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Last Updated: 10/28/16

Network for Translational Research (NTR): Optical Imaging in Multimodality Platforms

Network for Translational Research (NTR): Optical Imaging in Multimodal Platforms (U54)({RFA-CA-08-002) Request for Applications

The Network for Translational Research (NTR): Optical Imaging in Multimodal Platforms is a reissue of the former Network for Translational Research in Optical Imaging (NTROI). Rather than focusing on a single optical modality for imaging a cancer problem as the former NTROI did, this new NTR program now emphasizes imaging based on multiple modalities, one of which is an optical method. The purpose of the network is the development, optimization, and validation of imaging methods and protocols for rapid translation to clinical environments. Optimization and validation are accomplished through consensus processes.

This network is one of several being conducted within the Cancer Imaging Program. The hallmark of this NTR network is its emphasis on early-stage imaging technology. By combining optical methods with more traditional imaging techniques, it is anticipated that the optical methods can be brought more quickly to clinical trials where they can become competitive with the other imaging methods.

Four centers of imaging excellence have been selected through the NIH peer review process. A Steering Committee, consisting of two investigators from each center plus various program staff from the NCI, has oversight of the network. This committee meets monthly via teleconference and organizes network-wide activities such as consensus publications, cross-network core activities, associate membership in the network, and regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings.

Agendas for the following NTR Steering Committee Face-to-Face Annual Meetings are available here:

The organization of the NTR is more than just an assembly of four separate research programs. In addition to the Steering Committee, the four centers are linked by Research Support Cores. These are functions identified by the centers as being common to each center. By pooling resources in these areas, the centers can leverage their resources and prevent “siloing”, a common problem in many multi-site initiatives. Click here to read about the four Research Support Cores.

The NTR has recently assembled a handbook to help researcher in the task of bringing a product into the clinic. Click here to see this handbook.

NTR Funded Centers

Washington University
Lihong Wang, Ph.D. (
Photoacoustic/Optical/Ultrasonic Imaging of Sentinel Lymph Nodes and Metastases.
Web site

University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Eva Sevick, Ph.D. (
Diagnostic Nodal Staging with Nuclear and NIR Molecular Optical Imaging.
Web site

University of Michigan
Thomas D Wang, M.D., Ph.D. (
In vivo Detection of Neoplasia in the Digestive Tract.
Web site

Stanford University
Christopher Contag, Ph.D. (
Multimodal Imaging of GI Cancers for Diagnosis and Directed Therapy.
Web site