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Christopher H. Contag

Christopher H. Contag

Affiliate
Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology), Emeritus
Medicine
Dr. Contag, is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Radiology and Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University, and a member of BioX Faculty for interdisciplinary sciences, and Immunology Faculty. 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 under the direction of Professors Ashley Haase and Peter Plagemann 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 is the Associate Chief of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, 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 pioneer in the field of molecular imaging and is developing imaging approaches aimed at revealing molecular processes in living subjects, including humans, and advancing therapeutic strategies through imaging. His laboratory develops macroscopic and microscopic optical imaging tools and uses imaging to assess tissue responses to stress, reveal immune cell migration patterns, understand stem cell biology and advance biological therapies. He is a founding member, and a past president of the Society for Molecular Imaging, and for his fundamental contributions in imaging, is a recipient of the Achievement Award from the Society for the Molecular Imaging. Dr. Contag is a Fellow of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) and currently President Elect of WMIS. The research mission of the Contag laboratory is to develop and use noninvasive imaging tools that can simultaneously reveal the nuances of biological processes and provide an overall picture of disease states for the purpose of developing and refining novel interventions. These imaging tools are sensitive and image over a range of scales from micro- to macroscopic, and are well-suited for the in vivo study of cellular and molecular biology. For the purpose of studying tumor biology in vivo, the Contag group is developing, and using, advanced microscopic tools with the aims of detecting and studying cancer at high resolution in vivo. These approaches use micro-optics to develop miniaturized cofocal microscopes and Raman endoscopes that can reach inside the body to interrogate disease states. This is enabling point-of-care microscopy that is changing the diagnostic paradigm from biopsy and histopathology to in vivo pathology. The opportunity to study tumor margins with arrays of microscopes will enable improved tumor detection and guided resections.