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 Director of Professional Master's Program 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. 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 fields of professional interests include the development of 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 15-plus years of experience in developing and validating novel SPECT/PET radiotracers and multimodal multifunctional contrast agents. He is an active 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 several 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 a junior faculty member 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 (0%), Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2019 - present Associate Professor (100%), 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

  • "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

  • 2016 - present BIOE-572 Biological Measurement II (module lecturer)
  • 2013 - present BIOE-498/598 Preclinical Molecular Imaging (course director and lecturer)
  • 2013 - present BIOE-414 Biomedical Instrumentation (course director and lecturer)
  • 2011 - present NPRE-435 Principles of Imaging with Ionizing Radiation (laboratory)
  • 2011 - present BIOE-507 Advanced Bioinstrumentation (invited lecturer)
  • 2010 - present BIOE-436 Senior Design (faculty sponsor)
  • 2010 - present BIOE-120 Introduction to Bioengineering (invited 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

  • 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)

  • 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

Journal Editorships

  • 2018 - present Advisory Board, European Journal of Translational and Clinical Medicine
  • 2014 - present 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 Department Committees

  • 2015 - present Diversity Advocate
  • 2015 - 2017 BioE Graduate Admission Committee, Chair
  • 2014 - present BioE Faculty Search Committee, Member
  • 2014 - present BioE Executive Committee, Elected Member

Service on College Committees

  • 2015 - present CoE Growth Task Force, Graduate Education and Research, Member
  • 2013 - present IT Governance Committee, Member

Service on Campus Committees

  • 2015 - present University of Illinois Senate, Elected Senator
  • 2011 - present Radiation and Laser Safety 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