Dr. Hancheng Cai is Assistant Professor and Chief Radiochemist of Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Program in Department of Radiology and Advanced Imaging Research Center. Dr. Cai graduated with his Ph.D of Radiopharmaceutical Science from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics in 2007. After three years of postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Prof. Peter. S. Conti at Molecular Imaging Center in Department of Radiology, University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine, he joined the faculty of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center in Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center as PET chemist and Assistant Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2010. At the end of 2013, Dr. Cai joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.


Graduate School
Chinese Academy of Sciences-Sh (2007), Radiopharmaceutical Science

Research Interest

  • Develop PET imaging probes as innovative biomarkers for cancer, neurological & psychiatric disorders, and cardiovascular disease
  • FDA-approved PET drugs cGMP production and IND or the RDRC-approved PET tracers production for clinical research
  • Novel PET radiotracer or radiopharmaceutical design and development
  • Translational research of PET tracers from bench to bedside


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

RGD-based PET tracers for imaging receptor integrin av ß3 expression.
Cai H, Conti PS J Labelled Comp Radiopharm 2013 May 56 5 264-79
Automated synthesis of 2'-deoxy-2'-[18F]fluoro-5-methyl-1-ß-D-arabinofuranosyluracil ([18F]-FMAU) using a one reactor radiosynthesis module.
Li Z, Cai H, Conti PS Nucl. Med. Biol. 2011 Feb 38 2 201-6
Evaluation of copper-64 labeled AmBaSar conjugated cyclic RGD peptide for improved microPET imaging of integrin alphavbeta3 expression.
Cai H, Li Z, Huang CW, Shahinian AH, Wang H, Park R, Conti PS Bioconjug. Chem. 2010 Aug 21 8 1417-24
An improved synthesis and biological evaluation of a new cage-like bifunctional chelator, 4-((8-amino-3,6,10,13,16,19-hexaazabicyclo[6.6.6]icosane-1-ylamino)methyl)benzoic acid, for 64Cu radiopharmaceuticals.
Cai H, Li Z, Huang CW, Park R, Shahinian AH, Conti PS Nucl. Med. Biol. 2010 Jan 37 1 57-65
Synthesis of a novel bifunctional chelator AmBaSar based on sarcophagine for peptide conjugation and (64)Cu radiolabelling.
Cai H, Fissekis J, Conti PS Dalton Trans 2009 Jul 27 5395-400
Preparation and biological evaluation of 2-amino-6-[18F]fluoro-9-(4-hydroxy-3-hydroxy-methylbutyl) purine (6-[18F]FPCV) as a novel PET probe for imaging HSV1-tk reporter gene expression.
Cai H, Yin D, Zhang L, Yang X, Xu X, Liu W, Zheng X, Zhang H, Wang J, Xu Y, Cheng D, Zheng M, Han Y, Wu M, Wang Y Nucl. Med. Biol. 2007 Aug 34 6 717-25

Honors & Awards

  • Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council Young Investigator Award (SNM )
  • Travel Award for 57th SNM Annual meeting
  • Travel Award for 18th International Symposium on Radiopharmaceutical Sciences
  • "Excellent Graduate Award" of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Chinese American Society of Nuclear Medicine (2010)
  • Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences (2009)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (2008)
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (2008)