In early 2015, Prof Ann-Marie Chacko established the Duke-NUS Laboratory for Translational and Molecular Imaging (LTMI) to combine molecular imaging efforts with drug discovery and early drug development. Concurrently, LTMI also serves as a core facility for Duke-NUS researchers, and as a hub for imaging research and technology developments in PET, SPECT, CT and optical imaging, accessible to the public and industry sectors across Singapore and internationally.
By combining unique expertise in probe design, radio-pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and in vivo imaging, LTMI is focused on developing and translating novel and quantitative imaging agents to interrogate biomarkers and immune signatures in cancer and infectious disease to lead precision medicine initiatives, including:
- Platform technologies for imaging cancer immuno-oncology (CITI Programme);
- Development of imaging biomarkers for infectious disease (DENV, ZIKV, etc.) as surrogate clinical endpoints in disease management and therapy monitoring;
- Development of “imageable” oncolytic virotherapy for brain cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.
Prof Chacko currently leads a national initiative, the Cancer ImmunoTherapy Imaging (CITI) Programme, which in late 2018 received a S$22M Singapore Health and Biomedical Sciences (HBMS) Industry Alignment Fund Pre-Positioning (IAF-PP) grant. This initiative aims to address the urgent call for biomarker-driven approaches to monitor tumour immune responses, leveraging on the expertise of its strong multidisciplinary team across 12 research organisations in Singapore and four research themes: Immunology, Chemistry, Imaging, and Clinical Trials.
Prof Chacko is also committed to educating a new generation of scientists, through outreach, teaching, and mentorship. To address some of the unique challenges faced by women scientists, Prof Chacko leads the SingHealth Duke-NUS Women in Science (WinS) network to support the career development of female research scientists across all professional and training levels. Her flag-ship effort is the Career Advancement Programme (WinS-CAP) for early career scientists, providing in-depth training workshops, and faculty-peer mentor sessions.
Publications@Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
(Google Scholar ID: Ann-Marie Chacko; ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5140-2622)
Cancer and Immuno-Oncology
- Goggi JL, Hartimath SV, Tan YX, Khanapur S,Jieu B, Chin HX, Boominathan R, Cheng P, Tan JR, Yong FF, Yuen TY, Msallam R, Chacko AM, Renia L, Johannes C, Hwang YY, Robins, EG.Granzyme B PET imaging of combined chemotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in colon cancer. Mol. Imaging Biol. 2021.In Press
- GoggiJL, Tan YX, Hartimath SV, Jieu B, Hwang YY, Boominathan R, Cheng P, Yuen TY, Jiang L, Chin HX, Tan JR, Larbi A, Chacko AM, Renia L, Johannes C, Robins, EG. Granzyme B PET imaging of immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations in colon cancer phenotypes. Mol. Imaging Biol. 2020; 22(5):1392-1402.
- GoggiJL, Hartimath SV, Hwang YY, Tan YX, Khanapur S, Boominathan R, Jiang L, Husaini AR, Cheng P, Yong FF Tan PW, Yuen TY, Jieu B, Chacko AM, Larbi A, Renia L, Johannes C, Robins, EG. Examining Immunotherapy Response Using Multiple Radiotracers.Mol. Imaging Biol. 2020; 22(4):993-1002.
- Tan KW, Chacko AM, Chew V. PD-1 expression and its significance in tumour microenvironment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Transl Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019. 5:41. doi: 10.21037/tgh.2019.06.08.
- Malleret B, El Sahili A, Tay MZ, Carissimo G, Ong ASM, Novera W, Lin J, Suwanarusk R, Kosaisavee V, Chu TTT, Sinha A, Howland SW, Fan Y, Gruszczyk J, Tham WH, Colin Y, Maurer-Stroh S, Snounou G, Ng LFP, Chan JKY, Chacko AM, Lescar J, Chandramohanadas R, Nosten F, Russell B, Rénia L. CD98hc (SLC3A2) is a new receptor for reticulocyte invasion by Plasmodium vivax. Nat. Microbiol. 2021. Accepted.
- Kalimuddin S, Watanabe S, Xie W, Tham JY, Huizhen S, Chacko AM, Vasudevan S, Low JG.18F-Fludeoxygluose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) as a window into human dengue pathophysiology. Antivir. Res. 2021; 185:104991.
- Victorio CBL, Novera W, Tham JY, Watanabe S, Vasudevan S, Chacko AM.* Peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PPMOs) for in situ live-cell molecular imaging of Dengue virus replication. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020; 21:9260. (*corresponding author)
- Chacko AM*, Watanabe S, Herr KJ, Kalimuddin S, Serrano RMF, Ong J, Tham JY, Reolo M, Cheung YB, Low JGH, Vasudevan SG. 18F-FDG as an Inflammation Biomarker for Imaging Dengue Virus Infection and Treatment Response. JCI Insight. 2017; 2(9):e93474 (*corresponding author)
Media Highlights: EurekaAlert, ScienceDaily, Infectious Disease Hub, BioSpectrumAsia
Drug Delivery and Imaging, etc.
- Chaw SY, Wong TTL, Venkatraman S, Chacko AM*. Spatio-temporal tracking of ocular drug delivery systems using fiberoptic confocal laser microendoscopy. J. Vis. Exp. 2021. Accepted (*corresponding author)
- Chaw SY, Novera, W, *Chacko AM,* Wong TTL,* Venkatraman S*. Fate of liposomes after in vivo subconjunctival ocular administration. J. Control Release 2021;329: 162-174. (*co-corresponding authors)
- Ng B, Dong J, Viswanathan S, D’Agostino G, Widjaja AA, Lim WW, Ko NSJ, Tan J, Chothani SP, Huang B, Xie C, Chacko AM, Guimaraes-Camboa N, Evans SM, Byrne AJ, Maher TM, Liang J, Noble PW, Schafer S, Cook SA. IL-11 is a therapeutic target in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Sci Transl. Med. 2019;11(511); pii: eaaw1237.
- Cook S, Ng B, Dong J, Viswanathan S, Dagostino G, Widjaja A, Lim WW, Ko N, Tan J, Chothani S, Huang B, Xie C, Chacko AM, Guimaraes-Camboa N, Evans S, Byrne A, Maher T, Liang J, Noble P, Schafer S. IL-11 is a therapeutic target in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. bioRxiv. 2018; 336537; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/336537