Evan C Unger, MD

Co-Director, Cancer Imaging Program
Professor, Radiology
Professor, Biomedical Engineering - GIDP
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-1957
Professional Bio: 

Evan C. Unger is a Professor of Radiology and Bioengineering at the University of Arizona. He is currently serving as Interim Medical Director of The University of Arizona Medical Center- University Medical Imaging and Interim Director of Body Imaging for the Department of Radiology.

Dr. Unger graduated from the University of California School of Medicine in 1982 and completed his residency in diagnostic radiology in 1986 at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis. From 1986 to 1988 he was Chief of MRI at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, and joined the UA faculty in 1988.

Dr. Unger is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, a Fellow of the American College of Radiology, Associate Editor of Radiology and a member of the Gene and Drug Delivery Study Section at NIH. Dr. Unger has published more than 100 scientific papers related to topics in radiology, drug and gene delivery and cancer research.

Dr. Unger has a strong background in translational research. He is inventor on more than 100 issued patents and has led the development of three compounds approved by the FDA as drugs. Dr. Unger is Co-Leader of the Cancer Imaging Program.

Dr. Unger has a long history in clinical translation, invention and entrepreneurship while he has maintained an active academic career. He led the team that developed 3 FDA approved contrast agents including Definity, the world’s #1 selling ultrasound contrast agent (FDA approved for echocardiography) but also used in Canada for cancer imaging. In the early 1990’s Dr. Unger co-developed MR guided focused ultrasound surgery, currently used to treat cancer and he has pioneered other image-guided techniques to treat cancer. Currently Dr. Unger is developing dodecafluoropentane emulsion as an oxygen therapeutic – at this time in Phase Ib clinical trials as a radiosensitizer to treat glioblastoma. He is working with members of the University of Arizona Cancer Center to develop biomarker imaging methods to diagnose tumor hypoxia and to validate its reversal.

Dr. Unger currently serves as a mentor to faculty, students and residents. He also serves as an advisor for students in their Masters and PhD thesis projects. As a clinical radiologist, biomedical imaging expert and clinical translator Dr. Unger knows how to move projects from the bench-top to the clinic. Currently he is working with Dr. Hennemyer in the Department of Medical Imaging to start a clinical program for more effective regional cancer therapy.

Dr. Unger has been Co-Leader of the Cancer Imaging Program since 2008.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
  • Editor’s Honoree for Laboratory Investigation, Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology, “Dodecafluropentane emulsion decreases infarct volume in a rabbit ischcmic stroke model, 2013
  • Innovator of the Year, University of Arizona (top faculty innovator in entire university), 2011
  • Present Consultant to the Editor for Radiology, 2011
  • Associate Editor of Radiology, 2002-2011
  • American College of Radiology, 2002 Fellow
  • Radiology Editor's Recognition Award for reviewing with Special Distinction, 2001
  • Radiology Editor's Recognition Award for reviewing with Distinction, 1999 & 2000
Board Certifications & Licenses: 
National Board of Medical Examiners, National Board of Examinations (1983)
American Board of Radiology, American Board of Radiology (1986)
Arizona MD License, Arizona Medical Board (1988)
Nevada MD License, Nevada Medical Board (2011)
California MD License, California Medical Board (2011)

Academic Information

Washington University, Diagnostic Radiology
Medical School: 
University of California, San Francisco
Undergraduate School: 
BA, Economics, University of California, Berkeley, CA