Terry O Matsunaga, PharmD, PhD

Professor, Medical Imaging - (Research Scholar Track)
Professor, Biomedical Engineering - GIDP
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-6689
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Matsunaga received his AB degree in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by a Pharm.D. in Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Following a year of clinical training as a Resident at the University of Michigan, Terry returned to UCSF where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. From 1986 through 1992, he was a NIDA post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Victor J. Hruby in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona. His research interests lie in the area of ultrasound contrast agents and novel drug delivery systems for drug and gene delivery. Dr. Matsunaga regularly sits on grant review study sections for various programs in the NIH (i.e. NIDA, RAID, SBIR, and STTR) and the Department of Defense (Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer programs).

Dr. Matsunaga's background focuses upon microbubble contrast agents and lipid nanoemulsions (nanodroplets) as both ultrasound imaging agents and therapeutic agents. He also has experience in the development of drug delivery agents for theranostics. Furthermore, his experience in the area of lipid bioconjugate synthesis, purification, and characterization makes him qualified to provide the needed expertise for formulating lipobubbles or nanodroplets designed for drug delivery. Dr. Matsunaga's knowledge of chemistry and the ability to conjugate peptide/protein biomarkers to liposomal or microbubble delivery systems makes him an excellent collaborator for this highly innovative project.

In addition, Dr. Matsunaga's publication history is significant for having published in the areas of nanodroplets, targeted delivery, ultrasound imaging and ultrasound-mediated drug delivery. Of particular relevance has been his efforts over the past four years in the area of phase-change contrast agents where he has researched the formulation and utilization of low-boiling point perfluorocarbon emulsions. This current proposal describes their efforts for blood-brain barrier delivery using high-intensity focused ultrasound and microbubbles and/or nanoemulsions.

Dr. Matsunaga also has more than 16 years in the imaging industry where he has worked along side Dr. Evan C. Unger at ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp. to invent and develop the lipid-coated microbubble product now being sold under the brand name Definity®.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging
Research Focus: 

Over the past five years, Dr. Matsunaga has focused his attention upon the use of ultrasound-mediated bubble cavitation for dispersion of vascular thrombi.

Selected Publications: 

Academic Information

PhD, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco
Master's Degree: 
PharmD, Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco
Undergraduate School: 
AB, University of California, Berkeley