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Molecular Imaging Branch

Lisheng Cai, PhD

Lisheng Cai, PhDDr. Cai is a staff scientist of the PET Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Section (PRSS), Molecular Imaging Branch (MIB) of the Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. He was born in 1964, grown up in China, and obtained BSc majored in chemistry from Sichuan University in 1985. He obtained his PhD of organometallic chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1992 and did his postdoctoral work at Harvard University until 1995. He was an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago before he joined NIMH in June, 2002. He was the recipient of K. C. Wong Education Foundation Fellowship (1987-1989) and Bernard Smaller Prize of the University of Chicago (1992). Dr. Cai’s research at the NIMH has focused on design and synthesis of radiopharmaceutical ligands for PET imaging of neuron degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and development of radiolabeling methods for PET tracers. Dr. Cai studies the PET imaging of the lesions involved in neurodegenerative diseases. He is interested in design and synthesis of ligands that bind selectively and specifically with Abeta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein, and hyper-phosphorylated tau-aggregates, which are believed to be the lesion responsible for those degenerative diseases. Those ligands selected from in vitro assays will be subjected to rodent studies, non-human primate studies, and eventually human studies, in collaboration with other scientists within the PET Radiopharmaceutical Sciences section (PRSS, Chief Dr. Victor Pike) and within the Molecular Imaging Branch (MIB, Chief Dr. Robert Innis). He has more than 30 publications and one patent.