program in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Bhujwalla serves as Chair of the Career Development Advisory Committee of the Department of Radiology, and has served on the Senior Advisory Council of the Office of Faculty Development of the School of Medicine.

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Titles

  • Director, Division of Cancer Imaging Research, Department of Radiology
  • Co-Director, Cancer Molecular and Functional Imaging Program, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • B.Sc., University of Bombay (India) (1980)
  • M.Sc., University of Bombay (India) (1982)
  • M.Sc., Middlesex Hospital Medicine School - London - England (United Kingdom) (1985)
  • Ph.D., University of London (England) (1988)

Additional Training

  • Diploma in Radiological Physics (BARC, University of Bombay)
  • Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, (1991) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Bhujwalla’s research is dedicated to the applications of molecular and functional imaging to understand and target cancer and the tumor microenvironment.

Significant research contributions include: 

  1. Developing ‘theranostic agents’ for image-guided precision targeting of cancer including delivery of siRNA, cDNA, prodrug enzymes, and phototherapy agents,
  2. Understanding the role of inflammation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cancer using molecular and functional imaging, 
  3. Developing noninvasive imaging techniques to detect COX-2 expression in tumors, 
  4. Understanding the role of hypoxia and choline metabolism in stem-like breast cancer cells, 
  5. Using molecular and functional imaging to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment including the extracellular matrix, hypoxia, vascularization, and choline phospholipid metabolism in cancer invasion and metastasis, 
  6. Molecular and functional imaging characterization of cancer-induced cachexia to understand the cachexia-cascade and identify novel targets in the treatment of this condition, 
  7. Development of cancer cell membrane coated nanoparticles to disrupt cancer cell-stromal cell interactions and induce an immune response.

Core Facility: Cancer Functional Imaging Core

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

1. Aboagye, E. and Bhujwalla, Z. M. Malignant Transformation Alters Membrane Phospholipid Metabolism of Human Mammary Epithelial Cells. Cancer Research, 59: 80-84, 1999. PRIOR TO 2008

2. Stasinopoulos I, O'Brien DR, Wildes F, Glunde K, and Bhujwalla ZM. Silencing of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibits metastasis and delays tumor onset of poorly differentiated metastatic breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Res. 5: 435-42, 2007.

3. Chen Z, Penet MF, Nimmagadda S, Li C, Banerjee SR, Winnard PT Jr, Artemov D, Glunde K, Pomper MG, Bhujwalla ZM. PSMA-Targeted Theranostic Nanoplex for Prostate Cancer Therapy. ACS Nano. 6: 7752-62, 2012. PMCID:PMC4066818

4. Krishnamachary B, Penet MF, Nimmagadda S, Mironchik Y, Raman V, Solaiyappan M, Semenza GL, Pomper MG, Bhujwalla ZM. Hypoxia regulates CD44 and its variant isoforms through HIF-1α in triple negative breast cancer. PLoS One. 7: e44078, 2012. PMCID:PMC3429433

5. Winnard PT Jr, Bharti S, Penet MF, Marik R, Mironchik Y, Wildes F, Maitra A, Bhujwalla ZM. Detection of Pancreatic Cancer-induced Cachexia using a Fluorescent Myoblast Reporter System and Analysis of Metabolite Abundance. Cancer Res. 2016; 6(6):1441-50. PMCID: PMC4794402

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • The Negendank Lecture “To Image and Imagine: Molecular and Functional Imaging of Cancer”, Cancer Study Group of the ISMRM, 2006
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2007
  • Fellow, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Honolulu, 2009
  • Distinguished Investigator, Academy of Radiology Research, 2012
  • Fellow, World Molecular Imaging Society, 2013
  • The Alan C. Burton Lecture, Molecular and Functional Imaging of the Tumor Microenvironment, University of Western Ontario and Schulich Medical Center, London, Ontario, Canada, 2014
  • Distinguished Lecturer, A Molecular Imaging Journey through the Tumor Microenvironment, Department of Radiology Grand Rounds, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015

Memberships

  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • Radiation Research Society
  • Society for Molecular Imaging

Professional Activities

  • President, World Molecular Imaging Society, 2012 - 2013
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