Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Meixiang Yu, Ph.D.

Meixiang Yu, Ph.D.

Meixiang Yu, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Houston Methodist Research Institute

E-mail: myu@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-2921
Fax: 713-793-1637


B.S.   Radiochemistry, Peking University, Beijing, China
M.S.   Radiochemistry, China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing, China
Ph.D.   Biological Radiochemistry, Peking University, Beijing, China

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Physiology, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland



Dr. Yu graduated with a Ph.D. from Peking University in 1996. He completed his postdoctoral training in Nuclear Medicine and Pharmacolgy at Kupio University Hospital in Finland before taking a position as a Research Scientist at the Turku PET Center in Finland. In 2001, he joined the Harvard Medical School Radiology Department at Massachusettes General Hospital as a Research Scientist and Instructor before being appointed Associate Professor and Chief Radiochemist at the University of Tennessee in 2005. He was also the Senior Radiochemist at Banner Alxheimer's Institute in Phoenix, AZ from 2007 to 2009 before joining Houston Methodist in 2009. At the Research Institute, Dr. Yu oversees the design and operation of the cyclotron facility, which produces PET radiopharmaceuticals for clinical use in compliance with FDA cGMP (current good manufacture practice) regulations.

Description of Research

Dr. Yu's research focuses on molecular imaging biomarker development for translational medicine applications. Functional parameters from in vivo imaging include biodistribution, metabolism, receptor and transporter occupancy, as well as blood flow will be important in diseases diagnosis, stages and response evaluation. For these purposes, his team is developing PET and SPECT imaging tracers of pharmacological affects on glutamate receptors, dopamine transporters and receptors, and serotonin transporters and receptors, which are important in neurodegeneration diseases and psychiatry. In addition, as the Ccyclotron Operation/Radiochemistry Director, Dr. Yu supervises the Research Institute cyclotron facility design, including the installation and operation of the cyclotron, hot cells, radiochemistry synthetic modules, quality control instruments, and radiation safety monitoring. He also oversees the development of standard operation procedures for cyclotron operation, PET radiopharmaceutical production, quality control, and radiation safety.  

Major Areas of Research

PET tracer development and production, cyclotron operation, radiochemistry, FDA cGMP regulation, radiopharmaceutical production

Recent Publications

Reiman EM, Chen K, Liu X, Bandy D, Yu M, Lee W, Ayutyanont N, Keppler J, Reeder SA, Langbaum JB, Alexander GE, Klunk WE, Mathis CA, Price JC, Aizenstein HJ, DeKosky ST, Caselli RJ. Fibrillar amyloid-beta burden in cognitively normal people at 3 levels of genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 21;106(16):6820-5.

Tang G, Zeng W, Yu M, Kabalka G. Facile synthesis of N-succinimidyl 4-[18F]fluorobenzoate ([18F]SFB) for protein labeling. Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals. 2008; 51(1):68-71.

Yu M. Recent Development of PET Imaging Agents for Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 2007; 7(18):1800-5.

Cicchetti F, Gross RE, Bulte JW, Owen M, Chen I, Saint-Pierre M, Wang X, Yu M, Brownell AL. Dual-modality in vivo monitoring of subventricular zone stem cell migration and metabolism. Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2007 May; 2(3):130-8.

Pellegrino D, Cicchetti F, Wang X, Zhu A, Yu M, Saint-Pierre M, Brownell AL. Modulation of dopaminergic and glutamatergic brain function: PET studies on parkinsonian rats. J Nucl Med. 2007 Jul; 48(7):1147-53.

Kuruppu D, Brownell AL, Zhu A, Yu M, Wang X, Kulu Y, Fuchs BC, Kawasaki H, Tanabe KK. Positron Emission Tomography of Herpes simplex virus 1 oncolysis. Cancer Research. 2007. 67: 3295-3300.

Zhu A, Wang X, Yu M, Wang JQ, Brownell AL. Evaluation of four pyridine analogs to characterize 6-OHDA-induced modulation of mGluR5 function in rat brain using microPET studies. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2007 Sep;27(9):1623-31.

Tolvanen T, Nagren K, Yu M, Sutinen E, Havu-Auren K, Jyrkkio S, Asola M, Kotoneva E, Nuutila P, Minn H. Human radiation dosimetry of [11C]MeAIB, a new tracer for imaging of system A amino acid transport. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2006; 33(10):1178-84.