Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D.


Co-Investigator of project 6 and

Development Research Program




Department Affiliation:

Primary:  Radiology;

Secondary: Division of Oncology, Internal Medicine





Assistant Professor, Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD





B.S. - University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign


Ph.D. - University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign


M.D.- University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign





Postgraduate Training:



Itern in Medicine- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD


Resident in Radiology- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD


Resident in Nuclear Medicine- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD


Fellow in Neuroradiology- Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD



Board Certifications:



American Board of Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology


American Board of Nuclear Medicine



Martin G. Pomper, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Departments of Radiology, Pharmacology and Oncology

Division of Neuroradiology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,

600 N. Wolfe Street/ Phipps B-100

Baltimore, MD 21287-2182

410/955-2789 (office)

410/614-1213 (fax)


Clinical Interests:


Radiology, Neuroradiology, Nuclear Medicine





Dr. Pomper was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in biochemistry and chemistry. Also at Illinois, in the context of the Medical Scholars Program, he earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, the latter in organic chemistry. All of his postgraduate medical training was undertaken at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which included an internship in medicine (Osler Service), residencies in radiology and nuclear medicine, and a neuroradiology fellowship. He is currently an associate professor in the Neuroradiology Division of the Department of Radiology. His research interests involve molecular imaging, particularly of central nervous system processes and cancer.


Dr. Pomper is also the director of the Small Animal Imaging Resource Program (SAIRP) at Johns Hopkins and Deputy Director of the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC). Specific research projects in central nervous system imaging include (a) using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to uncover brain metabolic correlates of AIDS dementia, (b) using positron emission tomography (PET) to study molecular (neurotransmitter) and cellular abnormalities in patients with AIDS dementia, and (c) the development of new radiopharmaceuticals for imaging nicotinic and glutamatergic neurotransmission. In oncology, advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as sodium imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and MRS are being used to study brain tumors. In addition, PET agents are being pursued to study prostate cancer, angiogenesis and to study the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutic agents in vivo.


From a clinical standpoint, his interests lie in central nervous system vasculitis and brain tumor imaging, serving as a member of the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center and of a consortium to develop New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy (NABTT). In collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery, he is heading up a new initiative to develop an imaging center dedicated to the characterization of brain tumors.



Appointments: (410) 955-8964 


Dr. Pomper also has an appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences:






In Vivo Molecular and Cellular Imaging; Radiopharmaceutical Development; Targeted Cancer Imaging and Therapy; Functional Brain Imaging


Recent advances in molecular and cellular biology, the emergence of more sophisticated animal models of human disease and the development of sensitive, high-resolution imaging systems enable the study of pathophysiology noninvasively in unprecedented detail.  The overall goal of our work is to develop new techniques and agents to study human disease through imaging.  We concentrate on two areas, i.e., cancer and central nervous system processes.  Our work extends from basic chemical and radiochemical synthesis to clinical translation.


Current synthetically oriented projects include the development of radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).  Such agents typically bind receptors or enzymes.  Accordingly, we are studying a series of urea derivatives that have a high affinity for glutamate carboxypeptidase II, an enzyme with high sequence homology to the prostate-specific membrane antigen, as leads for imaging agents for prostate cancer.  Other receptor systems that we intend to exploit include the a-7 nicotinic cholinergic receptor, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, the multidrug resistance pump and the overexpression of sialic acids on the surface of tumors.  We have also incorporated gene reporter constructs that have been adapted for imaging in vivo into tumor and other cells for tumor imaging and cellular trafficking.  We have recently embarked on a program to develop radioimmunodiagnostic and therapeutic agents for pancreatic cancer.  We have an array of small animal imaging devices for PET, SPECT and optical imaging in which to test these new agents.


In collaboration with the division of magnetic resonance (MR) research, we are studying new brain imaging methods, including diffusion tensor imaging, sodium imaging, and amide proton transfer imaging to define better the clinical potential for these techniques.  Human PET studies are also a translational priority, and we have several protocols for studying neurotransmission and inflammation in individuals with AIDS dementia.




Representative Publications:




Pomper, M.G. and Lee, J.S.  Small animal imaging in drug development, Curr. Pharm. Des., in press, 2003.


Ouwerkerk, R., Bleich, K.B., Gillen, J.S., Pomper, M.G., and Bottomley, A.P.  Tissue sodium concentration in human brain tumors as measured with 23Na MR imaging, Radiology 227:529-537, 2003.  Pub Med Reference


Pomper, M.G., Musachio, J.L., Zhang, J., Zhou, Y., Scheffel, U., Hilton, J., Maini, A., Dannals, R.F., Wong, D.F., and Kozikowski, A.P.  11C-MCG: Synthesis, uptake selectivity and primate PET of a probe for glutamate carboxypeptidase II (NAALADase.), Mol. Imaging 1:96-101, 2002.  Abstract Not Available.


Pomper, M.G., Constantinides, C.D., Barker, P.B., Bizzi, A., Dogan, S.A., Yokoi, F., McArthur, J.C., and Wong, D.F.  Quantitative MR spectroscopic imaging of brain lesions in patients with AIDS: correlation with [11C-methyl] thymidine PET and thallium-201 SPECT, Acad. Radiol. 9:398-409, 2002.  Pub Med Reference


Mori, S., Frederiksen, K., Stieltjes, B., Kraut, M.A., van Zijl, P.C.M., Brem, H., and Pomper, M.G.  Abnormally increased water diffusion anisotropy at the brain tumor-parenchyma interface, Ann. Neurol. 51:377-80, 2002.  Pub Med Reference


Pomper, M.G.  Molecular imaging: an overview, Acad. Radiol. 8:1141-53, 2001.  Pub Med Reference


Pomper, M.G., Musachio, J.L., Scheffel, U., Macdonald, J.E., McCarthy, D.J., Reif, D.W., Villemagne, V., Yokoi, F., Dannals, R.F., and Wong, D.F.  Radiolabeled neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitors: synthesis, in vivo evaluation and primate PET studies, J Nucl. Med. 41:1417-1425, 2000.  Pub Med Reference


Pomper, M.G.  Functional and metabolic imaging.  In: DeVita V, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA Editors.  Cancer: principles and practice of oncology, Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;  p. 679-689, 2000.






Project 6





T.-C. Wu

Debbie Armstrong

Maura Gillison

Martin Pomper

Chien-Fu Hung




Ya-Chea Tsai

Irena Tartokovsky

Caroline Fidyk





Copyright 2004 The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.