Research Focus: Our primary interest is the development of new, more effective, MRI contrast media. Of particular interest are new contrast agents that target specific tissue pathologies. In order to be successful in a targeted imaging setting a contrast agent must be that much more effective than those currently used in clinical medicine; the amount of contrast agent at the site of interest is inevitably going to be far lower in a targeted application making detection in an MRI that much more difficult. Improving the effectiveness of gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent is a key goal of our research, which we are pursuing both at OHSU and in my group at Portland State University. This research is exemplified by the figure below that demonstrates how a gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent can be encapsulated into a nano-assembled-capsule. The effective of encapsulation is to modulate water exchange kinetics and molecular rotational dynamics in such a way as to render the contrast agent more effective. Furthermore, each capsule incorporates many contrast agents facilitating the delivery of a large payload of gadolinium to a pathology of interest in targeted imaging applications.
Biography: Mark Woods received his B.Sc.(Hons) degree from the University of York in 1995. He went on to gain his Ph.D. from the University of Durham in 1998, studying under the supervision of Prof. David Parker. In 1999 he was a TMS fellow at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 where he worked on palladium catalyzed cascade reactions. In 2000 he returned to the field of lanthanide chemistry joining the group of Prof. Dean Sherry at the University of Texas at Dallas as a postdoctoral research associate. In 2004 Mark took up a post as senior research scientist (imaging) at Macrocyclics. After three years in this post Mark made a return to academic research first at the University of Texas at Dallas before finally moving to Oregon. Mark currently holds a joint appointment with both the Advanced Research Imaging Center at OHSU and the Department of Chemistry at Portland State University. Mark shares his time equally between the two institutions.
A. Borel, J.F. Bean, R.B. Clarkson, L. Helm, L. Moriggi, A.D. Sherry, and M. Woods, "Towards the Rational Design of MRI Contrast Agents: Electron spin Relaxation is Largely Unaffected by the Coordination Geometry of Gadolinium(III) DOTA-type Complexes" Chem. Eur. J. (2008), 2658-2667
S.J. Ratnakar, M. Woods, A.J.M. Lubag, Z. Kovács, and A.D. Sherry, "Modulation of Water Exchange in Europium(III) DOTA-Tetraamide Complexes via Electronic Substituent Effects" J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2008) 130, 6-7.