Photo of Xudong Huang,

Xudong Huang

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital
Phone: (617) 724-9778
Fax: (617) 726-4078

Xudong Huang

Massachusetts General Hospital


  • Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Research Scientist, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital


Research Abstract

Together with our imaging modality scientists and clinicians, part of my research program is designated to provide technical supports in design, synthesis, and chemical/biological characterization of molecular imaging (MI) agents, theranostic compounds or so-called therapy-enabling diagnostic (TED) agents for investigators from MGH Psychiatry Department and other local hospitals, researchers at the Harvard Medical School. Some of our current research efforts include the following:

Development of (i) target-specific and nanoparticle-based multi-functional MI agents for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurological disorders, brain tumor, breast cancer and other tumors; (ii) in vivo animal imaging platform for pre-clinical characterization of lead theranostic compounds. These include: design, synthesis, and chemical/biological characterization of MI agents and/or theranostic compounds, using conjugate and medicinal chemistry techniques. In particular, employing both MRI and Optical Imaging technologies, we will further determine lesion-specific and altered Fe metabolism as a biomarker for AD and breast cancer. In addition, bioluminescence/fluorescence-based in vivo model for TED lead optimization will be developed through collaboration with our optical imaging lab. We will also develop novel normal and cancer stem cell-labeling agents for stem cell tracking, proliferation and differentiation characterization, and its interactions with microenvironment that strongly influences its fates.

Cheminformatics-based investigations for (i) quantitative structure-property/activity relationship (QSP/AR) of TED agents; (ii) rational drug design of targeted theranostic compounds. We will design and identify novel lead therapeutic agents for disease-related targets and MI agents for disease-specific biomarkers. These will also include synthesizing tailored chemical compound libraries such as small focus libraries (SFLs) around lead structures using combinatorial and medicinal chemistry techniques for TED lead optimization. We will also curate both in-house and commercial compound libraries such as metal-complexing agents (NIST SRD 46) as imaging/contrast ligands and therapeutic agents, natural/synthetic antioxidants, and MI and contrast agent database (MICAD).

In summary, our research thrust is centered around this translational biomedical research paradigm that have the potential to contribute to the development of image-based personalized patient care.


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  • Carpenter KA, Cohen DS, Jarrell JT, Huang X. Deep learning and virtual drug screening. Future Med Chem 2018. PubMed
  • Carpenter K, Huang X. Is it a Prime Time for AI-powered Virtual Drug Screening? EC Pharmacol Toxicol 2018; SI:16-17. PubMed
  • Patel AK, Patel KK, Ratai E-M, Huang X. Neuroblastoma: Current Imaging and Therapeutics 2015.
  • Huang H, Chen Z, Huang X. Age-adjusted nonparametric detection of differential DNA methylation with case-control designs. BMC Bioinformatics 2013; 14:86. PubMed
  • Chen Z, Huang H, Liu J, Tony Ng HK, Nadarajah S, Huang X, Deng Y. Detecting differentially methylated loci for Illumina Array methylation data based on human ovarian cancer data. BMC Med Genomics 2013; 6 Suppl 1:S9. PubMed
  • Mou X, Kesari S, Wen PY, Huang X. Crude drugs as anticancer agents. Int J Clin Exp Med 2011; 4:17-25. PubMed
  • Zeng Q, Yang Z, Gao YJ, Yuan H, Cui K, Shi Y, Wang H, Huang X, Wong ST, Wang Y, Kesari S, Ji RR, Xu X. Treating triple-negative breast cancer by a combination of rapamycin and cyclophosphamide: An in vivo bioluminescence imaging study. Eur J Cancer 2010; 46:1132-43. PubMed
  • Chen Z, McGee M, Liu Q, Kong YM, Huang X, Yang JY, Scheuermann RH. Identifying Differentially Expressed Genes based on probe level data for GeneChip arrays. Int J Comput Biol Drug Des 2011; 3:237-57. PubMed
  • Liu Q, Sung AH, Qiao M, Chen Z, Yang JY, Yang MQ, Huang X, Deng Y. Comparison of feature selection and classification for MALDI-MS data. BMC Genomics 2009; 10 Suppl 1:S3. PubMed
  • Liu Q, Sung AH, Chen Z, Liu J, Huang X, Deng Y. Feature selection and classification of MAQC-II breast cancer and multiple myeloma microarray gene expression data. PLoS ONE 2009; 4:e8250. PubMed
  • Yang JY,Yang MQ,Luo Z,Ma Y,Li J,Deng Y,Huang X. A hybrid machine learning-based method for classifying the Cushing's Syndrome with comorbid adrenocortical lesions. BMC Genomics 2008; 9 Suppl 1:S23. PubMed
  • Pan Y,Huang X. Epithelial ovarian cancer stem cells-a review. Int J Clin Exp Med 2008; 1:260-6. PubMed
  • Patel AK, Zhang M, Huang X. Leukemia Therapy: Mechanisms of Drug Resistance and Investigational Strategies BJMMR 2014; 4:4134-53.