Changning Wang, PhD, has a unique and broad background in molecular imaging, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and neuroscience. After finishing his doctoral studies, he joined Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging as a research fellow and later as a trainee in the Harvard/MGH Nuclear Medicine Training Program, to expand his research skills in clinical imaging research. He is now an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. In the past few years, he has developed [11C]Martinostat as a robustly brain penetrant imaging agent with selectivity for class I HDACs. [11C]Martinostat is the first and only-to-date PET imaging probe for epigenetic research. He designed this probe in only a half year, an extremely short time. The exploratory IND for [11C]Martinostat was approved by the FDA for first-in-human trials and is the first tool of its kind available to characterize HDAC expression in the living human brain. Dr. Wang is leading the project of [11C]Martinostat clinical imaging in several patient groups. He is also working on developing new PET imaging probes targeting other epigenetic enzymes and using these tools for new drug discovery.


PhD in Molecular Imaging, Case Western Reserve University

Select Publications

1. Wang C, Schroeder FA, Wey HY, Borra R, Wagner FF, Reis S, Kim SW, Holson EB, Haggarty SJ, Hooker JM. In vivo imaging of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the central nervous system and major peripheral organs. J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 9;57(19):7999-8009.

2. Frullano L, Wang C, Miller RH, Wang Y. A myelin-specific contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging of myelination. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Feb 16;133(6):1611-3.

3. Wang Y, Wu C, Caprariello AV, Somoza E, Zhu W, Wang C, Miller RH. In vivo quantification of myelin changes in the vertebrate nervous system. J Neurosci. 2009 Nov 18;29(46):14663-9.


Scientific Innovations:

Dr. Wang played a major role in the development of the first epigenetic PET imaging probe, [11C]Martinostat, at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. The exploratory Investigational New Drug (eIND) for [11C]Martinostat was approved by the FDA in late July 2014 for first-in-human trials (IND # 123154). Currently, [11C]Martinostat is being used in multiple IRB-approved clinical research studies at MGH in patients with Huntington disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, alcohol use disorder and multiple sclerosis.

Brain penetrant HDAC Inhibitors for CNS Disease Treatment. US 62/029,900 (2014)

PET radiotracer for histone deacetylases. US 61/892,966 (2013)


Wang Lab