Sam GambhirSanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, M.D. Ph.D.
President of WMIS 2016–2017

Dr. Gambhir is Chair of the Department of Radiology, and professor, by courtesy, of Bioengineering & Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. His work is focused on the molecular imaging of living subjects, with a particular emphasis on cancer imaging. His labs have developed novel molecular imaging assays to track cell viability, cell trafficking, gene expression, enzyme activity, and protein-protein interactions. He has translated many of these approaches for the multimodality molecular imaging of cancer patients.

He is the director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), an interdisciplinary program that develops and utilizes state-of-the-art imaging technology and molecular imaging assays for studying intact biological systems, including positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, digital autoradiography, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, optical bioluminescence, optical fluorescence and Raman, photoacoustic imaging, and ultrasound. Dr. Gambhir is also director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection. He is a member of Stanford’s Bio-X program, the Stanford Cancer Institute, and a faculty fellow at Stanford ChEM-H.

He received his MD and a PhD in biomathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in 1993. He was Vice Chair of Medical and Molecular Pharmacology and Director of the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging at UCLA. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2003 to Direct the MIPS and as head of Nuclear Medicine. He has over 575 publications in the field and over 50 patents filed or granted. He currently serves as the PI of multiple NIH program project grants and R01’s. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). He has held numerous leadership roles including serving on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute for 8 years. He has also had significant experience in leadership as past president of the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) and multiple leadership roles at the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), Radiological Society of Northern America (RSNA), and the American Association of Cancer Researchers (AACR).


Christopher Contag, Ph.D.
Past President of WMIS 2016–2017

Dr. Contag recently joined Michigan State University in 2017 as the inaugural director of the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering and the chairperson of the new Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering. Dr. Contag received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul in 1982. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1988, where he did his dissertation research on the topic of viral infections of the central nervous system. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University from 1990-1994 in the Department of Microbiology where he studied mother-to-infant transmission of HIV, and then joined the faculty in Pediatrics at Stanford in 1995 with a joint appointment in Microbiology and Immunology and a courtesy appointment in Radiology. Dr. Contag served as the Associate Chief of the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, the director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation in In Vivo Imaging (SCI3) and co-director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). Dr. Contag is a founding member, and past president of the Society for Molecular Imaging (a founding society of WMIS). For his fundamental contributions in the field of molecular imaging, he was awarded the Achievement Award from the Society for the Molecular Imaging and is currently a Fellow of WMIS. Dr. Contag was a founder of Xenogen Inc., now part of Perkin Elmer, a company with the mission of commercializing in vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, and is a founder of ConcentRx Inc., a company aimed at improving cancer immunotherapy.


Dr Basilion Head Shot for web

Jim Basilion, Ph.D.
President-Elect of WMIS 2016–2017

James P. Basilion completed his BA in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and entered the doctoral program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Following his graduate studies, Dr. Basilion completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch with Dr. Richard Klausner. During his postdoctoral work, he began a series of studies in collaboration with investigators of the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital to exploit iron metabolism for molecular imaging. This resulted in creation of a transgene and magnetic resonance imaging probes suitable for in vivo imaging of gene transfer and changes in endogenous levels of internalizing receptors both non-invasively and in real time.

In 1996 Dr. Basilion transitioned to a Senior Scientist position at a small genomics/anti-cancer biotech company where he honed his research, team building, and management skills. In 1999, Dr. Basilion joined the Faculty of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital-Center for Molecular Imaging Research as an Assistant Professor of Radiology. In September 2005 he was recruited to the CWRU Schools of Medicine and Engineering as an Associate Professor and Director of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Center for Molecular Imaging. Dr. Basilion’s input has been vital on several strategic hiring and planning initiatives at both at schools. He has been the Co-Director of the Cancer Imaging Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center since its inception. He now is a tenured full professor in both the Departments of Radiology (SOM) and the department of Biomedical Engineering (Case School of Engineering). For the last 2 years he has been the Director of the Case Center for Imaging Research and the Vice Chair of Basic Sciences Research for the Department of Radiology. He is working to develop a much desired clinical translational infrastructure to service the Center’s molecular imaging pipeline.

Dr. Basilion reviews for several academic journals, serves as an External Advisory Board Member for the Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, on the DOD Integration Panels for the Ovarian (standing member) and the Breast Cancer (Ad Hoc) research programs, and was a standing member on the MEDI Study Section for NIH and has just accepted appointment onto the CMIP study section. Dr. Basilion has held several offices in the Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI), and was instrumental in the merger of the SMI and AMI to form the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) where until recently he served as treasurer. Along with Dr. Tweedle, Dr. Basilion co-chairs the WMIS’s “Intra-Operative Optical Surgical Navigation” interest group. He has been instrumental in the growth and expansion of this interest group. During the last three years the attendance and interest of OSN has grown from 20 attendees to over 200 at the workshop in 2015.

Dr. Basilion holds several editorial board positions for Molecular Imaging centric journals and has founded Akrotome Imaging, Inc., a company devoted to the translation of Molecular Imaging technologies. Most recently Dr. Basilion, along with Drs. Tweedle and Rosenthal have worked to develop a series of collaborations between the American Society for Image Guided Surgery (ASIGS) as well as the NCI and FDA to work toward developing guidelines for the translation of optical imaging agents to the clinic.