Focus of Research

     Cellular and molecular imaging research conducted in the Foster Lab is currently focused in three main areas: Cancer Cell Tracking, Tracking Cellular Therapeutics and MR Technology Development. 

Cancer Cell Tracking

     Tracking cancer cells is a major focus of research. Current research projects include investigating steps in brain metastasis in several different models of breast cancer, tracking nonproliferative cancer cells to study tumour dormancy and recurrence, investigating the impact of radiotherapy on the development of brain metastases, studying tumour-associated macrophages in breast cancer and examining concepts related to concomitant tumour resistance.

Tracking Cellular Therapeutics

     Dendritic cells are currently utilized as a cancer immunotherapy. We have developed an in vivo imaging assay to track the migration of iron- or fluorine-19-labeled dendritic cells to lymph nodes where they interact with T cells. Monitoring the fate of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells is another key area of research in our lab. Using both iron and fluorine based cell tracking methods we are investigating the fate of stem cells and the immune response that causes their rejection.

MR Technology Development

     We continually strive to develop and implement advanced cell labeling and cell tracking technologies. This includes contrast agent development, improvements in cellular uptake of MRI detectable agents, improvements in pulse sequence technology and construction of advanced radiofrequency coils. 

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