Contact Information

Primary Contact

Joseph Kalen


Building 376, Room 225A
Frederick, MD 21702


The function of the SAIP is to collaborate with NCI investigators in the development of mouse models, new molecular imaging probes for early detection and therapy, monitor tumors in vivo, and perform drug efficacy studies utilizing in vivo imaging techniques. In addition, the SAIP collaborates with the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) to analyze nanoplatforms as part of the cascade assay and assist DCTD initiatives in developing standards in small animal imaging, integrate imaging into drug development, and develop partnerships with industry for technology and drug development.

Established Technologies

Quantitative analysis of many physiological and functional parameters, including anatomical and physiological tumor volumes, biodistribution, tumor vasculature and perfusion, tracer kinetics (pharmacokinetics), blood flow, tissue Doppler, internal radiation dosimetry, metabolic imaging, and cardiac function.


  • X-ray CT
  • MRI
  • MRSI: hyperpolarized 13C-Pyruvate metabolic imaging
  • nuclear: PET/CT and SPECT/CT
  • ultrasound
  • ultrasound image guided injections
  • optical: bioluminescence and fluorescence

Developing Technologies

The SAIP develops new acquisition and image analysis techniques based on the requirements of an imaging project.

Past developments included

  • Dynamic Contrast Enhanced-MRI
  • Ultrasound techniques using non-targeted microbubbles for determining tumor perfusion
  • Ultrasound image guided injections
  • Virtual MRI colonoscopy
  • Hyperpolarized [13C] Pyruvate for MRI spectroscopy metabolic studies
  • Short Wavelength Infrared Fluorescence (collaboration with CCR/NCI)

Major Instrumentation

Nuclear:  PET/SPECT/CT (Mediso NanoScan)

Optical:  Bioluminescence and Fluorescence (IVIS Spectrum PerkinElmer) and Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR)

MRI:  3T MRI (Ingenia Elition Philips Medical Systems)

Ultrasound:  Vevo 2100 and F2 (FujiFilm VisualSonics)

HyperPolarizer (13C-Pyruvate): HyperSense (Oxford Instruments)

User Guidelines

Services are available to all NCI investigators located at the Frederick and Bethesda campuses. Excess capacity can be made available to other NIH Investigators on a case-by-case basis. To request services from this NCI core facility, you must submit an SAIP imaging submission: After the ACUC approves the imaging submission, a NAS ( is submitted.


  • Tatum JL, Kalen JD, Jacobs PM, Riffle LA, James A, Thang L, Sanders, Hollingshead MG, Basuli F, Shi J and Doroshow JH: 3’‑[18F]fluoro‑3’‑deoxythymidine ([18F]FLT) Positron Emission Tomography as an In Vivo Biomarker of inhibition of CDK 4/6‑Rb pathway by Palbociclib in a patient derived bladder tumor. Journal of Translational Medicine. 2022 20:37,
  • Bandi VG, Luciano MP, Saccomano M, Patel NL, Bischof TS, Lingg JGP, Tsrunchev PT, Nix MN, Ruehle B, Sanders C, Riffle L, Robinson CM, Difilippantonio S, Kalen JD, Resch-Genger U, Ivanic J, Bruns OT, Schnermann MJ: Targeted multicolor in vivo imaging over 1,000 nm enabled by nonamethine cyanines. Nat Methods. 2022 Mar;19(3):353-358. doi: 10.1038/s41592-022-01394-6. Epub 2022 Feb 28. PMID: 35228725
  • Tatum JL, Kalen JD, Jacobs PM, Ileva LV, Riffle LA, Hollingshead MG, Doroshow JH: A spontaneously metastatic model of bladder cancer: imaging characterization. J Transl Med, 17(1):425-434, 2019. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-02177-y. PMID: 31878948.
  • Usama SM, Marker SC, Caldwell DR, Patel NL, Feng Y, Kalen JD, St Croix B, Schnermann MJ: Targeted Fluorogenic Cyanine Carbamates Enable In Vivo Analysis of Antibody−Drug Conjugate Linker Chemistry. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Dec 29;143(51):21667-21675. doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c10482. Epub 2021 Dec 20. PMID: 34928588
  • Sahu S, Albaugh ME, Martin BK, Patel NL, Riffle L, Mackem S, Kalen JD, Sharan SK: Growth factor dependency in mammary organoids regulates ductal morphogenesis during organ regeneration. Sci Rep. 2022 May 3;12(1):7200. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11224-6. PMID: 35504930
  • Kalen JD, Tatum JL: Small Animal Imaging in Oncology Drug Development. In: Image Fusion in Preclinical Applications, Kuntner-Hannes C., Haemisch Y, eds., 101-115, Springer International Publishing, 2019. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-02973-9, ISBN: 978-3-030-02972-2