Dr. David R. Vera is presently Professor of Radiology at the University of California, San Diego. His principal focus is the design and synthesis of targeted diagnostic agents capable of measuring receptor density and affinity. Dr Vera began his career at U.C. Davis, where a colloaboration with Drs Kenneth Krohn and Robert Stadalnik produced Tc-99m-galactosyl-neoglycoalbumin, the first technetium-99m labeled receptor-binding radiopharmaceutical and the first to be approved for commercial human-use. Dr Vera’s current research uses receptor-binding technology for sentinel node mapping protocol for melanoma, GI, breast, and prostate cancer. The new agent, Tc-99m-DTPA-mannosyl-dextran (also called Lymphoseek), was developed in collaboration with Drs. Carl Hoh and Anne Wallace and is currently in a Phase II multi-center clinical trial for breast cancer and melanoma.
In addition to his research, Dr. Vera has been an Editor of Nuclear Medicine and Biology since 1999. Together with Dr William Eckelman, he organized the “Workshop on Receptor-Binding Radiotracers”, a biannualDOE/NIH-sponsored symposium to promote the development of molecular imaging agents. In 1984 he received a New Investigator Research Award from the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He shared the 1989 Berson-Yalow Award with Drs Robert Stadalnik and Masatoshi Kudo. In 1996 he received the Herbert M. Stauffer Award, also with Robert Stadalnik, from The Association of University Radiologists