Harvey Herschman, PhD

Distinguished Professor, Biological Chemistry and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Vice-Chair Biological Chemistry, Director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource

Training Grant faculty, he has supervised fellows and one physician scientist. He has a long-standing interest in growth factors and has consulted with several Center members on this subject. One of his major discoveries was inducible COX-2 that represents a major source of endogenous prostaglandins in inflammation and neoplasia. More recently, Dr. Herschman has developed a program in imaging involving luciferase, beta-galactosidase and green flourescent protein (GFP), which has opened new areas in cell biology. He has recently developed reporter gene systems that can be used to image gene expression in living vertebrates. Specifically, he uses reporter genes whose protein products can trap positron labeled substrates in tissues, and then image the reporter gene dependent trapping of the positron labeled reporter probes with by positron emission tomography (PET). Recently, Dr Herschman has developed two PET reporter gene systems; (1) an enzyme based system that uses the Herpes Simplex Virus thmidine kinase as the reporter gene and positron labelled substrates as a reporter probe and (2) a receptor based system that uses the dopamine D2 receptor as the reporter gene and positron labeled ligand as the reporter probe. Dr. Herschman is currently applying these techniques to transgenic mouse models of disease and to development of gene therapy vectors whose location and expression can be monitored in living subjects. In these projects, he interacts with Drs. Noriyuki Kasahara and Nora Rozengurt.