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Diane Abou, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Diane Abou, Ph.D.

Instructor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Research Interests: development, characterization and application of novel and existing radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy.


Dr. Diane Abou is an Instructor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. Her research interests include the development, characterization, and application of novel and existing radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy.

Dr. Abou received her Ph.D. from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Her research investigations are focusing on radionuclide therapy of cancers utilizing alpha-particle emitters such as 225Ac, 213Bi or 223Ra with the aim of optimizing and developing highly potent treatments for multiple cancer eradication focusing on a minimum toxicity. more


  • Instructor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D., Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) (2010)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Understanding the fundamentals of Alpha-Particle therapy. Using high sensitivity and resolution autoradiographic techniques (phosphor imager and alpha camera) combined with detailed immuno-histochemical stainings, we aim to quantitatively track alpha particle distribution and assess radiation damaged in models of disease from the organ to the cellular level. Resolving fundamental questions regarding these potent therapies function in model systems will improve the application in patient settings through reduced local toxicity; optimized therapeutic dosing and suited scheduling of therapy. 


Chemical and Biological Study of Radiotracer and Radioisotope Interaction with Bone: Zirconium-89 is rapidly becoming the positron emitting radionuclide of choice for longitudinal PET imaging studies. However, basic understanding of the in vivo biological fate of this isotope was not fully elucidated. Investigations of the various chemical states of 89Zr in vitro, and in mice were undertaken by Dr. Abou to demonstrate bone-seeking properties of 89Zr when unchelated, explaining imaging artifacts seen from the expanding use of 89Zr-labeled agents.

Dual-modality PET-MR Molecular Imaging: Introduction of PET-MR into standard clinical practice will enhance disease detection and monitoring capabilities. At this time, there are no clinical dual-modality tracers that take advantage of the soft tissue contrast of MR and sensitivity of PET.  Dr. Abou has devised multiple novel imaging agents for molecular detection of disease in the research setting. Paramagnetic liposome probes modified with the cell surface targeting ligand octreotide and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparitcles have been labeled with short and long-lived positron emitters to facilitate improved characterization of disease sites.


Selected Publications

Abou DS, Pickett J, Mattson JE, Thorek DLJ. A Radium-223 microgenerator from cyclotron-produced trace Actinium-227, Applied Radiation and Isotopes 2017, 119, 36, Pub Med PMID: 27835737, PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5136344

Abou DS, Ulmert D, Doucet M, Hobbs RF, Riddle RC, Thorek DL. Whole-body and microenvironmental localization of Radium-223 in naïve and mouse models of prostate cancer metastasis. J Nat Cancer Inst. 2015. Dec; 18:108(5). Pubmed PMID: 26683407

Abou DS, Thorek DL, Ramos NN, Pinkse MWH, Wolterbeek HT, Carlin SS, Beattie BJ, Lewis JS. 89Zr-labeled paramagnetic octreotide-liposomes for PET-MR imaging of cancer. Pharm Res. 2013 30(3)878-88. PubMed PMID: 23224977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3578092

Abou DS, Ku T, Smith-Jones PM. In vivo biodistribution and accumulation of 89Zr in mice. Nucl Med Biol. 2011 38(5)675-81. PubMed PMID: 21718943. PubMed Central PMCID: 21718943

Contact for Research Inquiries

720 Rutland Avenue
Ross 220
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

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