Phillip H. Kuo, MD, PhD

Professor of Medical Imaging 
Departments of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering
Section Chief of Nuclear Medicine
Email Address: 

Internal Contact Information

UACC Organizational Unit: 
Professional Bio: 

For many years, Dr. Kuo has worked closely with the University of Arizona Cancer Center members, Marty Pagel and Amanda Baker, to develop acidoCEST MRI for pre-clinical studies. More recently, they have collaborated to develop clinical acidoCEST MRI, SAFARI “direct-CEST” MRI, and QUESPOWR “reverse-CEST” MRI at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Kuo's background as a clinical radiologist and physician scientist provides him the experience to move forward with translational research. This has required joint efforts to obtain approval from their institution’s IRB for clinical research, combined efforts to arrange for commercial contrast agents from several companies, and many team meetings to organize the logistics and protocols for performing clinical research studies that involve the injection of a contrast agent. For example specifically, Dr. Kuo is the principal investigator on the Institutional Review Board approved protocol for the use of CEST on normal volunteers and patients. He looks forward to helping his collaborators understand the intricacies of the regulatory issues for clinical trials as well as the myriad other aspects for running a successful trial.

Clinical Information


Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Summary of Research Activity: 
Contrast agent development, theranostics, PET/CT, SPECT/CT, magnetic resonance imaging (in particular CEST), and brain imaging.
Selected Publications: 
  1. Ho A, Avery R, Krupinski E, Warneke J and Kuo PH: Predictive Role of Imaging in Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection for Melanoma. Lymphology; 2014; 47(3): 134-141.
  2. Chen LQ, Howison C, Jeffrey J, Robey I, Kuo PH and Pagel M: Evaluations of extracellular pH within in vivo tumors using acidoCEST MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2014, 72(5): 1408-17.
  3. Kuo PH, Nauman RW, Symanowski J, Nguyen B, Harb W and Edelman MJ: 99mTc-etarfolatide (EC20) SPECT imaging for the identification of ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are most likely to benefit from folate-receptor targeted agent vintafolide (EC145). Journal of Nuclear Medicine, February 2013; 54(2S): 14.
  4. Goldberg MR and Kuo PH. Thrombus presents as palpable breast mass. The Breast Journal, 2011, 17(5), 561–563.
  5. Kuo PH, Thompson K, Christensen I, Girardi M, and Heald PW. (Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography) FDG-PET/CT for the Evaluation of Response to Therapy of Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma to Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid in a Phase II Trial. Molecular Imaging and Biology. Nov-Dec 2008, 10(6):306-14.
  6. Kuo PH, Chen Z, and Weidhaas J. (Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography) FDG-PET/CT for the Optimization of Planning of Radiation Therapy. Applied Radiology. Aug 2008: 1-23.
  7. Kuo PH, McClennan BL, Thompson K, Wilson LD, Edelson RL, Heald PW, and Girardi M. (2008) FDG-PET/CT in the Evaluation of Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma. Molecular Imaging and Biology. 10(2):74-81.
  8. Kuo PH, Kanal E, Abu-Alfa A, and Cowper S. (2007) Gadolinium-Based MRI Contrast Agents and Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis. Radiology 242(3): 647-9.
  9. Kuo PH and Shin MS. (2007) Pulmonary and Peritoneal Ossification. New England Journal of Medicine 356(17): e16.
  10. Rye RO, Kuo PH, Holland HD. (1995) Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations before 2.2 billion years ago. Nature 378: 603-605.

Professional Information

Board Certifications: 
2009 - Medical Board of Arizona Licensure
2008 - American Board of Radiology
2006 - Board of Nuclear Cardiology
2004 - American Board of Nuclear Medicine
2003 - American Board of Internal Medicine
2003 - Medical Board of Connecticut Medical Licensure
4/01 - USMLE Step 3
2/00 - USMLE Step 2
6/96 - USMLE Step 1 – 99th percentile
Professional Affiliations: 
Member of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG)
Radiological Society of North America
Society of Nuclear Medicine
American Roentgen Ray Society
American College of Radiology
American Association for Cancer Research
Positions and Honors: 
Instructor for the American College of Radiology PET/CT Course (Reston, VA)
Grand Saguaro Award for Teaching of Medical Students (2014)
Featured lecturer at the Etarfolatide European Expert Faculty Meeting at the Old Stock Exchange in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lectured to over 30 nuclear medicine experts from across Europe.
Moderator for “Scientific Session: First-in-Human & Clinical Studies - PET and Oncology” at World Molecular Imaging Congress in Seoul, Korea
Plenary session talk at the AACR-SNMMI State-of-the-Art Molecular Imaging in Cancer Biology and Therapy Joint Conference (San Diego, CA)
Third Place for Scientific Poster at the Society of Nuclear Medicine 2012 Annual Meeting- “ROC analysis of an automated program for analyzing striatal uptake of DaTscan SPECT images: Comparison to visual reads”

Academic Information

Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn., Nuclear Medicine
Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn., Diagnostic Radiology; UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif., Internal Medicine
Medical School: 
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va., 2000
Master's Degree: 
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va., Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, 1998
Undergraduate School: 
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., AB Chemistry, 1994