Renesmee Kuo is an Electrical Engineering PhD candidate at Stanford University supported by NSF GRFP. She focuses on preclinical PET imaging for neuroinflammatory diseases and cancer in Prof. Michelle James' lab. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Bioengineering. Her research interests lie at the intersection of engineering and medicine. At UC Berkeley, she worked in Prof. Steve Conolly's lab on Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI). She focused on tracking CAR-T cells in immunotherapy using high-resolution MPI tracers. She also focused on using commercially available high-resolution MPI tracers for early diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolisms and Cardiovascular disease in preclinical settings.

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2022)
  • Electrical Engineering Department Fellowship, Stanford University (2022)
  • Young Investigator Award, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (2022)
  • Jacobs Institute Innovation Catalysts Ignite Grant, University of California, Berkeley (2021)

Education & Certifications

  • BS, University of California, Berkeley, Bioengineering (2022)

All Publications

  • PET Imaging of Innate Immune Activation Using 11C Radiotracers Targeting GPR84. JACS Au Kalita, M., Park, J. H., Kuo, R. C., Hayee, S., Marsango, S., Straniero, V., Alam, I. S., Rivera-Rodriguez, A., Pandrala, M., Carlson, M. L., Reyes, S. T., Jackson, I. M., Suigo, L., Luo, A., Nagy, S. C., Valoti, E., Milligan, G., Habte, F., Shen, B., James, M. L. 2023; 3 (12): 3297-3310


    Chronic innate immune activation is a key hallmark of many neurological diseases and is known to result in the upregulation of GPR84 in myeloid cells (macrophages, microglia, and monocytes). As such, GPR84 can potentially serve as a sensor of proinflammatory innate immune responses. To assess the utility of GPR84 as an imaging biomarker, we synthesized 11C-MGX-10S and 11C-MGX-11Svia carbon-11 alkylation for use as positron emission tomography (PET) tracers targeting this receptor. In vitro experiments demonstrated significantly higher binding of both radiotracers to hGPR84-HEK293 cells than that of parental control HEK293 cells. Co-incubation with the GPR84 antagonist GLPG1205 reduced the binding of both radiotracers by >90%, demonstrating their high specificity for GPR84 in vitro. In vivo assessment of each radiotracer via PET imaging of healthy mice illustrated the superior brain uptake and pharmacokinetics of 11C-MGX-10S compared to 11C-MGX-11S. Subsequent use of 11C-MGX-10S to image a well-established mouse model of systemic and neuro-inflammation revealed a high PET signal in affected tissues, including the brain, liver, lung, and spleen. In vivo specificity of 11C-MGX-10S for GPR84 was confirmed by the administration of GLPG1205 followed by radiotracer injection. When compared with 11C-DPA-713-an existing radiotracer used to image innate immune activation in clinical research studies-11C-MGX-10S has multiple advantages, including its higher binding signal in inflamed tissues in the CNS and periphery and low background signal in healthy saline-treated subjects. The pronounced uptake of 11C-MGX-10S during inflammation, its high specificity for GPR84, and suitable pharmacokinetics strongly support further investigation of 11C-MGX-10S for imaging GPR84-positive myeloid cells associated with innate immune activation in animal models of inflammatory diseases and human neuropathology.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacsau.3c00435

    View details for PubMedID 38155640

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10751761

  • Application of Machine Learning Driven Computational Approaches for Novel CNS PET Tracer Development Jackson, I., Luo, A., Webb, E., Zhang, B., Guo, A., Nagy, S., Shao, X., Kuo, R., Carlson, M., Alam, I., Rodriguez, A., Winton, W., Stauff, J., Kalita, M., Scott, P., James, M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2023: S40-S41
  • Magnetic Particle Imaging in Vascular Imaging, Immunotherapy, Cell Tracking, and Noninvasive Diagnosis MOLECULAR IMAGING Chandrasekharan, P., Kuo, R., Fung, K., Saayujya, C., Bryan, J., Yousuf, M., Fellows, B., Colson, C., Huynh, Q., Doyle, O., Hartley, A., Yousuf, K., Goodwill, P., Conolly, S. 2023; 2023