Reinier Hernandez Awarded NSF Travel Allowance; Cai Named Co-Investigator on New Pilot Grant

Reinier Hernandez, a Medical Physics graduate student supervised by Prof. Weibo Cai in the Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology Laboratory (, was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) International Travel Allowance. Through GROW, NSF Graduate Fellows (Reinier is supported by a 3 year NSF fellowship and the UW Biotechnology Training Program for 2 years) are provided an international travel allowance to engage in research collaborations with investigators in partner countries located outside the United States.

Reinier will conduct research at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, under the guidance of Prof. Otto C. Boerman. Prof. Boerman is the Head of Preclinical Research at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center. As an internationally renowned leader in the field of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Prof. Boerman has more than 370 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM), The European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (EJNMMI), Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals (CB&R), and The American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (AJNMMI).

In addition, Prof. Weibo Cai was the Co-Investigator on a newly awarded $50K pilot grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) for a collaborative proposal entitled "Molecular Imaging to Identify Response to Tumor Immunotherapy Using Anti-PD-1". The PI is Douglas G. McNeel, MD PhD, Professor of Medicine. In this project, Reinier will be working together with Brian Rekoske, a graduate student in the McNeel group, to use positron emission tomography for non-invasively detecting/monitoring the response to cancer immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy (i.e. unleashing the immune system against tumors) is among the most promising strategies to fight cancer, and it was selected as the 2013 Breakthrough of the Year by Science Magazine (