MGH / Cheng Lab

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is a referral hospital serving patients from around the world and a community hospital for people living in the Boston area. It is a private, non-profit institution of 819 beds, employing approximately 11,000 and is the original teaching hospital affiliated with the Harvard Medical School. The Mass General enjoys a position as one of the largest and most productive biomedical research hospitals in the world. Research programs at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women´s Hospital (BWH) grew to a record $408 million. US News and World Report again ranked BWH and MGH in its Top Ten National Honor Roll.

The research in Prof. Cheng’s lab aims at measuring NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) spectra of intact tissue specimens and correlating tissue cellular metabolic changes with its pathology. The current research projects include NIH funded studies of human brain tumors, prostate, breast and lung cancer. In order to understand the functions and significance of the metabolites with regards tumor development and progression, we engage in molecular tumor biology analyses with the assistance of laser capture microdissection (LCM), quantitative real time PCR, etc. On the imaging front, we are investigating the utility of high field (14 Tesla) MRI and MR microscopy e.g. on prostatectomy specimens for identification of cancer foci that may be sampled and evaluated by clinical pathology. The lab is located at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging in Charlestown, MA.

Exchange students are full members of Prof. Cheng´s team for the duration of their stay. Thus, they are expected to participate in the group’s research activities as well as they are encouraged to develope and conduct their own experimental ideas and projects.

Latest publications by our students (selection)

Cancer metabolomic markers in urine: evidence, techniques and recommendations. 
Dinges SS, Hohm A, Vandergrift LA, et al.
Nat Rev Urol. 2019;16(6):339‐362. 10.1038/s41585-019-0185-3

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy-based Metabolomic Biomarkers for Typing, Staging, and Survival Estimation of Early-Stage Human Lung Cancer.
Berker Y, Vandergrift LA, Wagner I, et al.
Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):10319. 10.1038/s41598-019-46643-5

High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) NMR Methods in Metabolomics. 
Tilgner M, Vater TS, Habbel P, Cheng LL.
Methods Mol Biol. 2019;2037:49‐67. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9690-2_4

Metabolomic Prediction of Human Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Histologically Benign Tissue.
Vandergrift LA, Decelle EA, Kurth J, et al.
Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):4997. 10.1038/s41598-018-23177-w

Prostate cancer diagnosis and characterization with mass spectrometry imaging. 
Kurreck A, Vandergrift LA, Fuss TL, Habbel P, Agar NYR, Cheng LL.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2018;21(3):297‐305. 10.1038/s41391-017-0011-z

Applications of high-resolution magic angle spinning MRS in biomedical studies II-Human diseases. 
Dietz C, Ehret F, Palmas F, et al.
NMR Biomed. 2017;30(11):e3784. 10.1002/nbm.3784

Applications of high-resolution magic angle spinning MRS in biomedical studies I-cell line and animal models. 
Kaebisch E, Fuss TL, Vandergrift LA, Toews K, Habbel P, Cheng LL.
NMR Biomed. 2017;30(6):e3700. 10.1002/nbm.3700