David Piwnica-Worms is Director of the BRIGHT Institute and Molecular Imaging Center as well as Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology, Developmental Biology, and Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine.David has a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford and an M.D. and Ph.D. in Cellular Physiology from Duke University. David has been involved in biochemistry and molecular imaging research for over 25 years. Non-invasive imaging technologies have become increasingly important for providing spatial and temporal resolution of biological structure and function, particularly for defining the context of gene expression and protein function, and their regulatory mechanisms within cellular micro-environments. Molecular imaging is used to interrogate protein processing, protein-protein interactions, gene expression and flux through metabolic pathways in real-time in cells, live animals, and humans, and is an increasingly useful tool for understanding signal transduction, pharmacodynamics, and the pathobiology of human diseases in vivo, facilitating development of effective therapies. He is a founding member and 2004 President of the Society for Molecular Imaging.
Vijay Sharma, Ph.D.
Vijay Sharma is an Associate Professor of Radiology. Working at the interface of chemistry and biology, his research interests are focused upon discovery and development of molecular probes, for addressing important biological questions across multiple disciplines. Specific emphasis is towards the design of small organic molecules, metallopharmaceuticals, and peptides for biomedical applications in neurodegenerative diseases; understand protein-protein interactions via imaging of reporter gene expression in vivo; and investigate biological mechanism(s) of infectious diseases as well as neurological disorders by fostering direct collaborations with investigators in biology. Employing institutional resources as well as funding obtained from federal, state, and nonprofit organizations, Dr. Sharma's group continues to discover and validate diagnostic agents for rapidly emerging field of the molecular imaging.