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Martin G. Pomper

Martin G. Pomper

Department Affiliation: Primary:  Radiology;
Secondary:  Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences; Oncology; Radiation Oncology; Psychiatry; Pathobiology; Environmental Health Sciences; Materials Science and Engineering; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Urology, and Biomedical Engineering
Degree: M.D., Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rank: Henry N. Wagner, Jr. Professor and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Technology Development
Telephone Number: 410-955-2789
E-mail address:
School of Medicine Address: Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, Room 3223, 601 N. Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD 21287

Translational Precision Imaging

Recent advances in molecular and cellular biology, the emergence of more sophisticated animal models of human disease and the development of sensitive, high-resolution imaging systems enable the study of pathophysiology noninvasively in unprecedented detail.  The overall goal of our work is to develop new techniques and agents to study human disease through imaging.  We concentrate on two areas, i.e., cancer and central nervous system processes.  Our work extends from basic chemical and radiochemical synthesis to clinical translation.  We are transdisciplinary, drawing from elements of molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic and medicinal chemistry and medical imaging physics.

Current synthetically oriented projects include the development of radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) as well as optical imaging agents to be used for surgical guidance.  We also develop and use techniques in artificial intelligence to evaluate the utility of those agents.  Such agents typically bind receptors or enzymes.  One major effort involves a series of urea derivatives that have a high affinity for the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) as leads for imaging and radiotherapeutic agents targeting prostate and other cancers.  Several of those agents are in clinical trials.  We are developing a general technique for molecular-genetic imaging and therapy of cancer.  Human PET studies are also a priority, and we have several protocols for studying neurotransmission and neuroinflammation in a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions with our collaborators in neurology and psychiatry.

Students will learn or be exposed to chemical and radiochemical synthesis, small animal imaging, radiotracer kinetic modeling and a variety of biological and molecular biological techniques. 


Representative Publications:  

  • Shen, C.J., Minn, I., Hobbs, R.F., Chen, Y., Josefsson, A., Brummet, M., Banerjee, S.R., Brayton, C.F., Mease, R.C., Pomper, M.G., Kiess, A.P. Auger radiopharmaceutical therapy targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen in a micrometastatic model of prostate cancer. Theranostics. Feb 3;10(7):2888-2896, 2020.  Pub Med Reference
  • Bonaventura, J., Eldridge, M.A.G., Hu, F., Gomez, J.L., Sanchez-Soto, M., Abramyan, A.M., Lam, S., Boehm, M.A., Ruiz, C., Farrell, M.R., Moreno, A., Galal Faress, I.M., Andersen, N., Lin, J.Y., Moaddel, R., Morris, P.J., Shi, L., Sibley, D.R., Mahler, S.V., Nabavi, S., Pomper, M.G., Bonci, A., Horti, A.G., Richmond, B.J., Michaelides, M. High-potency ligands for DREADD imaging and activation in rodents and monkeys. Nat. Commun.  Oct 11;10(1):4627, 2019. Pub Med Reference
  • Coughlin, J.M., Rubin, L.H., Du, Y., Rowe, S.P., Crawford, J.L., Rosenthal, H.B., Frey, S.M., Marshall, E.S., Shinehouse, L.K., Chen, A., Speck, C.L., Wang, Y., Lesniak, W.G., Minn, I., Bakker, A., Kamath, V., Smith, G.S., Albert, M.S., Azad, B.B., Dannals, R.F., Horti, A., Wong, D.F., Pomper, M.G. J High Availability of the α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor in Brains of Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study Using 18F-ASEM PET. Nucl Med. Mar;61(3):423-426, 2020. Pub Med Reference
  • Banerjee, S.R., Kumar, V., Lisok, A., Chen, J., Minn, I., Brummet, M., Boinapally, S., Cole, M., Ngen, E., Wharram, B., Brayton, C., Hobbs, R.F., Pomper, M.G. Lu-labeled low-molecular-weight agents for PSMA-targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. Nov;46(12):2545-2557, 2019. Pub Med Reference
  • Minn, I., Huss, D.J., Ahn, H.H., Chinn, T.M., Park, A., Jones, J., Brummet, M., Rowe, S.P., Sysa-Shah, P., Du, Y., Levitsky, H.I., Pomper, M.G. Imaging CAR T cell therapy with PSMA-targeted positron emission tomography. Sci Adv. Jul 3;5(7):eaaw5096, 2019. Pub Med Reference
  • Coughlin, J.M., Wang, Y., Minn, I., Bienko, N., Ambinder, E.B., Xu, X., Peters, M.E., Dougherty, J.W., Vranesic, M., Koo, S.M., Ahn, H.H., Lee, M., Cottrell, C., Sair, H.I., Sawa, A., Munro, C.A., Nowinski, C.J., Dannals, R.F., Lyketsos, C.G., Kassiou, M., Smith, G., Caffo, B., Mori, S., Guilarte, T.R., Pomper, M.G. Imaging of Glial Cell Activation and White Matter Integrity in Brains of Active and Recently Retired National Football League Players. JAMA Neurol. Jan 1;74(1):67-74, 2017. Pub Med Reference
  • Tamborini, L., Chen, Y., Foss, C.A., Pinto, A., Horti, A.G., Traynelis, S.F., De Micheli, C., Mease, R.C., Hansen, K.B., Conti, P., Pomper, M.G. Development of Radiolabeled Ligands Targeting the Glutamate Binding Site of the N-Methyl-d-aspartate Receptor as Potential Imaging Agents for Brain. J Med Chem. Dec 22;59(24):11110-11119, 2016. Pub Med Reference
  • Yang, X., Song, X., Li, Y., Liu, G., Banerjee, S.R., Pomper, M.G., McMahon, M.T. Salicylic acid and analogues as diaCEST MRI contrast agents with highly shifted exchangeable proton frequencies. Angew. Chem. Int. Edit. 52:8116-9, 2013. Pub Med Reference
  • Banerjee, S.R., Pullambhatla, M., Byun, Y., Nimmagadda, S., Foss, C.A., Green, G., Fox, J.J., Lupold, S.E., Mease, R.C., Pomper, M.G. Sequential SPECT and optical imaging of experimental models of prostate cancer with a dual modality inhibitor of the prostate-specific membrane antigen.  Angew. Chem. Int. Edit. 50:9167-70, 2011. Pub Med Reference
  • Bhang, H.-E., Gabrielson, K.L., Laterra, J., Fisher, P.B., Pomper, M.G.  Tumor-specific imaging through progression elevated gene-3 promoter-driven gene expression.  Nat. Med. 17:123-129, 2011. Pub Med Reference