Wawrzyniec Dobrucki

Wawrzyniec Dobrucki
Wawrzyniec Dobrucki

Administrative Titles

  • Head, Experimental Molecular Imaging Laboratory
Associate Professor, Associate Head of Graduate Programs
(217) 244-3938
4261 Beckman Institute

For More Information


  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH (2003)
  • M.Sc. in Bioengineering, Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland (1997)
  • B.S. in Bioengineering, Technical University of Hamburg, Germany (1997)


Wawrzyniec (Wawosz) Lawrence Dobrucki is currently Associate Professor and Associate Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Bioengineering with affiliations in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Medical University of Gdansk in Poland. In addition, he holds a full-time faculty position at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where he serves as co-chair for the Integrative Imaging theme and directs the Experimental Molecular Imaging Laboratory (EMIL).

His expertise is in preclinical molecular imaging, and his professional interests include developing novel targeted multimodal imaging strategies to noninvasively assess tissue microenvironments and various biological processes in vivo, including therapeutic neovascularization, atherosclerosis, neoplastic progression, and cancer response to experimental therapies.

Prof. Dobrucki is also involved in translational bioimaging, utilizing his 17-plus years of experience developing and validating novel SPECT/PET radiotracers and multimodal multifunctional contrast agents. He is a member of the Preclinical Imaging Task Force at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, charged with developing a preclinical imaging curriculum for medical and bioengineering scientists to address problems with the standardization of small animal imaging protocols. Prof. Dobrucki is a co-founder of two biomedical startup companies and serves as a scientific consultant for Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Poland.

Prof. Dobrucki received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio University, Athens, in 2003 and an M.Sc. degree in bioengineering from Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland, and Technical University Hamburg, Germany. Before joining the Department of Bioengineering as tenure-track faculty in Fall 2013, Prof. Dobrucki was an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at Beckman Institute, where he directed the Molecular Imaging Laboratory (MIL) in the Biomedical Imaging Center (BIC).

Academic Positions

  • 2019 - present Associate Professor (33%), Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2019 - present Associate Professor (67%), Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2013 - present full faculty (0%), Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2010 - 2013 Senior Research Scientist, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2010 - 2013 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2009 - 2010 Associate Research Scientist, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • 2002 - 2003 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Professional Highlights

  • "Mantis shrimp-inspired camera provides second opinion during cancer surgery" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/1572383938#image-2
  • "Illinois researchers develop probe to assess prostate cancer aggressiveness" https://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/prostate-cancer-assessment-probe
  • "Study maps landmarks of peripheral artery disease to guide treatment development" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/806762
  • "Team deciphers how myotonic dystrophy generates lethal heart dysfunctions" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/806718
  • "BIOE researchers awarded $2.4 million, developing imaging to detect microvascular changes in diabetic patients" https://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/24274
  • "2019 Carle Hospital-Beckman Institute Fellow announced" https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2019/06/11/30059fed-c275-4cdc-abc3-412fd8f898ca
  • "9 projects with Beckman researchers receive funding from the Cancer Center" https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2019/04/25/e49c2afe-c030-4645-abcd-528dcb4cd1b0
  • "Dobrucki named co-chair of Integrative Imaging research theme" https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2019/03/01/e428a510-7de5-45f6-8117-89d6fa753189
  • "Beckman researchers receive NIH RO1" https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2018/08/28/68f66ee2-b99a-49cb-82b1-baad7897f708
  • "Researchers develop imaging agent for receptor that is key to multiple diseases" https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2018/11/28/f243c96c-58c3-44e3-8cd4-9ecf85923fd8
  • "Nowhere to hide: Molecular probe illuminates elusive cancer stem cells in live mice" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/677852
  • "Three startups with Beckman connections chosen for iVenture Accelerator" https://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2018/07/iventures
  • "Dobrucki to discuss multimodal imaging approaches at April 5 Beckman Director's seminar" https://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2018/03/ds-april05_dobrucki
  • "The beat goes on: group works on developing heart phantom" https://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2017/12/phantomcor-dobrucki
  • "Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problems" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/575544
  • "Stemlike cells at tumor perimeter promote new blood vessels to feed tumor growth" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/571033
  • "Student teams fare well in local entrepreneurial competition" https://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/article/21877
  • "Through PhantomCor, doctors will be able to create a 3D model of your heart" https://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/21744
  • "Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its location" https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/463257
  • "Beckman team wins Siemens Translational Image of the Year award" https://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2012/09/siemensaward

Resident Instruction

  • 2019 - present CIMED's Cardiovascular Module (co-director and lecturer)
  • 2021 - present BIOE-598 ONL Principles in Bioinstrumentation Design (course director)
  • 2013 - present BIOE-498/598 Preclinical Molecular Imaging (course director and lecturer)

Graduate Research Opportunities

We accept graduate student applications through the Department of Bioengineering and the Medical Scientist Training (MST) Program. We look for students with genuine interests in molecular multimodal imaging (PET-CT, SPECT-CT, PET-optical, etc.), targeted probe development and application of novel imaging strategies to monitor disease progression and efficacy of therapeutic interventions in both cardiology and oncology.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We consider undergraduate students from all departments at the University of Illinois. Students will be involved in a research project under the guidance of graduate student. Undergraduates will typically volunteer or work for credit, however exceptional students will have the opportunity to apply for the undergraduate fellowships in the laboratory.

Research Interests

  • Development of integrated quantitative imaging approaches to monitor individualized programs for disease prevention
  • In vivo mapping of biological processes using PET/SPECT/CT molecular imaging with targeted imaging agents
  • PET, SPECT, X-ray CT, molecular imaging, image analysis, multimodal imaging probes
  • The combination of different imaging modalities and technologies for mapping biomolecular and biological processes within single cell or whole organs has an extraordinary potential for revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of pathophysiological disorders, and thus for mitigating the significant social and economic costs associated with the clinical management of diseases. The focus of Dr. Dobrucki’s research is to develop such integrated imaging approaches to noninvasively monitor and track physiologic processes including cancer progression, peripheral and myocardial angiogenesis, and vascular remodeling using functional and anatomical imaging modalities including SPECT/PET, optical imaging and X-ray CT, respectively. Such imaging strategies will eventually lead to individualized programs for disease prevention through advanced diagnosis, risk stratification and targeted cell therapies resulting in more successful and efficient health care.

Research Areas

  • Biomedical imaging
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes-accelerated artherosclerosis
  • Molecular PET-CT
  • Multimodal probes for hybrid imaging of cardiovascular pathologies
  • Pathobiology/animal models for medicine
  • Vascular remodeling

Research Topics

  • Bioimaging at Multi-Scale

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

  • Konopka, C. J., E. Konopka, and L. W. Dobrucki (2018). “Emerging Biomedical Imaging: Molecular Imaging”. In: Principles and Applications of Engineering in Medicine. Ed. by L. Chan
  • Kalinowska, A. and L. W. Dobrucki (2016). “Imaging of Cardiovascular Disease”. In: Handbook of Small An- imal Imaging: Preclinical Imaging, Therapy, and Applications. Ed. by G. Kagadis, N. Ford, G. Loudos, and D. Karnabatidis. Taylor and Francis Books, Inc., pp.523–545.
  • Dobrucki, L. W. (2016). “Small Animal Imaging and Therapy: How They Affect Patient Care”. In: Handbook of Small Animal Imaging: Preclinical Imaging, Therapy, and Applications. Ed. by G. Kagadis, N. Ford, G. Loudos, and D. Karnabatidis. Taylor and Francis Books, Inc., pp.449–458
  • Dobrucki, L. W. (2016). “Imaging Angiogenesis”. In: Handbook of Small Animal Imaging: Preclinical Imaging, Therapy, and Applications. Ed. by G. Kagadis, N. Ford, G. Loudos, and D. Karnabatidis. Taylor and Francis Books, Inc., pp.545–564.
  • Sinusas, A. J. and L. W. Dobrucki (2007). “Imaging of Angiogenesis”. In: Cardiovascular Molecular Imaging. Ed. by R. J. Gropler, D. K. Glover, and A. J. Sinusas. Informa Healthcare, pp.233–250.
  • Dobrucki, L. W. and A. J. Sinusas (2007). “Imaging of angiogenesis”. In: Cardiac PET and PET/CT Imaging. Ed. by M. DiCarli and M. Lipton. Springer Science, pp.394–411

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Wozniak, M., A. Płoska, A. Siekierzycka, L. W. Dobrucki, L. Kalinowski, and I. T. Dobrucki (2022). Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology–Emerging Tools in Diagnostics and Therapy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23(5), 2658.
  • Deng, H. et al. (2022). Dextran-Mimetic Quantum Dots for Multimodal Macrophage Imaging In Vivo, Ex Vivo, and In Situ. ACS Nano 16(2), 1999–2012.
  • Wozniak, M., C. J. Konopka, A. Płoska, J. Hedhli, A. Siekierzycka, M. Banach, R. Bartoszewski, L. W. Dobrucki, L. Kalinowski, and I. T. Dobrucki (2021). Molecularly targeted nanoparticles: an emerging tool for evaluation of expression of the receptor for advanced glycation end products in a murine model of peripheral artery disease. Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 26(1), 10.
  • Prabhu, S., H. Deng, T.-W. L. Cross, S. H. Shahoei, C. J. Konopka, N. Gonzalez Medina, C. C. Applegate, M. A. Wallig, L. W. Dobrucki, E. R. Nelson, A. M. Smith, and K. S. Swanson (2021). Nanocarriers targeting adipose macrophages increase glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory potency to ameliorate metabolic dysfunction. Biomaterials Science 9(2), 506–518.
  • Blair, S., M. Garcia, T. Davis, Z. Zhu, Z. Liang, C. Konopka, K. Kauffman, R. Colanceski, I. Ferati, B. Kondov, S. Stojanoski, M. B. Todorovska, N. T. Dimitrovska, N. Jakupi, D. Miladinova, G. Petrusevska, G. Kondov, W. L. Dobrucki, S. Nie, and V. Gruev (2021). Hexachromatic bioinspired camera for image-guided cancer surgery. Science Translational Medicine 13(592), eaaw7067.
  • Szczerkowska-Dobosz, A. et al. (2020). Pathogenesis of psoriasis in the “omic” era. Part IV. Epidemiology, genetics, immunopathogenesis, clinical manifestation and treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology 37(5), 625–634.
  • Schwartz-Duval, A. S., C. J. Konopka, P. Moitra, E. A. Daza, I. Srivastava, E. V. Johnson, T. L. Kampert, S. Fayn, A. Haran, L. W. Dobrucki, and D. Pan (2020). Intratumoral generation of photothermal gold nanoparticles through a vectorized biomineralization of ionic gold. Nature Communications 11(1), 4530.
  • Samotij, D. et al. (2020). Pathogenesis of psoriasis in the “omic” era. Part I. Epidemiology, clinical manifestation, immunological and neuroendocrine disturbances. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology 37(2), 135– 153.
  • Owczarczyk-Saczonek, A. et al. (2020). Pathogenesis of psoriasis in the “omic” era. Part III. Metabolic disorders, metabolomics, nutrigenomics in psoriasis in psoriasis. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology 37(4), 452–467.
  • Nedoszytko, B. et al. (2020). Pathogenesis of psoriasis in the “omic” era. Part II. Genetic, genomic and epigenetic changes in psoriasis. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology 37(3), 283–298.
  • Misra, C., S. Bangru, F. Lin, K. Lam, S. N. Koenig, E. R. Lubbers, J. Hedhli, N. P. Murphy, D. J. Parker, L. W. Dobrucki, T. A. Cooper, E. Tajkhorshid, P. J. Mohler, and A. Kalsotra (2020). Aberrant Expression of a Non-muscle RBFOX2 Isoform Triggers Cardiac Conduction Defects in Myotonic Dystrophy. Developmental Cell 52(6), 748–763.e6.
  • Lin, J., P. Park, H. Li, M. W. Oh, I. T. Dobrucki, W. Dobrucki, and G. W. Lau (2020). Streptococcus pneumoniae elaborates persistent and prolonged competent state during pneumonia-derived sepsis. Infection and Immunity.
  • Konopka, C. J., M. Wozniak, J. Hedhli, A. Siekierzycka, J. Skokowski, R. Pksa, M. Matuszewski, G. Munirathinam, A. Kajdacsy-Balla, I. T. Dobrucki, L. Kalinowski, and L. W. Dobrucki (2020). Quantitative imaging of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products in prostate cancer. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 47(11), 2562–2576.
  • Hedhli, J., M. Kim, H. J. Knox, J. A. Cole, T. Huynh, M. Schuelke, I. T. Dobrucki, L. Kalinowski, J. Chan, A. J. Sinusas, M. F. Insana, and L. W. Dobrucki (2020). Imaging the Landmarks of Vascular Recovery. Theranostics 10(4), 1733–1745.
  • Gorska-Ponikowska, M., A. Ploska, D. Jacewicz, M. Szkatula, G. Barone, G. Lo Bosco, F. Lo Celso, A. M. Dabrowska, A. Kuban-Jankowska, M. Gorzynik-Debicka, N. Knap, L. Chmurzynski, L. W. Dobrucki, L. Kalinowski, and M. Wozniak (2020). Modification of DNA structure by reactive nitrogen species as a result of 2-methoxyestradiol–induced neuronal nitric oxide synthase uncoupling in metastatic osteosarcoma cells. Redox Biology 32, 101522.
  • Dobrucki, L. W. and A. J. Sinusas (2020). Targeted Imaging of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging 13(3), e010495
  • Deng, H., C. J. Konopka, T.-W. L. Cross, K. S. Swanson, L. W. Dobrucki, and A. M. Smith (2020). Multimodal Nanocarrier Probes Reveal Superior Biodistribution Quantification by Isotopic Analysis over Fluorescence. ACS Nano 14(1), 509–523.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Shaheb, R., Misiewicz, P.A., Godwin, R.J., Dickin, E., White, D.R., Mooney, S., Dobrucki, I., Dobrucki, L.W., Grift, T.E. ”A Quantification of Soil Porosity Using X-ray Computed Tomography of a Drummer silty clay loam soil” ASABE Annual International Meeting, Omaha, NE, July 12-15, 2020
  • Dvoretskiy, S., Wu, Y-F., Garcia, G., Konopka, C., Dobrucki, L.W., Boppart, M.D. ”The Impact of Mechanical Strain and Immobilization on the Capacity for Skeletal Muscle-Resident CD146+ Pericytes to Secrete Extracellular Vesicles” ACSM Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, May 26-30, 2020
  • Wozniak, M., Dobrucki, L.W., Kalinowski, L. ”Evaluation of Novel Platform for the Digitization of Image Data (PDID) as a tool for examining the role of dietary advanced glycation end products in prostate cancer” Europe Biobank Week 2019, Lubeck, Germany, October 8-11, 2019
  • Szymanowski, J., Dobrucki, L.W., Skokowski, J., Kalinowski, L. ”Architecture approach to the Polish Biobank Network central IT tools” urope Biobank Week 2019, Lubeck, Germany, October 8-11, 2019
  • Radulska, A., Pelikant-Malecka, I., Gocek, E., Dobrucki, L.W., Kozera, L., Kalinowski, L. ”The methylargininesin human serum: effects of age, gender, total cholesterol and C-reactive protein” Europe Biobank Week 2019, Lubeck, Germany, October 8-11, 2019
  • Blair, S., Garcia, M., Konopka, C., Dobrucki, L.W., Gruev, V. ”A 27-band snapshot hyperspectral imaging system for label-free tumor detection during image-guided surgery”. Paper presented at the Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE (2019), 10890 doi:10.1117/12.2508944
  • Breen, E., Konopka, C., Dobrucki, L.W. ”Effects of Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products on Prostate Cancer Progression” BMES 2019, Philadelphia, PA
  • Medina, D., Hedhli, J., Huynh, T., Dobrucki, I.T., Dobrucki, L.W. ”Multimodal image visualization for diagnostic purposes” BMES 2019, Philadelphia, PA
  • Insana, M., Zhu, Y., Kim, M., Dobrucki, L.W. ”Advances in pulsed Doppler methods for peripheral perfusion imaging”. 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) October 6-9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Davila, G., Gholizadeh, M.A., Dobrucki, L.W., Dobrucki, I.T., Druhan, J.L. ”Imaging the effects of CO2 injection on fluid transport properties in sandstone using Positron Emission Tomography”. Goldschmidt 2019 conference, Barcelona, August 18-23, 2019
  • Applegate, C.C., Hedhli, J., Miller, R.J., Dobrucki, L.W., O’Brian, W.D., Erdman, J.W. ”Impact of dietary tomato on prostate carcinogenesis and progression in overweight/obese TRAMP mice” Nutrition 2019, June 8-11, 2019
  • Konopka, C., Paton, A.M., Skokowska, A., Rowles, J.L., Erdman, J.W., Dobrucki, I.T., Dobrucki, L.W. ”Examining the role of dietary advanced glycation end products in prostate cancer using molecular imaging” (oral presentation), Nutrition 2019, June 8-11, 2019
  • Blair, S., Garcia, M., Konopka, C., Dobrucki, L.W., Gruev, V. ”A 27-band snapshot hyperspectral imaging system for label-free tumor detection during image-guided surgery” Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE 2019, Volume 10890, 2019, Article number 108900G
  • Wallon, R. C., Adoni, N., and Dobrucki, L. W. ”Using an engineering lens and a clinical lens to view cardiovascular imaging: A comparison of instructor and student perspectives on an integrated lecture series”. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges Central Group on Educational Affairs 2019, Grand Rapids, MI.

Journal Editorships

  • 2018 - present Associate Editor, Angiogenesis
  • 2018 - present Advisory Board, European Journal of Translational and Clinical Medicine
  • 2014 - 2017 Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging (IEEE-TMI)
  • 2010 – present Associate Editorial Board, American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (AJNMMI)

Service on University Committees

  • 2019 - present Beckman Institute Executive Committee, Member
  • 2019 - present Integrative Imaging Theme, co-Chair
  • 2017 - 2019 Program Advisory Committee, Member
  • 2017 - present Center for Optical Molecular Imaging, Steering Committee, Member

Service on Department Committees

  • 2021 - present Associate Head for Graduate Programs
  • 2021 - present BioE Graduate Admissions Committee, Chair
  • 2019 - present BioE Leadership Committee, Member

Service on Campus Committees

  • 2022 - present Engineering and Innovation Committee, Member
  • 2021 - present Health Innovation Research Day, Planning and Program Committee, co-chair
  • 2021 - present Health Innovation Professor
  • 2019 - present Department of Biomedical and Translational Sciences Executive Committee, Member

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIOE 414 (ECE 414) - Biomedical Instrumentation
  • BIOE 497 WD (BIOE 497 WD2) - Individual Study
  • BIOE 498 WD - Preclinical Molecular Imaging
  • BIOE 500 - Graduate Seminar
  • BIOE 570 - Seminar Series
  • BIOE 572 - Biological Measurement II
  • BIOE 575 - Capstone Project
  • BIOE 598 WD (BIOE 598 ONL, BIOE 598 PBD) - Preclinical Molecular Imaging