Fernando Arias-Mendoza, MD, PhD

Translational Researcher

Biochemistry & Biomedicine
Implementation and optimization of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to study biological systems noninvasively. Translation of the optimized methods to resolve problems in Oncology and Medical Genetics.
The present knowledge of the biochemical constitution of the cell was achieved largely by the use of destructive methods. Trained in the tradition of the theory of solutions, many a biochemist tends, even today, to regard the cell as a 'bag of enzymes'. However, everyone realizes now that the biochemical processes studied in vitro may have only a remote resemblance to the events actually occurring in the living cell.
Boris Ephrussi.
Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Relations in Micro-Organisms:
Their Bearing on Cell Heredity and Differentiation (1953)

​​   I hold independent M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, the last in Chemical Sciences oriented to Biochemistry. I also have the specialty in Medical Genetics in Mexico, my country of origin, where I studied patients with Inborn Errors of Metabolism for few years. 
   I am proficient in the biomedical applications of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) working in the field for more than two decades. I am highly knowledgeable in creating and managing research projects involving humans and experimental animals as subjects of research including multi-institutional trials. I have also been successful in obtaining peer-reviewed funding to support my research. Additionally, I have ample teaching experience in the fields of Biochemistry and the biomedical applications of NMR. I also have trained young undergraduate and post-graduate peers in my trade.
   My research aims to expand and improve the applications of NMR to the study of human disease. In the past four decades, researchers in NMR including my team have helped demonstrated the use of the technology to study in vivo systems; from isolated cells to perfused organs, to in situ living tissues in whole organisms. These studies have shown that NMR can assess numerous variables at the metabolic, physiological, and morphologic levels. Importantly, the principles of NMR do not rely on radioactive material or ionizing radiation. Hence, the noninvasive and nonradioactive measure of cellular variables by NMR is of high importance for the study of human subjects without pain or harm.  
   My translational research seeks to determine if these NMR-visible variables could resolve the critical need for reliable data that can help optimize clinical decisions in cancer. For this, I am aiming to demonstrate the correlation of abnormal levels of NMR-visible variables with the presence of malignant foci and response to treatment. 
  A recent contribution of my research is the substantiation of the association of the pretreatment tumor value of phosphoethanolamine and phosphocholine with outcome to first-line therapy in patients with lymphomas. My team used phosphorus NMR spectroscopic imaging to measure phosphoethanolamine and phosphocholine in tumor masses in situ. Additional results of my research have also suggested the power to predict treatment outcome in lymphoma patients by the following methods. (1) The choline tumor value determined by hydrogen NMR spectroscopic imaging. (2) The apparent diffusion of water of cancer cells by diffusion-weighted imaging. 
   Given my general goal and my previous achievements, my current five aims follow. (1) Elucidate the mechanism(s) by which higher tumor levels of phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine correlate with lack of response to therapy in lymphomas u. (2) Improve the power to predictive treatment outcome of variables determined by NMR using multivariate analyzes that incorporate these variables with non-NMR variables. (3) Extend the potential value of NMR variables to predict treatment outcome to other types of cancer and other diseases. (4) Increase the sensitivity and speed of NMR data acquisition using novel technical advances. (5) Improve the post-acquisition processing and analysis of MR data by using advanced mathematical algorithms.