Natarajan Raghunand, PhD

Director, Cancer Imaging Core

Research Associate Professor, Radiology

Director, Translational Cancer Imaging

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Short Bio: 


Dr. Raghunand’s research focuses on 1) the influence of the tumor microenvironment on the genesis of cancer and on cancer response to therapy, and, 2) the development of contrast-enhanced MRI techniques to image disease-specific aspects of tumor and renal physiology. MRI is an important biomedical imaging technique because it can be made to be exquisitely sensitive to changes in the structure and function of organ systems. And because non-ionizing radiofrequency energies are used, patients can be imaged over and over again by MRI without compromising their safety and well-being. One of the features of the tumor microenvironment which interests Dr. Raghunand is redox, which pertains to the relative levels of oxidants and anti-oxidants present in and around a tumor. The redox status of a tumor can predict the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Moreover, redox differences between tumor and normal tissue can be exploited for targeting tumors with novel drugs. Dr. Raghunand’s group is engaged in developing contrast agents to report the redox status of tumors on MRI scans. While such redox-sensitive MRI contrast agents represent cutting-edge laboratory research, Dr. Raghunand is also actively engaged in translating more mature MRI technologies from the laboratory to the clinic. Dr. Raghunand is the leader of the Arizona Cancer Center’s Imaging Response Assessment Team (IRAT). The primary goal of the AZCC IRAT is to enable the use of specialized MRI techniques such as BOLD MRI, DCE-MRI and Diffusion MRI in cancer clinical trials.


Research Information
Research Program: 
2. Cancer Imaging
Member Status: 
Professional Information
Professional Affiliations: 

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)

Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI)

Academic Information
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 1994
Master's Degree: 
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 1990
Undergraduate School: 
Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India, 1987