Dr. Smith’s research focuses largely upon the development of theranostic agents targeting breast and prostate cancer. Early research efforts led to the development of novel theranostic agents that prove stable under administration in classical animal models. This includes development of novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceuticals based upon copper-64 radiometal. Dr. Smith’s research team was the first to utilize triazacyclononane-tricarboxylate (NOTA) complexing agents to stabilize the Cu-64 metal center under in vivo conditions. Subsequent studies (antibody and peptide-based agents) by research groups around the world have validated his original research findings.
Recent investigations by Dr. Smith’s team have led to new and exciting developments in radiopharmaceutical design based upon agents that target more than one receptor/epitope ((αvβ3/GRPr/PSMA)-targeting) expressed on prostate or breast cancer cells. Superiority of multivalent probes arises from their ability to target multiple biomarkers using only a single agent in order to capture a larger audience of biomarker-expressing tumors. Dr. Smith’s research team was one of two groups in the world to simultaneously report the development of the first bivalent, radiolabeled, PSMA/GRPR-targeting agent for improved molecular imaging of prostate cancer tumors.
- Radiopharmaceutical design, focusing primarily on the development of novel theranostic probes for prostate and breast cancer detection and therapy
Areas of Expertise
- Main group chemistry including inorganic and organometallic polymers
- Design and development of polydentate, water-soluble, complexing agents for technetium and rhenium radiometals.
- Radiopharmaceutical design and development including isotope processing and purification, radiotracer design based upon small molecule ligand frameworks and large molecule cell-targeting agents, and in vitro and in vivo diagnostic/therapeutic probe development investigations.
- Monovalent and bivalent analogs and nanoparticles of gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), and RGD (arginine-glycine-glutamic acid) radiolabeled with In-111, Y-86/90, Lu-177, Au-198/199, Ga-67/68, and Cu-64.
Education & Training
University of Missouri