Jorge Barrio

Jorge Barrio, PhD

Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Founding Editor-in-Chief, Molecular Imaging and Biology
Chair, Medical Radiation Safety Committee/Radioactive Drug Research Committee
Elizabeth and Thomas Plott Chair in Gerontology



Contact Information

Scientific Interests

For the last 40 years, Dr. Jorge Barrio's research has focused on the design, synthesis and validation of positron-emitting and fluorescent labeled probes for investigating the intricate mechanisms of human disease. Presently, the overall intent is two-fold:

  1. The rational design and utilization of molecular imaging probes for the detection and mapping of tau and amyloid neuroaggregates in living humans. This has led to the development of very sensitive methods for evaluation of various neurodegenerative diseases and brain trauma (e.g., CTE) with the aim of establishing novel in vivo diagnostic tools. Currently, the PET imaging method developed in Barrio's laboratory is the only one available for detection and mapping of tau pathology in concussion-mediated CTE; and
  2. To design, synthesize, and validate new specific molecular imaging probes designed to monitor the functional activity of sodium-glucose linked transporters (SGLT) in animal models and humans. Currently, Barrio's Laboratory has as an overall goal the evaluation of the biological significance of glucose utilization via sodium-dependent SGLT transporters vs. that via GLUTs in heart, brain and human cancers (e.g., pancreas, lung, prostate) at their various stages of development. The objective is early diagnosis of cancer using PET using specific SGLT-mediated imaging probes developed in Barrio's Laboratory, as well as evaluation of the effect of SGLT-specific inhibitors in cancer therapies.

Highlighted Publications

Scafoglio C, Hirayama BA, Kepe V, Liu J, Ghezzi C, Satyamurthy N, Moatamed NA, Huang J, Koepsell H, Barrio JR, Wright EM. Functional expression of sodium-glucose transporters in cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 28;112(30):E4111-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1511698112. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

Barrio JR, Small GW, Wong KP, Huang SC, Liu J, Merrill DA, Giza CC, Fitzsimmons RP, Omalu B, Bailes J, Kepe V. In vivo characterization of chronic traumatic encephalopathy using [F-18]FDDNP PET brain imaging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 21;112(16):E2039-47. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1409952112. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Yu AS, Hirayama BA, Timbol G, Liu J, Diez-Sampedro A, Kepe V, Satyamurthy N, Huang SC, Wright EM, Barrio JR. Regional distribution of SGLT activity in rat brain in vivo. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Feb 1;304(3):C240-7. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00317.2012. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Radu CG, Shu CJ, Nair-Gill E, Shelly SM, Barrio JR, Satyamurthy N, Phelps ME, Witte ON. Molecular imaging of lymphoid organs and immune activation by positron emission tomography with a new [18F]-labeled 2'-deoxycytidine analog. Nat Med. 2008 Jul;14(7):783-8. Epub 2008 Jun 8

Yaghoubi SS, Barrio JR, Namavari M, Satyamurthy N, Phelps ME, Herschman HR, Gambhir SS. Imaging progress of herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase suicide gene therapy in living subjects with positron emission tomography. Cancer Gene Ther. 2005; 12(3): 329-39.