IAG’s Science Team Just Published on Reporter Gene Imaging in Translational Medicine in Drug Discovery 

IAG's Science Team Just Published on Reporter Gene Imaging in Translational Medicine in Drug Discovery 

IAG’s Science Team Just Published on Reporter Gene Imaging in Translational Medicine in Drug Discovery 

IAG’s radiomics team headed by Dr. Faiq Shaikh has just published the first article that explores the role of Reporter Gene Imaging in the realm of translational medicine.

The article entitled Reporter Gene Imaging & Its role in Drug Development was published as a Foundation Review article by the prestigious journal – Drug Discovery Today (Elsevier).

Reporter gene imaging (RGI) is a novel technique that falls within the domain of molecular imaging and involves indirect imaging of reporter genes that indicate the expression of the genes of interest using molecular probes that can acquired using MRI, PET or optical imaging (bioluminescence, fluorescence imaging).

While this approach remains largely preclinical and therefore restricted with the realm of drug discovery through small animal imaging, there is now an increasing interest in using RGI for early drug development. This comes to light in designing preclinical, phase I and II studies that use RGI for pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiling of novel therapeutic candidates.

These tend to belong to next-generation therapeutics, such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy and cancer vaccines.

The paper discusses the basic concepts and methodology of RGI, and the challenges and practicability of its application in imaging-based drug development.

The timing of this review is opportune as RGI becomes applicable for use as an exploratory endpoint for immunotherapeutic novel agents, and as these next-generation therapeutics enter further into the translational pipeline‘. said Dr. Faiq Shaikh, M.D. – IAG’s Head of Research & Enterprise (Oncology & Radiomics).


  • A reporter gene is a DNA sequence that tracks the expression of the gene of interest.
  • RGI incorporates reporter genes with molecular imaging probes for detecting a signal.
  • Products of reporter genes interact with cellular receptors, enzymes and receptors.
  • RGI assesses molecular processes implicated in disease development.RGI can be used for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling of novel drugs.

Abstract: Reporter gene imaging (RGI) is described as the methodology that involves imaging of the encoding proteins that can be used as surrogate markers when fused with regulatory regions of the gene of interest. It provides a means to indirectly monitor molecular processes that are implicated in the pathophysiology of several diseases. The modalities utilized in RGI include #MRI, #PET, #SPECT, as well as optical imaging modalities, such as bioluminescence and fluorescence. RGI provides a highly specific way to qualitatively and quantitatively assess cell targeting, transfection, protein expression and other intracellular processes, which are valuable for pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic assessment of cellular, gene and oncolytic viral therapeutics.

Read Full Paper: here

About the authors:

Faiq Shaikh, M.D. – IAG’s Head of Research & Enterprise (Oncology & Radiomics) has dual fellowship trained Molecular Imaging physician, informatician and a translational imaging researcher. A UNC- and UPMC-alum, he specializes in the advanced imaging methodologies using machine learning approaches to develop imaging biomarkers for oncologic drug development. He has written over 45 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters in this area. Other authors include Ewelyna Kurtys, Ph.D., Olga Kubassova, Ph.D. (CEO, IAG) and Diana Dupont-Roettger, Ph.D. (Director of Therapeutic Innovation, IAG).

About Drug Discovery Today (Elsevier):

Drug Discovery Today is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal that is published by Elsevier. It was established in 1996 and publishes reviews on all aspects of preclinical drug discovery from target identification and validation through hit identification, lead identification and optimization, to candidate selection. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2018 impact factor of 6.8

About Image Analysis Group (IAG)

IAG, Image Analysis Group is a unique partner to life sciences companies. IAG leverages expertise in medical imaging and the power of Dynamika™ – our proprietary cloud-based platform, to de-risk clinical development and deliver lifesaving therapies into the hands of patients much sooner.  IAG provides early drug efficacy assessments, smart patient recruitment and predictive analysis of advanced treatment manifestations, thus lowering investment risk and accelerating study outcomes. IAG bio-partnering takes a broader view on asset development bringing R&D solutions, operational breadth, radiological expertise via risk-sharing financing and partnering models.

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