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Stanislav Emelianov, PhD

Joseph M. Pettit Endowed Chair
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Current Research

  • Seeking to develop novel strategies for breast cancer imaging and image-guided therapy.

  • Development of a sophisticated imaging system for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis, as well as targeted drug delivery.

  • This novel high-tech system will provide a comprehensive approach to the clinical management of breast cancer.

The overall goal of Dr. Emelianov's BCRF-funded research is to develop and translate emerging ultrasound imaging technologies, augmented with molecularly targeted nano-sized theranostic agents, to breast cancer diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapy. The method he has developed is capable of simultaneous anatomical, functional, cellular, and molecular visualization of cancer.

In breast cancer patients, determination of whether a malignancy has spread through regional lymph nodes is an important factor used to develop a therapeutic plan and to predict prognosis. Therefore, clinical evaluation for the presence of regional lymph node metastases is of paramount importance.

Dr. Emelianov’s team has optimized the synthesis of a theranostic agent for noninvasive imaging and determination of the molecular signature of the primary tumor and sentinel lymph node(s). First, a specialized dye is injected near the primary tumor to detect the sentinel lymph node(s). Spectroscopic USPA imaging is used to measure metastatic invasion. Once the sentinel lymph nodes are found and diagnosed, the imaging dye is used to quantify the extent of metastatic invasion and to treat cancer cells. Finally, USPA imaging is used to monitor response to treatment and to insure no recurrence of micrometastases in the lymph node.

This year, the team will continue to develop this imaging technology, which is based on combining complementary imaging techniques – ultrasound, photoacoustics, and elastography – to take full advantage of the many synergistic features of these ultrasound-based technologies and thus to significantly improve sensitivity and specificity of cancer imaging.

Overall, the proposed system provides a foundation for a comprehensive approach capable of breast cancer detection and staging, improved biopsy guidance, selection of the best systemic or local therapies, immediate localization of sentinel lymph node(s), accurate assessment of sentinel lymph node micrometastases, image-guided therapy, and treatment monitoring. Such information will result in cancer diagnosis and staging with high sensitivity and specificity.

Bio

Dr. Stanislav Emelianov is a Joseph M. Pettit Endowed Chair, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also appointed at Emory University School of Medicine where he is affiliated with Winship Cancer Institute, Department of Radiology, and other clinical units. Furthermore, Dr. Emelianov is Director of the Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutics Research Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology focused on the translation of diagnostic imaging & therapeutic instrumentation, and nanobiotechnology for clinical applications.

Dr. Emelianov’s career has been devoted to the development of advanced imaging methods, assisting treatment planning, and enhancing image-guided therapy and monitoring of the treatment outcome. He is specifically interested in intelligent biomedical imaging and sensing and has developed approaches for image-guided molecular therapy and therapeutic applications of ultrasound and electromagnetic energy. Dr Emelianov has pioneered several ultrasound-based imaging techniques including shear wave elasticity imaging and molecular photoacoustic imaging. Projects in Dr. Emelianov's laboratory, which focuses on cancer and other diseases, range from molecular imaging to functional imaging and tissue differentiation, from drug delivery and release to image-guided surgery and intervention.

Dr. Emelianov is a nationally recognized expert in biomedical imaging instrumentation and nanoagents for imaging and therapy. He is the author of over 500 publications including peer-reviewed research articles, invited reviews, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Emelianov was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is past Vice-President for Ultrasonics of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, and senior member of several professional organizations.

BCRF Investigator Since

2011

Donor Recognition

The Amy Robach Award

Area(s) of Focus