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Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Graduate School » Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Akiva Mintz, M.D./Ph.D.

Akiva Mintz, M.D./Ph.D.

Section Head, Division of Radiologic Science
Assistant Professor, Radiology Center for Biomolecular Imaging
Brain Tumor Center of Excellence
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Radiation Oncology
Cancer Biology

Under the leadership of Dr. Mintz, the goal of the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence (BTCOE) Biomolecular Imaging Laboratory is to utilize multimodality molecular imaging to personalize biomarker targeted therapies by non-invasively detecting and quantifying the targeted tumor biomarkers/pathways. This individualized approach will tailor a therapeutic regiment by determining which and how much targeted therapeutic agent will be effective based on the presence a particular biomarker or dysregulated pathway. The imaging laboratory works in an integrated fashion with the recognized experts of the BTCOE in areas including local drug delivery to brain cancer, molecular targeting, biomarker discovery and therapeutic effects on normal brain.

One focus of the laboratory involves delivering diagnostic and therapeutic radioisotopes specifically to infiltrating malignant brain tumors but not to the normal brain cells by targeting tumor restricted biomarkers or pathways. Our lead agents target IL13Ra2, a malignant brain tumor restricted biomarker that was discovered by the Debinski laboratory (WFU) to be overexpressed in the vast majority high grade astrocytomas but not in normal brain tissue. We are currently in the process of developing a promising novel tumor-targeted scaffolding that can be used to deliver molecular radiation and immunetherapies to infiltrating tumor cells that are untouched by conventional therapies and responsible for the inevitable tumor recurrence.


Birbrair A, Zhang T, Wang ZM, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Mintz A, Delbono O.Skeletal muscle neural progenitor cells exhibit properties of NG2-glia. Exp Cell Res. 2013;319(1):45-63.


Birbrair A, Zhang T, Wang Z-M, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Mintz A, Delbono O.Skeletal muscle pericyte subtypes differ in their differentiation potential. Stem Cell Res. 2013;10(1):67-84.


Kota G, Gupta P, Mintz A. PET/CT illustration of metastatic breast cancer to the left mandibular foramen. Clin Nucl Med. 2013;38(5):385-386.


Deford-Watts LM, Mintz A, Kridel SJ. The potential of 11C-acetate PET for monitoring the fatty acid synthesis pathway in tumors. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2013;14(3):300-312.


Birbrair A, Zhang T, Wang ZM, Messi ML, Enikolopov GN, Mintz A, Delbono O. Role of pericytes in skeletal muscle regeneration and fat accumulation. Stem Cells Dev. 2013;22(16):2298-2314.



Beauchamp A, Lively MO, Mintz A, Gibo D, Wykosky J, Debinski W. EphrinA1 is released in three forms from cancer cells by matrix metalloproteases. Mol Cell Biol. 2012;32(16):3253-3264.


Nguyen V, Conyers JM, Zhu D, Gibo DM, Hantgan RR, Larson SM, Debinski W, Mintz A. A novel ligand delivery system to non-invasively visualize and therapeutically exploit the IL13R alpha2 tumor-restricted biomarker. Neuro Oncol. 2012;14(10):1239-1253.


Kota G, Gupta P, Wilson J, Lesser G, Mintz A. Metastatic intracranial hemangiopericytoma: the role of octreotide and PET imaging in diagnosis, pre-treatment and follow-up evaluation [abstract]. J Nucl Med. 2011;52(Suppl 1):abstr 1065.


Gupta P, Kota G, Alavi A, Mintz A. Unilateral diffusely increased muscle uptake of F-18 FDG in a patient with hemiparesis due to stroke. Clin Nucl Med. 2011;36(12):1140-1141.


Nguyen V, Conyers JM, Zhu D, Gibo DM, Dorsey JF, Debinski W, Mintz A. IL-13R alpha2-targeted therapy escapees: biologic and therapeutic implications. Transl Oncol. 2011;4(6):390-400.


Nguyen V, Conyers JM, Mintz A. Pretargeting the masses: a means of improving and mainstreaming targeted molecular delivery? [commentary]. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010;10(8):775-779.


Kota GK, Gupta P, Conyers JM, Mintz A. Targeting angiogenesis in an age of personalized medicine [commentary]. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010;10(9):874-877.


Hammond SN, Norden AD, Drappatz J, Phuphanich S, Reardon D, Wong ET, Plotkin SR, Lesser G, Mintz A, Raizer JJ, et al. Phase II study of monthly pasireotide LAR (Som230C) for recurrent or progressive meningioma [abstract]. Neuro Oncol. 2010;12(Suppl 4):71.


Nguyen V, Murphy LT, Beauchamp AS, Hollingsworth CK, Debinski W, Mintz A.Combinatorial targeting of EphA2 and IL-13Ralpha2 GBM-restricted biomarkers [abstract]. Neuro Oncol. 2010;12(Suppl 4):97.


Dorsey JF, Mintz A, Tian X, Dowling ML, Plastaras JP, Dicker DT, Kao GD, El-Deiry WS. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and paclitaxel have cooperative in vivo effects against glioblastoma multiforme cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009;8(12):3285-3295.


Nguyen V, Mintz A. New frontiers in biomarker-targeted molecular imaging [commentary]. Cancer Biol Ther. 2009;8(23):2235-2238.


Mintz A, Gibo DM, MadhanKumar AB, Cladel NM, Christensen ND, Debinski W.Protein- and DNA-based active immunotherapy targeting interleukin-13 receptor alpha2. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2008;23(5):581-589.


Biotechnology, cancer/oncogenesis, drugs/therapeutic agents pharm, and nuclear medicine.