John Ronald

Name: John Ronald
Areas of Expertise: Cancer, Molecular Imaging, Reporter Genes, Synthetic Biology

Position: Scientist
Affiliation: Robarts Research Institute

Position: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University




Brief Description of Research:
As we enter this era of more personalized and precise medicine, new technologies are needed that can sensitively, accurately and non-invasively detect molecular activities within the body over the course of an individual’s entire life. My lab’s research focuses on pioneering novel molecular and cellular imaging technologies that will hopefully meet these needs. We have a particular interest in improved early cancer detection and treatment, more sensitive imaging of cancer metastasis in preclinical models, as well as improved monitoring of state-of-the-art cellular therapies for cancer and other diseases. To accomplish this, we are investigating the development of novel gene-based platforms that strategically integrate disease-specific activatable expression systems with both biofluid-based and multimodality imaging readouts. This work is at the interface of molecular and cell biology, imaging sciences, and nanomedicine and requires a multidisciplinary approach to devise innovative solutions to some of today’s most difficult biomedical problems.


5 Select Publications (trainees underlined):
Parkins KM, Dubois VP, Hamilton AM, Makela AV, Ronald JA, Foster PJ. Multimodality cellular and molecular imaging of the impact of a primary tumor on metastatic growth in a syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer brain metastasis. Scientific Reports, 8(1): 8930, Jun 2018.

Lee TNT, Lim H, Hamilton AM, Parkins KM, Chen Y, Scholl TJ, Ronald JA. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and bioluminescence imaging characterization of an orthotopic rat model of glioblastoma. Tomography, 4(2): 55-65, Jun 2017.

Ronald JA, Kim B-S, Gowrishankar G, Namavari M, Alam IS, D’Souza A, H. Nishikii, H-Y. Chuang, O. Ilovich, C-F. Lin, R.E. Reeves, A. Shuhendler, A. Hoehne, C. Chan, J. Baker, S. Yaghoubi, H.F. VanBrocklin, R.A. Hawkins, B.L. Franc, S. Jivan, J.B. Slater, E.F. Verdin, K.T. Gao, J. Benjamin, R.S. Negrin, S.S. Gambhir. A PET imaging strategy to visualize activated T cells in acute graft-versus-host disease elicited by allogenic hematopoietic cell transplant. Cancer Research, 77(11): 2893-2902, Jun 2017.

Parkins KM, Hamilton AM, Makela AV, Chen Y, Foster PJ, Ronald JA. A multimodality imaging model to track viable breast cancer cells from single arrest to metastasis in the mouse brain. Scientific Reports, 6: 35889, Oct 2016.

Ronald JA, Chuang H-Y, Dragulescu-Andrasi A, Hori S, Gambhir SS. Detecting cancers through tumor-activatable minicircles that lead to a detectable blood biomarker. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 112(10): 3068-73, Mar 2015.