Onofre T. DeJesus

Credentials: Ph.D.

Position title: Emeritus Professor, Medical Physics

Email: odejesus@wisc.edu

Phone: 608/263-8929

B1316 WIMR


B.S., University of the Philippines, University of the Philippines, Chemistry, 1971

Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Va. Polytechnic Inst. and State University, Chemistry, 1980

Department Affilations

Medical Physics


  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Physics, Professor
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Graduate School, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, Adjunct Professor
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Professor
  • 2004-2008, Chartered Member, Medical Imaging Study Section (MEDI), NIH, Center for Scientific Review
  • 1994-1998, Chartered Member, Diagnostic Radiology Study Section (RNM), NIH, Division Research Grants
  • 1993-2002, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Physics
  • 1987-1993, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Physics
  • 1986-1987, Assistant Chemist, Argonne National Laboratory, Chemistry
  • 1983-1987, Research Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, Medical School, Radiology
  • 1981-1983, Research Associate, University of Chicago, Medical School, Radiology
  • 1980-1981, Postdoctoral Fellow, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Arts and Sciences, Chemistry
  • 1976-1980, Research Assistant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Arts and Sciences, Chemistry
  • 1975-1976, Visiting Chemist, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Chemistry
  • 1971-1975, Research Scientist, Philippine Atomic Research Center, Chemistry

Research Interests

The primary focus of my laboratory is the development of radiopharmaceuticals as positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents. These PET agents allow the quantitative assessment of biomolecular entities in vivo, aimed at diagnosis of disease, tailoring appropriate treatment (personalized medicine) and monitoring the progress of therapy based on individual patient response. In addition, these imaging agents can be used to elucidate basic biologic questions to better understand health and disease. Current imaging agent research and development are targeted at applications in psychiatry (schizophrenia, substance abuse, depression, etc.), neurology (Parkinson’s and
Alzheimer’s disease) and oncology (epithelial cancers).

Current on-going R&D projects in my laboratory involve:

  1. PET imaging agents labeled with positron-emitting Cl-34m for dopamine D1 receptors. Dopamine receptors are involved in Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, substance abuse and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
  2. A small peptide molecule as multimodality imaging agent for epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) which are over-expressed in various types of cancer.
  3. Positron-labeled small molecules to image tau protein which is thought to be involved in neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. PET/CT imaging of pregnant rhesus macaques to assess maternal-fetal transfers of chemicals.

Awards and Honors

  • Third Highest Rating, Chemistry Board Examination (Philippines)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Fellow
  • Academic Keys Who’s Who in Medicine Acadmia
  • Marquis Who’s Who in America


  • Bartlett RM, Nickles RJ, Barnhart TE, Christian BT, Holden JE, DeJesus OT (Feb 2010) Fetal dose estimates for (18)F-fluoro-L-thymidine using a pregnant monkey model., Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine,  51(2)288-92
  • Bartlett RM, Holden JE, Nickles RJ, Murali D, Barbee DL, Barnhart TE, Christian BT, DeJesus OT (Mar 2009) Paraquat is excluded by the blood brain barrier in rhesus macaque: An in vivo pet study., Brain research,  1259, 74-9
  • Schneider ML, Moore CF, Larson JA, Barr CS, Dejesus OT, Roberts AD (2009) Timing of moderate level prenatal alcohol exposure influences gene expression of sensory processing behavior in rhesus monkeys., Frontiers in integrative neuroscience,  3, 30
  • Schneider ML, Moore CF, Gajewski LL, Larson JA, Roberts AD, Converse AK, DeJesus OT. (2008) Sensory processing disorder in a primate model: evidence from a longitudinal study of prenatal alcohol and prenatal stress effects., Child Dev.,  79(1)100-113, Published
  • Avila-Rodriguez MA, Selwyn RG, Hampel JA, Thomadsen BR, Dejesus OT, Converse AK, Nickles RJ. (2007) Positron-emitting resin microspheres as surrogates of 90Y SIR-Spheres: a radiolabeling and stability study., Nucl Med Biol.,  34(5)585-590, Published
  • Schneider, ML. Moore, CF. Gajewski LL, Laughlin NK, Larson, JA, Gay C, Roberts, AD, Converse AK, DeJesus, OT. (2007) Sensory Processing Disorder in a Nonhuman Primate Model:Evidence For Occupational Therapy Practice., Am J Occup. Ther.,  61(2)247-253
  • DeJesus OT, Flores LG, Converse AK, Bartlett RM, Murali D, Jeraj R, Oakes TR, Nickles RJ, Jaskowiak CJ. (2006) Assessing environmental chemical uptake in fetal brain in utero: A preliminary PET/CT Study., J. Radioanalyt. Nucl. Chem.,  269(3)561-564
  • DeJesus OT, Flores LG, Roberts AD, Dick DW, Bartlett RM, Murali D, Nickles  RJ., Aromatic L-Amino Acid Decarboxylase (AAAD) Activity in Rhesus Macaque Striatum After MAO-B Inhibition By Ro 16-6491., Synapse, 56, 54-56,  2005
  • DeJesus OT, Flores LG, Murali D, Converse AK,Bartlett RM, Barnhart TE, Oakes TR, Nickles  RJ., Aromatic L-Amino Acid Decarboxylase Turnover in Vivo in Rhesus Macaque Striatum: a MicroPET Study, Brain Research, 1054, 55-60,  2005
  • Converse AK, Barnhart TE, Dabb KA, DeJesus OT, Larson J, Nickles RJ, Schneider ML, Roberts AD., PET Measurement of RCBF in the Presence of a Neurochemical Tracer., J. Neurosci. Methods, 132, 199-208,  2004
  • Endres CJ, DeJesus OT, Uno H, Doudet D, Nickles RJ, Holden JE., Time Profile of Cerebral [18F]6-fluoro-L-DOPA Metabolites in Nonhuman Primate: Implications for the Kinetics of Therapeutic L-DOPA., Frontiers in Bioscience, 9, 505-512.,  2004
  • Roberts AD, DeJesus OT, Barnhart TE, Larson JA, Mukherjee J, Nickles RJ, Scheuller MJ, Shelton SE, Moore CF, and Schneider ML., Moderate Level Fetal Alcohol Exposure, Prenatal Stress, and Dopamine System Function in Rhesus Monkeys., Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 26(2):169-178,  2004
  • DeJesus OT, Positron Labelled DOPA Analogs to Image Dopamine Terminals., Drug Dev. Res., 59, 1-2,  2003
  • Murali D, Flores LG, Roberts AD, Nickles RJ, DeJesus OT, Aromatic L-Amino Acid Decarboxylase (AAAD) Inhibitors As Carcinoid Tumor Imaging Agents: Synthesis of 18F-Labeled Alpha-Fluoromethyl-6-Fluoro-m-tyrosine (FM6FmT)., Appl. Radiat. Isotopes,, 59, 237-243,  2003
  • DeJesus OT, Shelton SE, Nickles RJ and Holden JE, Effect of Tetrabenazine on the Striatal Uptake of Exogenous L-DOPA In Vivo: A PET Study in Young and Aged Rhesus Monkeys, Synapse, 44, 246-251, 2002
  • Schneider ML, Moore CF, Kraemer GW, Roberts AD and DeJesus OT, The Impact of Prenatal Stress, Fetal Alcohol Exposure, or Both on Development: Perspectives from a Primate Model, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 27, 285-298, 2002
  • DeJesus OT, Endres CJ, Shelton SE, Nickles RJ and Holden JE, Noninvasive Assessment of Aromatic L-Amino Acid Decarboxylase Activity in Aging Rhesus Monkey Striatum, Synapse, 39, 58-63, 2001
  • Schneider ML, Moore CF, Roberts AD and DeJesus OT., Prenatal Stress Alters Early Neurobehavior, Stress Reactivity and Learning in Nonhuman Primates: a Brief Review, Stress, 4, 1-11, 2001
  • DeJesus OT, Solin O, Haaparanta M, and Nickles RJ, 6-FluoroDOPA Metabolism in Rat Striatum: Time Course of Extracellular Metabolites’, Brain Research, in press, Brain Research, 877, 31-36, 2000
  • Stein TD and DeJesus OT, Effect of 6-Fluoro-m-Tyrosine on Dopamine Release and Metabolism in Rat Striatum Using In Vivo Microdialysis, Brain Research, 884, 192-195, 2000
  • Doudet DJ, DeJesus OT, Chan GLY, Jivan S, Holden JE, English C, Aigner TA and Ruth TJ, Imaging of the DA presynaptic system by PET: 6-[18F]L-DOPA versus 6-[18F]L-m-tyrosine, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 19, 278-287, 1999
  • Brown WD, Taylor MD, Roberts AD, Oakes TR, Schueller MJ, Holden JE, Malischke ML, DeJesus OT, Nickles RJ, FluoroDOPA PET Shows the Non-Dopaminergic as well as Dopaminergic Destinations of Levodopa, Neurology, 53(6):1212-1218, 1999
  • Brown WD, DeJesus OT, Shelton SE, Uno H, Houser D, Nickles RJ, Roberts AD, Holden JE, Localization of the Trapping of [F18]-6-fluoro-m-tyrosine, A Tracer of Monoamine Terminals for PET, Synapse, 34(2):111-123, 1999
  • DeJesus OT, Murali  D and Nickles RJ, Synthesis of Fluorinated o-Tyrosine and Preliminary Evaluation as Possible Aromatic Amino Acid Decarboxylase Tracer, Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals, 42, 781-788, 1999
  • Murali D and DeJesus OT, Synthesis of 4-Epi-Iodo-4-deoxy-Daunorubicin, A Doxorubicin Analog with Potential as Cancer Radiotherapeutic Agent, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 8, 3419-3422, 1998
  • Murali D, DeJesus OT, Synthesis of 4”-epi-iodo-4”-deoxy-daunorubicin, a potential cancer radiotherapeutic agent, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 8(23):3419-22, 1998
  • Brown WD, Oakes TR, DeJesus OT, Taylor MD, Roberts AD,  Nickles RJ and Holden JE., Dosimetry of 18F-Fluoro-L-DOPA with Carbidopa Pretreatment Using the MIRD Pamphlet 14 Bladder Model, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 39, 1884-1897, 1998
  • Endres CJ, Swaminathan S, DeJesus OT, Sievert M, Ruoho AE, Murali D, Rommelfanger SG       and Holden JE, Affinities of Dopamine Analogs forMonoamine Granular and Plasma Membrane Transporters: Implications in PET Dopamine Studies, Life Sciences, 60, 2399-2406, 1997
  • Endres C J, Swaminathan S, DeJesus O T, Sievert M, Ruoho A E, Murali D, Rommelfanger S G, Holden J E, Affinities of dopamine analogs for monoamine granular and plasma membrane transporters: implications for PET dopamine studies., Life Sciences, 60(26):2399-406, 1997
  • DeJesus OT, Endres CJ, Shelton SE, Nickles RJ and Holden JE, Evaluation of Fluorinated m-Tyrosine Analogs as PET Imaging Agents of Dopamine Nerve Terminals: Comparison with 6-FluoroDOPA, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 38, 630-636, 1997
  • DeJesus O T, Endres C J, Shelton S E, Nickles R J, Holden J E, Evaluation of fluorinated m-tyrosine analogs as PET imaging agents of dopamine nerve terminals: comparison with 6-fluoroDOPA, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 38(4):630-6, 1997
  • Uno H, Eisele S, Sakai A, Shelton S, Baker E, DeJesus O, Holden J, Neurotoxicity of glucocorticoids in the primate brain, Hormones and Behavior, 28(4):336-48, 1994
  • DeJesus Onofre T, Sunderland John J, Nickles J Robert, Mukherjee Jogeshwar, Appelman Evan H, Synthesis of radiofluorinated analogs of m-tyrosine as potential L-dopa tracers via direct reaction with acetylhpofluorite, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 41(5):433-437, 1990


  • American Chemical Society
  • Movement Disorder Society
  • Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine