Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health


Gang Niu, Ph.D.

Gang Niu
Staff Scientist




Dr. Niu received his M.D. in 1994 and M.S. degree in 1997 from the Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences, Changchun, China. After working as a Radiologist in Nuclear Medicine Department for 4 years, in 2001, he came to the U.S. to pursue his Ph.D. degree and joined the Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Dr. Niu’s Ph.D. project involved multiple modality molecular imaging of gene transfer under the supervision of Dr. Frederick E. Domann. In December 2005, Dr. Niu joined Dr. Xiaoyuan Chen’s group in the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). During that period, Dr. Niu actively involved in research projects including identification and validation of molecular imaging targets, syntheses and characterization of the imaging probes, as well as exploration of the biological and preclinical applications of molecular imaging. In August 2009, he moved with Dr. Xiaoyuan Chen to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Dr. Niu has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and numerous book chapters in the field of molecular imaging and targeted therapy.

Research Interests

New targets identification and probe development are one of critical components in Molecular Imaging field to fit the requirement of novel imaging techniques and strategies. We have developed several imaging probes through in vitro or in vivo peptide phage screen of peptide display phage libraries. Currently, we are working on several novel imaging probes and making the effort to promote bench-to-bedside translation of these imaging probes.

Reporter genes act as endogenous markers to facilitate visualization of cellular/molecular events. Previously, we have demonstrated that expression of sodium iodide sympoter (NIS) could be monitored noninvasively through NIS-mediated accumulation of various radionuclides. Besides NIS, we are applying bioluminescence imaging using Firefly and Renilla luciferase as the reporter and PET imaging with HSV-1 tk reporter in several research projects. New reporter gene constructs are also being constructed to visualize various physiopathological processes.

Accurate quantification of the images is the prerequisite to apply molecular imaging techniques in therapy response monitoring. The difficulty lies in how to establish a robust correlation between imaging readout and antigen level based on non-invasive images. Currently, we are pursuing on several projects to improve the imaging data quantification through dynamic imaging and compartment modeling

Selected Publications