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BCRF Grantee Since


Area(s) of Focus

Stanislav Emelianov, MSc, PhD

Cockrell Family Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Co-Director, Center for Emerging Imaging Technologies
Endowed Faculty Fellow
Cockrell School of Engineering
University of Texas, Austin

Current Research

In the last decade, combined ultrasound and photoacoustic (USPA) imaging – a synergistic and complementary combination of two ultrasound-based techniques—has been introduced and is now gaining wide acceptance in the 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 clinical practice by synthesizing targeted imaging contrast agents and clinical USPA images. His current project addresses two critical steps in the clinical use of USPA imaging: 1) the design and development of a breast cancer imaging system, and 2) synthesis and characterization of molecular-specific imaging contrast agent. He has made significant progress in the design of the system, which will allow label-free imaging of the primary tumor and lymph nodes to determine the stage of the disease and to identify the presence of possible micro-metastases within lymph nodes in breast cancer patients. He and his colleagues have now optimized the production of the imaging contrast agent that will make noninvasive imaging and determination of the molecular characteristics of the tumor possible. These advances will improve cancer diagnosis with greater sensitivity and specificity than current imaging modalities allow. Furthermore, the same approach can be used to select and then monitor the most effective patient-specific therapy. Overall, these studies indicate that USPA imaging is a viable imaging technology for breast cancer detection and staging, selection of the best therapies, and treatment monitoring.


Dr. Stanislav Emelianov is a Cockrell Professor of Biomedical Engineering, co-Director of the Center for Emerging Imaging Technologies, and Director of Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutics Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also a Professor of Imaging Physics at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Throughout his career, Dr. Emelianov has been devoted to the development of advanced imaging methods capable of detecting and diagnosing cancer and other pathologies, assisting treatment planning, and enhancing image-guided therapy and monitoring of treatment outcomes. He is specifically interested in intelligent biomedical imaging and sensing ranging from molecular imaging to small model imaging to clinical applications. He develops approaches for image-guided molecular therapy and therapeutic applications of ultrasound and electromagnetic energy. Finally, nano-biotechnology plays a critical role in his research. Dr. Emelianov has pioneered several ultrasound-based imaging techniques including elasticity imaging and molecular photoacoustic imaging. Projects in his laboratory range from molecular imaging to functional imaging and tissue differentiation, from drug delivery and release to image-guided surgery and intervention.

Dr. Emelianov, a nationally recognized expert in biomedical imaging instrumentation and nanoagents for imaging and therapy, is the author of over 150 publications including peer-reviewed research articles, invited reviews, and book chapters. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is also past Vice-President for Ultrasonics of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, and senior member of several engineering and medical societies.