Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine


Ching H. Tung, Ph.D.


Ching H. Tung, Ph.D.

Ching H. Tung, Ph.D.

Senior Member
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Professor of Chemistry in Radiology
Professor of Chemistry in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

6565 Fannin Street, #B5-009
Houston, TX 77030
TEL: 713-441-8682
E-mail: ctung@houstonmethodist.org


BS Chemistry, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
PhD Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ



Dr. Tung did his postdoctoral study with Dr. Stanly Stein on nucleic acid conjugation and therapy in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He then joined a gene therapy biotechnology company working on non-viral gene therapies for cancer, musculoskeletal disorder, and pulmonary disease. In 1997, Dr. Tung moved back to academia, and started as a research fellow in the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Over the next few years he advanced quickly through the academic ranks to Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and became a member of the Cancer Imaging Program at the Dana-Faber Cancer Center. Dr. Tung was one of the key players in establishing the world-renowned Molecular Imaging Center at MGH. In 2007, he joined the Methodist Hospital Research Institute as Chief of Imaging Chemistry, and professor of Radiology. He currently serves as Interim Chair in the Department of Translational Imaging. Dr. Tung is a pioneer in the field of enzyme activatable molecular imaging probes. His research focuses on the development of novel image contrast agents and therapeutic approaches to image and treat various diseases.

Description of Research

Dr. Tung’s research interests are in designing novel multi-functional molecules for diagnostic, therapeutic, and biotechnological applications. To achieve these goals, he focuses on environmentally-sensitive molecules that respond to mechanistic changes during disease progression. Over the past few years, he has applied the development of novel multi-functional molecules to molecular sensing, in vivo molecular imaging, therapy, and drug delivery.

Recent Publications

Law B, Tung CH. Structural modification of protease inducible pre-programmed nanofiber precursor. Biomacromolecules 2008:9;421-425.

Nahrendorf M, Aikawa E, Figueiredo JL, Stangenberg L, Sosnovik DE, Jaffer FA, Tung CH, Weissleder R. Molecular imaging of FXIII activity predicts left ventricular remodeling, infarct rupture and the response to transglutaminase-targted therapies in the healing myocardial infarct. Eur Heart J 2008:29;445–454.

Law B, Weissleder R, Tung CH. Protease sensitive fluorescent nanofibers. Bioconjugate Chem 2007:18;1701-1704.

Kim Y, Choi Y, Weissleder R, Tung CH. Membrane permeable esterase-activated fluorescent imaging probe. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2007:17;5054-5057.

Lai KS, Ho NH, Cheng J, Tung CH. Selective fluorescence probes for dipeptidyl peptidase activity - fibroblast activation protein and dipeptidyl peptidase IV. Bioconjugate Chem 2007:18;1246-1250.

Jaffer FA, Kim DE, Quinti L, Tung CH, Aikawa E, Pande AN, Kohler R, Shi GP, Libby P, Weissleder R. Optical visualization of cathepsin K activity in atherosclerosis using a novel, protease-activatable fluorescence sensor. Circulation 2007:115;2292-2298.

Ho NH, Weissleder R, Tung CH. A self-immolative reporter for galactosidase sensing. Chem BioChem 2007:8;560-566.

Choi Y, Ho NH, Tung CH. Sensing phosphatase activity by using gold nanoparticles. Angew Chem Int Ed 2007:46;707-709.