James P. Basilion, PhD

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Radiology
Case School of Engineering, School of Medicine
Cancer Imaging Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Information

Research Interests

Molecular imaging, defined as the in vivo characterization of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level, is an attempt to image the molecular make-up of the macrofeatures currently visualized using "classical" diagnostic imaging techniques. Traditionally, detection of malignant tumor cells in a background of normal or hyperplastic benign tissue is often based on differences in physical properties between tissues, which are frequently minimal, resulting in low contrast resolution. By exploiting the developing genomic knowledge of cancer, we can identify bio-markers that are diagnostic of cancer and use these to perform molecular imaging. Our lab has significant effort in developing these bio-markers for molecular imaging of breast and prostate cancer during surgery.

Research Projects

My laboratory concentrates on research related to the development and application of Molecular Imaging technologies. Specifically, we are interested in designing novel imaging tools to image individual and multiple molecular markers of disease. We believe that imaging tissues based on underlying molecular rather than macromolecular differences will result in a substantial increase in the sensitivity and specificity of medical imaging. Some areas of active research include: the development of bio-marker targeted radiosensitizers to MR image and sensitize diseased tissue to radiation therapy;  the development of bio-marker targeted fluorescence imaging agents to aid in visualization of cancer during surgery resulting in more complete resection of tumors; the development of bio-marker targeted fluorescence combination agents suitable to guide surgery and deliver therapy; the development of paradigms to image multiple markers of disease simultaneously; the development of bio-maker targeted radio ligand therapy (RLT) to combat metastatic disease in prostate and breast cancer; and the development of theranostic agents for therapeutic intervention into cancer and stimulation of the immune system to attack cancer.  

Awards and Honors

Award for best oral presentation
13th Annual Meeting of TX Pharmacologists
Intramural Research Training Award
National Institutes of Health, NICHD
Distinguished Investigator Award
The Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research
Elected Fellow
American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE)
Elected President
World Molecular Imaging Society
National Foundation for Cancer Research
World Molecular Imaging Society
Elected Senior Member
National Academy of Inventors

Professional Memberships

Founding Member, Society For Molecular Imaging (SMI), 2000-2011. Treasurer (2008-2012); Counselor (2000-2002); Secretary (2002-2004)
Founding Member, World Molecular Imaging Society (merger of AMI and SMI), Member and Treasurer, 2011-present
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), 2002-present
Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI), member, 2004-2011
Founding Member: American Academy of Nanomedicine, 2005-present
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2006-present
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2006-present
American Society for Nanomedicine (ASNM), charter member, 2009
Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), 2010


  • Biocompatible Nanoparticles of Coordination Polymer KGd (H2O) 2 [Fe (CN) 6]• H2O with Extremely High T1-Weighted Relaxivity: Towards Stable Cellular MR Probes Containing Two Coordinated Water Molecules on the Gd (III) Center; Vindya S Perera, Liu D Yang, Jihua Hao, Guojun Chen, Bernadette O Erokwu, Chris A Flask, Peter Y Zavalij, James P Basilion, Songping D Huang – 2014
  • Molecular imaging of tumor-associated cathepsins: implication for rapid detection of human nonmelanoma skin cancer; Ethan Walker, Margaret Mann, Galia Blum, Matthew Bogyo, James P Basilion – 2014
  • Peptide‐Targeted Gold Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy of Brain Cancer; Joseph D Meyers, Yu Cheng, Ann‐Marie Broome, Richard S Agnes, Mark D Schluchter, Seunghee Margevicius, Xinning Wang, Malcolm E Kenney, Clemens Burda, James P Basilion - 2014

Full list of publications


Doctor of Philosophy
The University of Texas at Houston-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Bachelor of Arts
University of Pennsylvania