Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
PhD, 1970 Harvard University
|Office:||406 Tucker Hall|
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Molecular imaging of cancer through phage display
Research descriptionThe University of Missouri is a world leader in the growing field of “molecular imaging,” which seeks to develop a new generation of agents for early detection and localization of cancers in the body. Molecular imaging differs from MRI, CAT scans, and other current imaging technologies in that the cancer cells are imaged specifically. This is accomplished by attaching a radioisotope to a molecule that binds specifically to the cancer cells and not to other tissues in the body. As an example, the picture shows a mouse into which human melanoma cells were grafted; the melanoma cells have formed a tumor at the mouse’s shoulder. A radioactive imaging agent specific for melanoma cancer cells was injected into the mouse, and a few hours later the mouse was imaged in two ways: by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to detect the radioactivity (bright white area), and by a conventional CAT scan to delineate mostly the skeleton. The two images are superimposed; the superimposed image on the right is a computed section through the mouse at the line in the superimposed image on the left. You can see how the radioactive tumor-binding molecule allows the tumor to be seen much more easily than in the non-tumor-specific CAT scan. My lab’s role in the University’s molecular imaging program is to use the phage display technology developed by our group to discover novel tumor-binding molecules for common cancers, and to create easier, more powerful ways of using tumor-binding molecules for imaging.
Smith, G.P. Understanding Reversible Molecular Binding (2017) American Biology Teacher, 79 (9), pp. 746-752. DOI: 10.1525/abt.2017.79.9.746
Attai, H., Rimbey, J., Smith, G.P., Brown, P.J.B. Expression of a peptidoglycan hydrolase from lytic bacteriophages Atu_ph02 and Atu_ph03 triggers lysis of Agrobacterium tumefaciens (2017) Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83 (23), art. no. e01498-17, DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01498-17
Smith, G.P., Golomb, M., Billstein, S.K., Smith, S.M. The Luria-Delbrück fluctuation test as a classroom investigation in Darwinian evolution. (2015) American Biology Teacher, 77 (8):614-619.
Smith, G.P. 2013. Chemical and proteolytic modification of antibodies. In Making and Using Antibodies: A Practical Handbook, Second Edition, Howard, G.C. and Kaser, M.R., eds. CRC Press, New York. pp. 207–274.
Thomas, W.D., and Smith, G.P. 2010. The case for trypsin release of affinity-selected phage. BioTechniques, in press.
Jin, X., Newton, J.R., Montgomery-Smith, S. and Smith, G.P. 2009. A generalized kinetic model for amine modification of proteins with application to phage display. BioTechniques 46, 175–182.
Smith, G.P., and Petrenko, V.A. 1997. Phage display. Chem. Rev. 97, 391–410.
Honors & Awards
Selected honors and awards
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018
Promega Biotechnology Research Award, America Society for Microbiology 2007
Elected Fellow - AAAS 2001
University of Missouri Curator’s Professor 2000
March 13, 2019
March 13, 2019
Oct. 3, 2018
George P. Smith wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
July 30, 2009
George Smith receives 2007 Promega Biotechnology Research Award