Mark "Marty" Pagel, PhD

Director, Contrast Agent Molecular Engineering Laboratory (CAMEL)
Professor, Radiology
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 404-7049
(520) 626-0395

UACC Information

UACC Organizational Unit(s): 
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Marty Pagel earned his B.A. degrees in chemistry and biology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, and then earned a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of California Berkeley.  Dr. Pagel then worked as the director of the NMR and computational chemistry facilities in the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University.  He then joined Monsanto Co., which was acquired by Pharmacia Corp., which was then acquired by Pfizer Inc.  His research in industry involved the MR imaging of corn seeds and mouse models of breast cancer.  Dr. Pagel then returned to academia in 2003, when he joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University to start a research program in molecular imaging.  Dr. Pagel then moved to the University of Arizona in 2008 to expand his research program to include more chemistry development and clinical research. 

Dr. Pagel is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Imaging. He is a member of the Cancer Imaging Program of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC), and the only member of this program who has laboratory space in the UACC buildings.  He also serves as the Director of the Contrast Agent Molecular Engineering Laboratory (CAMEL) in the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Dr. Pagel also serves as the Vice Chair of Research and Program Development and Chair of Cancer Imaging for the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona.  These positions provide him with a unique ability to be a "bridge” that connects biomedical imaging researchers with other cancer researchers in the UACC, while also fostering the development of many pre-clinical and clinical cancer imaging collaborations within my research program.

Dr. Pagel's research focuses on the measurement of tumor acidosis using non-invasive MRI.  His research program has refined this technique, termed “acidoCEST MRI” to measure acidosis in a variety of tumor models to study cancer biology and the effects of anti-cancer therapies.  They have also translated our acidoCEST MRI method to the clinic and we are measuring tumor acidosis levels in patients with breast, ovarian, lung and liver, and brain cancers.  Dr. Pagel's research program has also developed a MRI method that non-invasively detects enzyme activities in solid tumors.  They also support projects that involve optical imaging and photoacoustic imaging for pre-clinical cancer studies.

Clinical Information

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Medical Imaging
Pancreatic Cancer

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Research Focus: 
For a summary of Dr. Pagel's research activities,
Selected Publications: 
For a summary of Dr. Pagel's publications, click here.
Collaborative Research: 
5R01CA169774                      (Pagel, PI)                                                07/01/12-03/31/17
Detection of in vivo Enzyme Activities with CEST MRI       
This proposal will develop CEST agents and improve CEST MRI methods that detect enzyme activities in pre-clinical cancer models. 
Role:  PI
1R01CA197029                      (Pagel, PI)                                                06/19/15-05/31/17
Early Phase Clinical Trial for Imaging Tumor Acidosis in Breast Cancer Patients using AcidoCEST MRI
This proposal will translate our acidoCEST MRI method to the radiology clinic to improve the diagnosis of patients with breast cancer. 
Role:  PI
5R01CA157595                      (Ignatenko, PI)                                         07/01/12 – 04/30/17   
Role of Kallikrein 6 Expression and Secretion in Colon Cancer        
This proposal investigates how the KLK6 enzyme can be used as a biomarker for colon cancer and cancer recurrence, and the detection of the enzyme activity of KLK6 using non-invasive imaging.
Role Co-Investigator

5R01CA167183                      (Pagel, PI)                                                04/01/12-02/28/16
Measuring Extracellular pH in Pre-clinical Tumor Models with CEST MRI                                                    
This proposal will develop CEST agents and improve CEST MRI methods that measure extracellular pH in the tumor microenvironment within pre-clinical cancer models.
Role:  PI
R01 CA115780                       (Gmitro, PI)                                              07/01/10-06/30/14
DX of Ovarian Cancer
This grant award will continue the development of a confocal microlaparoscope for biopsies of ovarian cancer, including clinical validation, continued development of the instrumentation, and development of contrast agents to enable safe and effective detection of ovarian cancer.
Role:  Co-Investigator
What prompted you to get into cancer research?: 
A great topic for multidiscipliary imaging research.

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2016-           Director of the Contrast Agent Molecular Engineering Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ
2015-2016   Director of Research and Program Development, Dept. of Medical Imaging, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ
2011-Present   Associate Professor, Dept. of Medical Imaging, U of Arizona, Tucson AZ
2010-2014      Assistant Department Head, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, U of Arizona, Tucson AZ
2008-Present   Associate Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, U of Arizona, Tucson AZ
2007-2008      Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, CWRU, Cleveland OH
2003-2008      Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiology, and Macromolecular Science & Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH   
2001-2003      Senior Research Scientist, Pharmacia Corp., St. Louis, MO
2000-2001      Senior Research Scientist, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO
1997-2000      Associate Director of Technical Services, Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
1995-2000      Director of the NMR and Computational Chemistry Facilities, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN
1993-1995      Research Staff, NMR Facility, Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
2014               Program Chair, World Molecular Imaging Congress, Seoul, Korea
2012               Arizona Engineering Faculty Fellow, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2010-2014     Distinguished Reviewer, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
2010               Sydney E. Salmon Junior Investigator Award, Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson AZ
2006               Case School of Engineering Graduate Teaching Award, CWRU, Cleveland, OH
2005               Young Investigator Award, Contrast Media Research 2005 Symposium
2003               Early Career Recognition Award, Pharmacia Corp., St. Louis, MO
1994               Department of Chemistry Staff Award, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
1988               John C. Sowden Prize in Chemistry, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Academic Information

University of California, Berkeley, 1993, Chemistry
Undergraduate School: 
BA, Chemistry &Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO