Dexing Zeng, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, School of Medicine
  • Director of Organic Chemistry, Center for Radiochemistry Research, School of Medicine


Dexing Zeng is an assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Oregon Health & Science University and the Director of Organic Chemistry in the Center for Radiochemistry Research (CRR) in the Knight Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Zeng received his PhD in organic chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. After 3 years postdoc training in developing stable-isotope enriched agents for proteomics studies, he continued his training in radiochemistry at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in the Washington University School of Medicine. In 2011, Dr. Zeng was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh as a new faculty member, focusing on development of novel chemistry for PET imaging. In 2018, he moved to Oregon and joined OHSU Department of Diagnostic Radiology.

Dr. Zeng’s research focuses on PET imaging and receptor-targeted radionuclide therapy, utilizing the newly developed Sequential Multi-Agent Receptor Targeting (SMART) technology. By synergizing the advantages from both mAb (long tumor-retention) and peptide (fast non- tumor-clearing), this novel SMART strategy provides substantially enhanced tumor uptakes, and significantly reduced non-tumor uptakes, and thus greatly facilitates cancer theranostic. Additionally, Dr. Zeng has explored its applications in tumor microenvironment characterization, HIV reservoir imaging, and PET imaging of other infection diseases.

Education and training

    • B.S., 2000, Chemistry, Harbin Engineering University
    • Ph.D., 2005, Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Memberships and associations:

  • American Chemical Society
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine
  • International Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences
  • World Molecular Imaging Society

Areas of interest

  • Cancer imaging and early detection
  • Tumor microenvironment characterization
  • Imaging-guided therapy
  • Receptor-targeted Radionuclide therapy
  • Combining radiotherapy with molecular targeting and immunomodulatory agents


Selected publications

  • Jingjing Sun, Lingyi Sun, Jianchun Li, Jieni Xua, Zhuoya Wana, Zubin Ouyang, Lei Liang, Song Li*, Dexing Zeng*. A Novel Multi-Functional Polymeric Carrier for Simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography Imaging and Combination Therapy. Acta biomaterialia, doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.06.010.
  • Johannes Ludwig, Yongkang Gai, Lingyi Sun, Dexing Zeng*, Hyun Kim*. Targeted Yttrium 89-Doxorubicin Drug-Eluting Bead – A Safety And Feasibility Pilot Study In A Rabbit Liver Cancer Model. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2017, 14, 2824–2830.
  • Rui Kang, Yangchun Xie, Qiuhong Zhang, Wen Hou, Qingping Jiang, Xiaofang Sun, Dexing Zeng, Haichao Wang, David L. Bartlett, Timothy R. Billiar, Michael T. Lotze, Herbert J. Zeh, Daolin Tang*.  Intracellular HMGB1 as a Novel Tumor Suppressor of Pancreatic Cancer. Nature-Cell Research.
  • Yongkang Gai, Lingyi Sun, Wenqi Hui, Qin Ouyang, Carolyn Anderson, Guangya Xiang, Xiang Ma*, Dexing Zeng*. A new bifunctional chelator p-SCN-Bn-NE3TA for Copper-64: Synthesis, peptide conjugation, radiolabeling and evaluation for PET Imaging. Inorganic Chemistry, 2016, 55, 6892-6901.
  • Johannes Ludwig, Yongkang Gai, Lingyi Sun, Minzhi Xing, Dexing Zeng*, Hyun Kim*. SW43- DOX ± loading onto drug-eluting bead, a potential new targeted drug delivery platform for systemic and locoregional cancer treatment - An in vitro evaluation. Molecular Oncology, 2016, 10, 1133-1145.
  • Lingyi Sun, Jiule Ding, Wei Xing, Yongkang Gai, Jing Sheng, Dexing Zeng*. A novel strategy for preparing dual-modality optical/PET imaging probes via the photo-click chemistry. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2016, 27, 1200–1204.
  • Yongkang Gai, Guangya Xiang, Xiang Ma, Wenqi Hui, Qin Ouyang, Lingyi Sun, Jiule Ding, Jing Sheng, and Dexing Zeng*. An universal molecular scaffold for the facile construction of multivalent and multimodal imaging probes. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2016, 16, 515-520.
  • Lingyi Sun, Yongkang Gai, Carolyn J. Anderson, Dexing Zeng*. New highly-efficient and versatile fluorous-tagged Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition ligand for preparation of bioconjugates. Chemical Communication, 2015, 51, 17072-17075.
  • Dexing Zeng, Yunjun Guo (Co-First Author), Alexander G. White, Zhengxin Cai, Jalpa Modi, Riccardo Ferdani, Carolyn J. Anderson*. Comparison of conjugation strategies of cross-bridged macrocyclic chelators with cetuximab for copper-64 radiolabeling and PET imaging of EGFR in colorectal tumor-bearing mice. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2014, 11, 3980–3987.
  • Dexing Zeng, Qin Ouyang,   Zhengxin Cai, Xiang-Qun Xie and Carolyn J. Anderson*. New cross-bridged cyclam derivative CB-TE1K1P, an improved bifunctional chelate for copper radionuclides. Chemical Communications, 2014, 50, 43-45.


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