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BCRF Grantee Since


Area(s) of Focus

Stanislav Emelianov, PhD

Joseph M. Pettit Endowed Chair
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Current Research

In the last decade, combined ultrasound and photoacoustic (USPA) imaging – a synergistic and complementary combination of two ultrasound-based techniques—has gained wide acceptance in pre-clinical research. USPA provides functional information, and with the help of contrast agents, can define aspects of cellular and molecular components of tissue. Its ability to potentially assist in diagnosis, therapy planning, and monitoring of treatment makes it a promising tool in the arsenal for breast cancer treatment. The overall goal of Dr. Emelianov’s BCRF-funded research is to translate USPA imaging to breast cancer diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapy. In the coming year he will develop and test a comprehensive approach to detect and diagnose sentinel lymph nodes. In breast cancer patients, determination of whether a malignancy has spread through regional lymph nodes is the single most important factor used to develop a therapeutic plan and to predict prognosis. Therefore, clinical evaluation for the presence of regional lymph node metastases is of paramount importance. Dr. Emelianov and his team will develop an all-in-one, real-time, minimally invasive clinical method that can reliably localize sentinel lymph node(s), diagnose and consequently treat micrometastases in lymph nodes. His approach is based on USPA imaging augmented with molecular nanosensors. First, a specialized dye is injected near the primary tumor to detect the sentinel lymph node(s). Spectroscopic USPA imaging is used to measure metastatic invasion. Once the sentinel lymph nodes are found and diagnosed, the imaging dye is used to quantify the extent of metastatic invasion and to treat cancer cells. Finally, USPA imaging is used to monitor response to treatment and to insure no recurrence of micrometastases in the lymph node. Overall, the proposed system provides a foundation for a comprehensive approach capable of immediate localization of sentinel lymph node(s), accurate assessment of sentinel lymph node micrometastases, image-guided therapy and treatment monitoring.


Dr. Stanislav Emelianov is a Joseph M. Pettit Endowed Chair, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also appointed at Emory University School of Medicine where he is affiliated with Winship Cancer Institute, Department of Radiology, and other clinical units. Furthermore, Dr. Emelianov is Director of the Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutics Research Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology focused on the translation of diagnostic imaging & therapeutic instrumentation, and nanobiotechnology for clinical applications.

Dr. Emelianov’s career has been devoted to the development of advanced imaging methods, assisting treatment planning, and enhancing image-guided therapy and monitoring of the treatment outcome. He is specifically interested in intelligent biomedical imaging and sensing and has developed approaches for image-guided molecular therapy and therapeutic applications of ultrasound and electromagnetic energy. Dr Emelianov has pioneered several ultrasound-based imaging techniques including shear wave elasticity imaging and molecular photoacoustic imaging. Projects in Dr. Emelianov's laboratory, which focuses on cancer and other diseases, range from molecular imaging to functional imaging and tissue differentiation, from drug delivery and release to image-guided surgery and intervention.

Dr. Emelianov is a nationally recognized expert in biomedical imaging instrumentation and nanoagents for imaging and therapy. He is the author of over 500 publications including peer-reviewed research articles, invited reviews, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Emelianov was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is past Vice-President for Ultrasonics of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, and senior member of several professional organizations.