RALPH S. DACOSTA, PhD

I am a Principal Investigator in the Division of Biophysics and Bioimaging, Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network (UHN). I hold the Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair in Cancer Imaging and am an appointed lecturer in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. A major focus of my lab is the development and application of next-generation multimodal imaging and molecular probe technology platforms for i) detection of early disease, ii) elucidating disease mechanisms, iii) providing early monitoring of treatment response and iv) facilitating real-time image-guided interventions. A significant thrust of this work is to accelerate the translation of these “bioimaging” capabilities directly into multiple clinical domain. To this end, I am engaged in several basic research collaborations and clinical trials locally and internationally including in: endoscopic oncology, cancer stem cell biology, cancer immunotherapy, image-guided surgery, radiation oncology, cell- and virotherapy, regenerative medicine, and diabetes.

Specifically, my team is currently focused on: a) the application of optical molecular imaging methods to illuminate the processes activated by radiation therapy and other cancer treatments with the long term goal of real-time monitoring of tumour response in individual patients (e.g. for adaptive intervention); b) the use of novel cancer-targeting imaging agents with hybrid medical imaging systems (e.g. combining CT and optical) for enhancing the endoscopic detection of early cancers (called “molecular bioendoscopy”); and c) the development, translation and commercialization of handheld and portable “point-of-care” optical imaging systems for clinical applications (e.g. in wound care and intraoperative image-guidance).

I am always looking for qualified and enthusiastic students and post-doctoral fellows. Please contact me if you are interested in being a part of the innovative research being pursued by my team at the Ontario Cancer Centre.

PMHF (Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation) Next Generation - Believe it!

June 2012 - Dr. DaCosta presented key note lecture at the launch of the PMHF Next Generation campaign.

PMHF Next Generation Cropped