Moderated by: Dr. Howard Halpern, University of Chicago
About the Speaker: Dr. Biller is a Principal Chemist at TDA Research, Inc. in Golden, CO. He graduated from the Eaton Laboratory at the University of Denver in 2014 and was awarded the Bruker Biospin/Royal Society of Chemistry International Thesis award in 2015. After graduation, Dr. Biller went to work with the Magnetic Imaging Group at NIST-Boulder, first as a National Research Council Post-doctoral scholar, and then as a Research Chemist. In 2018 he joined TDA Research and has driven the development of novel non-destructive evaluation techniques based on the interaction of electromagnetic waves with materials including carbon fiber and lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Biller has a deep interest in widening the application sphere of magnetometry, electron paramagnetic resonance, and nuclear magnetic resonance methods outside of the laboratory environment. He is currently leading an NCI SBIR Phase I project to develop an in-vivo EPR imaging agent for clinical use.
About the Webinar: EPR Imaging is a powerful technique in pre-clinical small animal applications. Through EPRI, a spatial map of oxygen concentration can be created and used to guide targeted increased doses of radiation at hypoxic sites. This has been shown to improve the survivability of a mouse model. The transition of this very useful new tool into the clinic has not been straightforward. Concerns about toxicity of the imaging agents, a lack of familiarity with the EPR imaging hardware required, and the way in which the EPRI agent would be administered are all hurdles. This presentation will touch on the development of a novel EPRI imaging agent where the paramagnetic probe has been attached to a nanoparticle and encapsulated with an oxygen-permeable membrane. This separates the body and imaging agent environment, while still allowing O2 to access the paramagnetic site. This work, led by TDA Research Inc., has been supported by collaborations with West Virginia University, The University of Denver, and O2M Technologies under an SBIR Phase I administered by the National Cancer Institute (NCI Contract #75N91020C00032).