Hui Mao, PhD


Titles and Roles

Professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Hui Mao, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Mao is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics research program at Winship Cancer Institute.

Dr. Mao directs the Precision and Quantitative Imaging and Image-Guided Technology Program and the Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LFMI&N). He is also past Chair and Charter Member of the NIH Study Section for Molecular Imaging and Probe Development.


Dr. Mao received his PhD from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and a MS from Nanjing University in Nanjing, China.


The research projects in Dr. Mao’s laboratory are focusing on developing and utilizing imaging technologies to address biological questions and solve medical problems with strong emphases on translational research and potential clinical applications. His research program, which has been supported continuously by NIH grants attempts to link molecular, cell biology and biomarker discovery to non-invasive imaging of biological and disease events and activities in vivo, and eventually in human for early detection and molecular characterizations of diseases.

Their research contributions and activities are highlighted in the following areas:

  1. developing biomarker targeted MRI contrast agents for MRI-based molecular and cellular imaging;
  2. developing NMR/MRS based metabolomics to profile cell or tissue metabolites in vivo and ex vivo to investigate the potential metabolite markers for improving the specificity of cancer detection and for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases;
  3. developing nanomaterial and nanotechnology for image-guided drug delivery and interventions and in vitro diagnostics;
  4. developing clinical applications of advanced MRI technologies for imaging and study of brain functions, brain disorders and diseases, as well as image-guided treatment;
  5. developing machine- and deep-learning based automatic image analysis and diagnostics.


Dr. Mao has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Mao is a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research, Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and Fellow of International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). He was recognized for “Outstanding Research Contribution” by Emory University School of Medicine in 2017. In 2015, Dr. Mao received the Emory 1% Award which recognizes Emory faculty whose National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposals have been ranked in the top 1% by NIH reviewers. He is also a recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the "One-in-a-Hundred" Outstanding Mentor Award for post-doctoral education.

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