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Venu Raman, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Venu Raman, Ph.D.

Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Research Interests: Cancer stem cells; Imaging hypoxia; Image-guided treatment of cancer; Breast cancer models; Chemotherapeutic molecules; Preclinical cancer xenograft models; Molecular imaging; Twist; HOXA5; Developmental breast cancer biology more


Dr. Venu Raman is an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Science and Department of Oncology and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. His research focuses on developmental breast cancer biology. Dr. Raman’s work on deciphering the role of HOXA5 and Twist in breast cancer formation is widely recognized both nationally and internationally. He is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Medicine In vivo Cellular Molecular Imaging Center.

His current research integrates molecular biology techniques with imaging. He is leading research projects that determine the role of Twist in inducing breast cancer-initiating cells and metastasis and examine the functional imaging of Twist-induced breast cancer. Dr. Raman is also working on a number of research projects that study image-guided treatment of certain types of cancer.

Dr. Raman received his undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Bombay and his masters of biochemistry from the University of Baroda. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of New South Wales. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology from Indiana University and followed that with a research fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Raman joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2000.

Dr. Raman serves on the editorial board of Molecular Medicine Reports. He has been awarded several patents for his research and inventions related to cancer biology. more


  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D., University of New South Wales - Sydney (Australia) (1990)

Additional Training

The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1999, Research fellow; The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1995, Postdoctoral fellow

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Raman's research is primarily in the area of development breast cancer biology. His work on deciphering the role of HOXA5 and the Twist gene in breast cancer formation earned him international recognition and has fundamental implications for early detection, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer.

Dr. Raman has significant experience in generating preclinical cancer xenograft models as well as developing chemotherapeutic molecules for treating cancers. He has played a key role in the integration of molecular biology techniques with imaging and is involved in a number of ongoing studies that examine image-guided drug treatments for cancer.

Selected Publications

  1. Winnard, P. Jr., Kluth, B. J. and Raman, V. "Non-invasive optical tracking of red fluorescent protein expressing cancer cells in a model of metastatic breast cancer." Neoplasia. 2006; 8:796-806.
  2. Raman, V., Artemov, D., Pathak, A.P., Winnard, P. Jr., McNutt, S., Yudina, A., Bogdanov, A.Jr. and Bhujwalla, Z.M. "Characterizing vascular parameters in hypoxic regions: A combined MR and optical imaging study of a human prostate cancer model." Cancer Research. 2006; 66:9929-9936.
  3. Winnard, P. Jr., Kluth, B. J. Kato, Y., Artemov, D. and Raman, V. "Development of novel chimeric transmembrane proteins for multimodality imaging of cancer cells." Cancer Biology and Therapy. 2007; 6:1889-1899.
  4. Botlagunta, M., Vesuna, F., Mironchik, Y., Raman, A., Lisok, A., Winnard, P., Mukudam, S., van Diest, P., Chen, H.J., Farabaugh, P., Patel, H.A. and Raman, V. "Oncogenic role of DDX3 in breast cancer biogenesis." Oncogene. 2008; 28:3912-3922.
  5. Vesuna, F., Lisok, A., Kimble, B. and Raman, V. "Twist modulates breast cancer stem cells by transcriptional regulation of CD24 expression." Neoplasia. 2009; 12:1318-1328.
  6. 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.
  7. Botlagunta, M.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Raman, V. Neoplastic transformation of breast epithelial cells by genotoxic stress. BMC Cancer. 2010;10:343.
  8. 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.
  9. Satoh, H.; Moriguchi, T.; Taguchi, K.; Takai, J.; Maher, J.M.; Suzuki, T.; Winnard, P.T., Jr.; Raman, V.; Ebina, M.; Nukiwa, T.; Yamamoto, M. Nrf2-deficiency creates a responsive microenvironment for metastasis to the lung. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Oct;31(10):1833-1843.
  10. 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.

Activities & Honors


  • Commonwealth Government Post-Graduate Research Scholarship, Australia, 1987
  • Outstanding Research Award presented at the Annual meeting of American Association for Cancer Research, New Orleans, 1998
  • PCT number-64817PCT(71699) (USA-2007)-Inventors include: Peter Van Zijl, Patent Office, 2007
  • Exogenous Gene regulatory Systems- PL3646/92, Patent, 1991
  • Fused diimidazodiazepine compounds and methods of use and manufacture thereof. PCT/US2009/005273, Patent, 2009
  • Compositions and methods for characterizing breast cancer. PCT/US11/28358, Patent, 2011
  • Outstanding Research Scientist Award, Annual Oncology Symposia held at Johns Hopkins University, 1997

Professional Activities

  • Editorial board, Molecular Medicine Reports, 2007
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