James P. Basilion, PhD

Department of Biomedical Engineering
School of Medicine
Case School of Engineering
Department of Radiology
School of Medicine
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Case Center for Imaging Research
Cancer Imaging Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Molecular imaging for identification of tumor margins
  • Gold nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery
  • Quenched activity-based optical imaging probes
  • Imaging complex molecular signatures
  • Targeted Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT)

Molecular imaging, defined as the in vivo characterization of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level, is an attempt to image the molecular makeup of the macrofeatures currently visualized using "classical" diagnostic imaging techniques. Classically, 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.

Research Projects

Our laboratory concentrates on research related to the development and application of Molecular Imaging technologies, with specific focus on designing novel tools to image individual and multiple molecular markers of disease thereby increasing the sensitivity and specificity of medical imaging. We are also developing new uses of molecular imaging to define tumor margins during surgery and as theranostic tools to identify cancer for conventional surgical removal followed by PDT ablation of tissue not amenable to surgery.

Awards and Honors

Distinguished Investigator Award
Academy of Radiology Research
Intramural Research Training Award
National Institutes of Health, NICHD

Professional Memberships

Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE), 2014
Founding Member, World Molecular Imaging Society (merger of AMI and SMI), Member and Treasurer, 2011-present
Staff Fellow, National Institutes of Health, NICHD, 1994

External Appointments

Co-founder and Board of Directors
Akrotome Imaging, Inc.


View All Publications

Rosenthal EL, Warram JM, de Boer E, Basillion, J.P., et al. Successful Translation of Fluorescence Navigation During Oncologic Surgery: A Consensus Report. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2016;57(1):144-150. doi:10.2967/jnumed.115.158915.

Broome A-M, Ramamurthy G, Lavik K, Liggett A, Kinstlinger I, Basilion J. Optical Imaging of Targeted β-Galactosidase in Brain Tumors to Detect EGFR Levels. Bioconjugate chemistry. 2015;26(4):660-668. doi:10.1021/bc500597y.

Peptide-Targeted Gold Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy of Brain Cancer. Particle & Particle Systems Characterization. 2015;32(4):448-457. doi:10.1002/ppsc.201400119.

Meyers JD, Doane T, Burda C, Basilion JP. Nanoparticles for imaging and treating brain cancer. Nanomedicine (London, England). 2013;8(1):123-143. doi:10.2217/nnm.12.185.

On-command drug release from nanochains inhibits growth of breast tumors, Pharm Res (2014) 31: 1460. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11095-013-1102-8

An optical probe for noninvasive molecular imaging of orthotopic brain tumors overexpressing epidermal growth factor receptor.. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2012 Oct;11(10):2202-11. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-12-0211 Published October 2012

Topical application of activity based probes for visualization of brain tumor tissue. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33060. Epub 2012 Mar 13.PMID: 22427947.

Expanding the Utility of β-Galactosidase Complementation: Piece by Piece. Mol. Pharmaceutics, 2010, 7 (1), pp 60–74 DOI: 10.1021/mp900188e

In vivo Imaging of Schistosomes to Assess Disease Burden using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Sep 21;4(9). pii: e827. PMID: 20877718.

In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of transgene expression. Nature Medicine 6, 351–354, Published: 01 March 2000


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