Faculty and staff


Jamal Zweit, Ph.D.,D.Sc.Jamal Zweit, Ph.D., D.Sc. - Professor of Radiology and affiliate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Radiation Oncology and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Zweit has established CMI in 2008/2009 and has been the director since. Dr. Zweit is internationally recognized for his work in molecular imaging and molecular nanotechnology in cancer biology and therapeutics. His research interests include the development of hybrid molecular imaging and nanotechnology platforms to study cancer progression, diagnostics and the working of therapeutics. A major focus of his research is the integration of multi-modality molecular imaging technologies with nanoparticle-based hybrid probes and the development of endogenous molecular imaging to study tumorgenesis and cancer progression.
Sundaresan Gobalakrishnan, Ph.D.Sundaresan Gobalakrishnan, Ph.D. – Head of Multi-modality Imaging Laboratory and Scientist Manager of CMI. Dr. Gobalakrishnan  joined CMI in 2009 and with Dr. Zweit established the PET/SPECT/CT and Optical Imaging Laboratory, and more recently co-established the new MRI/PET preclinical imaging laboratory. His research focus is on the in vivo evaluation and validation of multi-modal imaging approaches, including studies of targeted hybrid probes. 
Minghao Sun, Ph.D.Minghao Sun, Ph.D. – Dr. Sun is leading the Nanochemistry and nanotechnology probe development research within CMI. His research interest is in the development of multi-modal nanoparticle probes, including radio-quantum dots, for imaging and targeted therapy, as well as the development of nanoparticle-based drug delivery platforms.
Gajanan Dewkar, Ph.D.Gajanan Dewkar, Ph.D. – Dr. Dewkar is leading the PET Radiochemistry research within CMI, working on both small and macromolecule labeled probes. He is also responsible for clinical grade manufacturing of PET radiopharmaceutical. His research interests include the development of radiolabeled compounds for apoptosis imaging, and targeted ligands for prostate cancer as well as the development of imaging analogues of platinum anti-cancer drugs.
Likun Yang, Ph.D.Likun Yang, Ph.D. – Dr. Yang is developing hybrid inorganic nanoparticles for targeted imaging and therapy. Her research interests include the development of radio-doped metal-based nanoparticles for SPECT, PET, MRI and optical imaging.
Frank Corwin, Ph.D.Frank Corwin, Ph.D. – Dr. Corwin manages the preclinical MRI/MRS facility, developing MR imaging paradigms in support of CMI research as well as VCU PIs.  His research interests include the development of MR methodologies to study traumatic brain injury.
Purnima Jose, Ph.D.Purnima Jose, Ph.D. – Dr. Jose is responsible for the development of cell and molecular biology assays for in vitro and ex vivo evaluation of multi-modal targeted probes. Her research interests include the study, through targeted imaging, of pathways involved in tumorgenesis.
Celina Thadigiri, M.S.Celina Thadigiri, M.S. – Mrs. Thadigiri is responsible for the development of radio-analytical methods for the detection and identification of imaging probes and metabolites. She is also responsible for manufacturing and chemical analysis of clinical grade PET radiopharmaceuticals.
Collin 'Rennie' BerryCollin Berry, B.S. – Mr. Berry is responsible for all aspects of cell culture and animal imaging work in support of a number of projects.
Carlotta Haynes
Patient receptionist

Affiliate faculty

Andre Pugachev, Ph.D.Andre Pugachev, Ph.D. - Dr. Pugachev's research is concerned with imaging tumor microenvironment, including validation of multiple tracers for image-guided radiotherapy.

Ph.D. Students

David HoffmanDavid Hoffman – Hybrid MRI/PET probes and molecular imaging
Naru LamichhaneNaru Lamichhane – Radiolabeld liposomal nanoparticles incorporating radiolabeled drugs
Fatma Youniss, B.S., M.S.Fatma Youniss, B.S., M.S. – Multi-modality molecular imaging of adoptive immunotherapy

Ph.D./M.D. Students

Philip McDonagh, B.S.Philip McDonagh, B.S. – Radioprotection by nanoceria and radio-nanoceria SPECT imaging and radiobiology

IBA staff

  • Robert Ylimaki, site manager