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About the AIRC

Dr. Lenkinski
Academic Title

Professor and Vice Chair of Research

Charles A. and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Chair in Translational Research Jan and Bob Pickens Distinguished Professorship in Medical Science

CPRIT Cancer Scholar in Residence


Robert E. Lenkinski, PhD

Dr. Lenkinski is a chemist by training. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1968 and completed his Ph.D in Chemistry in 1973 at the University of Houston. Dr. Lenkinski was a post-doctoral fellow in the Isotope Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He was on the faculty of the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1986‑1999 (promoted to Full Professor in 1994) and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School from 1999 (Full Professor) until his recruitment to UTSW in 2011. He is currently a Full Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Radiology. He holds the Charles A. and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Chair in Translational Research and the Jan and Bob Pickens Distinguished Professorship in Medical Science, in Memory of Jerry Knight Rymer and Annette Brannon Rymer and Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Pickens. He is also A CPRIT Cancer Scholar In Residence.

There are two major goals of my current research program. The first is the development, validation and application of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic (MRS) and Multi-nuclear Imaging methods for the study of human disease. This program is aimed at understanding how the metabolic information derived from these methods can aid in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of a variety of pathologies. Current applications involve brain tumors, breast cancer, prostate cancer and renal function. This work involves basic research, translational, and clinical investigations. A more recent focus has been molecular imaging, involving the development of novel MR, radiotracer, and optical based imaging contrast agents. In this area, our group, in collaboration with Dr. John Frangioni at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has developed an agent that binds to hydroxyapatite, the form of micro-calcification that is predominantly present in human breast cancer. This work spans chemical conjugation, basic theoretical treatments of MR effect size, the synthesis of multi-modality agents and their validation in model systems. We are also actively involved with the development of MR based paramagnetic chemical exchange saturation transfer (PARACEST) agents. These agents employ paramagnetic (non-Gd based) lanthanide chelates that have slow water exchange. In collaboration with Dr. Dean Sherry at UTD and UTSW, we are developing MR imaging approaches that can detect these chelates, particularly responsive agents in vivo.  

Department of Radiology UT Southwestern Medical Center E6.120A 5323 Harry Hines Blvd Dallas TX 75390-9061 P:214-648-9265 F:214-648-5641