Download Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Jacques Lux obtained his PhD in chemistry at the University of Strasbourg under the guidance of Nobel Prize laureate Jean-Pierre Sauvage. His Ph.D. projects aimed at designing and developing synthetic molecular machines reminiscent of biological systems. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Lux conducted postdoctoral research at the faculty of pharmacy in Strasbourg, where he developed activatable optical probes for the detection of viral RNA. He then came to the U.S. to train in supramolecular chemistry in Professor Julius Rebek Jr.’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Lux received another postdoc opportunity at UCSD applying his skills in organic and coordination chemistry to the field of material science, and then became a Research Scientist to develop and translate theranostics for imaging and drug delivery.

While at UCSD, he designed and synthetized a novel MR contrast agent that incorporated gadolinium that was chelated and linked to hydrogel nanoparticles (nanogels). The advantage of this strategy is not only the development of high relaxivity T1 agents, but also minimizing demetallation. The versatility of this platform was demonstrated by incorporating 64Cu instead of gadolinium that allowed for in vivo PET/CT imaging of cancer. Dr. Lux also participated in the development of novel activatable optical nanoprobes for the detection of inflammation.

He recently joined the newly established Translational Research in Ultrasound Theranostics (TRUST) program at UT Southwestern in the Department of Radiology focusing on the development of targeted and activatable ultrasound (US) agents that not only aid in cancer detection, but also under US control, release drugs and/or destroy tumors with high intensity focused ultrasound.


University of Upper Alsace (2004), Chemistry
Graduate School
University of Upper Alsace (2006), Chemistry
Graduate School
University of Strasbourg (2009), Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Activatable ultrasound imaging contrast agents
  • Bioresponsive Theranostics
  • Drug Delivery
  • Nanomedicine
  • PET/MRI Nanoprobes
  • Ultrasound Theranostics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Advances in gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent designs for monitoring biological processes in vivo.
Lux J, Sherry AD Curr Opin Chem Biol 2018 May 45 121-130
Layered hydrogels accelerate iPSC-derived neuronal maturation and reveal migration defects caused by MeCP2 dysfunction.
Zhang ZN, Freitas BC, Qian H, Lux J, Acab A, Trujillo CA, Herai RH, Nguyen Huu VA, Wen JH, Joshi-Barr S, Karpiak JV, Engler AJ, Fu XD, Muotri AR, Almutairi A Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016 Mar
Light-triggered chemical amplification to accelerate degradation and release from polymeric particles.
Olejniczak J, Nguyen Huu VA, Lux J, Grossman M, He S, Almutairi A Chem. Commun. (Camb.) 2015 Oct
Short Soluble Coumarin Crosslinkers for Light Controlled Release of Cells and Proteins from Hydrogels.
de Gracia Lux C, Lux J, Collet G, He S, Chan M, Olejniczak J, Foucault-Collet A, Almutairi A Biomacromolecules 2015 Sep
Light-responsive nanoparticle depot to control release of a small molecule angiogenesis inhibitor in the posterior segment of the eye.
Huu VA, Luo J, Zhu J, Zhu J, Patel S, Boone A, Mahmoud E, McFearin C, Olejniczak J, de Gracia Lux C, Lux J, Fomina N, Huynh M, Zhang K, Almutairi A J Control Release 2015 Feb 200 71-7

Honors & Awards

  • 2017 Docstars Award presented by the Cary Council
    In recognition and support of promising early-stage research (2017)