Alexander J. Annala, Ph.D.

  • Associate Research Professor, Department of Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

Alexander J. Annala, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Biotechnology, Cell Therapy, Oncology, Pharmacology, Regenerative Medicine, Clinical Research, Clinical Trials, Medical Imaging, Physics Oncology, Radiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Stem Cells, Intellectual Property, Regulatory Affairs

Alexander Annala has extensive background in government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations including executive leadership, internal consulting, fundraising, lobbying, research management, and strategic planning.

  • Board Member, COO, CFO & Corporation Secretary TheraBiologics Inc (Strategy, Planning, IP, Finance, Commercialization), Arcadia, CA 2011-pres.
  • Associate Research Professor, Neurosciences The City of Hope (Medical R&D, Budgeting, Contracts, Fundraising), Duarte, CA 2010-pres
  • . Academic Editor, PLOS ONE Public Library of Science (Publishing), Cambridge, UK 2010-pres
  • . Adjunct Associate Professor, Radiology Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Medical R&D), Los Angeles, CA 2010-2015
  • Associate Professor, Medical Physiology & Functional Imaging Cleveland University (Medical R&D, Fundraising, Lobbying), Los Angeles, CA 2006-2010
  • Associate Professor, Gross Anatomy & Medical Physiology West Coast University (Medical Education), Los Angeles, CA 2005-2006
  • Director of Surgical Research & Faculty Research Scientist Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Medical R&D, HR, Fundraising), Los Angeles, CA 2003-2004
  • Manager Clinical Research & Postdoctoral Scholar UCLA School of Medicine (Medical R&D, HR, Patient Care), Los Angeles, CA 1997-2002
  • Preceptor, Department of Internal Medicine Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center (Patient Care), Los Angeles, CA 1997-1999
  • Academic Editor, Current Opinion in NeuroBiology 1996-1997 Elsevier (Publishing), London, UK
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Faculty Research Fellow, Pharmacology University College London (Medical R&D, Fundraising), London, UK 1995-1997
  • Graduate Fellow, Neural, Informational & Behavioral Sciences University of Southern California (Medical R&D, Fundraising), Los Angeles, CA 1987-1995
  • Board Member, CEO, CFO & Corporation Secretary Annala Research Inc (Management Consulting, HR, Contracts, P&L), Los Angeles, CA 1986-1995
  • Manager, Scientific Computing Eli Lilly and Company (Medical R&D, Budgeting, HR, Contracts), La Jolla, CA 1986-1987
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, College of Business & Management West Coast University (Management Education), La Jolla & Los Angeles, CA 1986-1987
  • Manager, Academic Computing San Diego State University (Budgeting, HR, Contracts, Lobbying), San Diego, CA 1985-1986
  • Managing Associate, Executive Search Practice Korn/Ferry International (Management Consulting, HR, Contracts), Century City, CA 1984-1985
  • Graduate Fellow, MBA Core & Information Sciences Core Claremont Graduate School (Management Consulting, Fundraising), Claremont, CA 1983-1985
  • Developmental & Stem Cell Biology


  • 1990-1995, Doctorate, Neural, Informational, and Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1987-1990, Masters, Molecular Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1983-1985, Masters, MBA Core & Information Sciences Core, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA
Clinical Trials
  • 2012 Amendment to IRB Protocol #08002: First-in-Human NSC-Mediated CD/5-FC Treatment for Recurrent Glioma. Proposed first-in-human use of Ferumoxytol to label NSCs for MRI tracking of migration and tumor distribution in patients. PI: Portnow J. Co-Investigators: Annala AJ et al.
  • 2012 Amendment to IRB Protocol #04133: Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for HematologicalMalignancies: Neuropsychological Functioning After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Addition of structural and functional brain imaging of patients with cognitive impairment, without cognitive impairment, and controls. PI: Bhatia S. Co-Investigators: Annala AJ et al.
  • 2007 IRB Protocol #06272007: Neurobiological Substrates of Complementary & Alternative Treatment Effects: High density electroencephalography with source localization for three dimensional imaging of brain  functional activity to develop and validate a novel objective pain measurement system. PI: Annala AJ.
  • 2014 US Application WO2014160475 A1. Aboody KS, Annala AJ, Curiel D, Lesniak M. “Tropic cell based virotherapy for the treatment of cancer.”
  • 2013 US Application W02013059528 A2. Aboody KS, Annala AJ, Mooney R, Berlin J. & Weng Y  "Encapsulated diagnostics and therapeutics in nanoparticles conjugated to tropic cells and methods for use."  


Morshed RA, Gutova M, Juliano J, Barish ME, Hawkins-Daarud A, Oganesyan D, Khankaldyyan V, Yang T, Annala AJ, Ahmed AU, Aboody KS, Swanson K, Moats R, Lesniak MS. Analysis of glioblastoma tumor coverage by oncolytic virus-loaded neural stem cells using MRI-based tracking and histological reconstruction. Cancer Gene Therapy, 22(1):55-61, 2014. PMID: 25525033.
Mooney R, Roma L, Zhao D, Van Haut D, Garcia E, Kim SU, Annala AJ, Aboody KS, Berlin JM. Neural Stem Cell-Mediated Intratumoral Delivery of Gold Nanorods Improves Photothermal Therapy. ACS Nano, 8(12):12450- 60, 2014. PMID: 25375246.
Mooney R, Weng Y, Garcia E, Bhojane S, Smith-Powell L, Kim SU, Annala AJ, Aboody KS, Berlin JM. Conjugation of pH-responsive nanoparticles to neural stem cells improves intratumoral therapy. J Control Release, 191:82-9, 2014. PMID: 24952368.
Mooney R, Weng Y, Tirughana-Sambandan R, Garcia E, Valenzuela V, Aramburo S, Annala AJ, Berlin JM and Aboody KS. Neural stem cells improve intracranial nanoparticle retention and tumour-selective distribution. Future Oncol, 10(2),401-415, 2014. PMID: 24559447.
Gutova, M, Shackleford, GM, Khankaldyyan, V, Herrmann, KA, Shi, X-H, Mittelholtz K, Abramyants, Y, Blanchard, MS, Kim, SU, Annala AJ, Najbauer, J, Synold, TW, D’Apuzzo, M, Barish, ME, Moats, RA & Aboody, KS. Neural stem cell-mediated CE/CPT-11 enzyme/prodrug therapy in transgenic mouse model of intracerebellar medulloblatoma. Gene Ther, 20(2):143-150, 2013. PMID: 22402322.
Gutova M, Frank JA, D’Apuzzo M, Khankaldyyan V, Gilchrist M, Annala AJ, Metz MZ, Abramyants Y, Herrmann KA, Ghoda LY, Najbauer J, Brown CE, Lesniak MS, Barish ME, Aboody KS* and Moats RA* (*PIs Contributed equally). Magnetic resonance imaging tracking of ferumoxytol-labeled human neural stem cells: studies leading to clinical use. Stem Cells Trans Med, 2(10):766-775, 2013. PMID: 24014682.
Aboody KS, Najbauer J, Metz MZ, D’Apuzzo M, Gutova M, Annala AJ, Synold TW, Couture LA, Blanchard S, Moats RA, Garcia E, Aramburo S, Valenzuela V, Frank RT, Barish ME, Kim SU, Badie B, Portnow J. Neural stem cell-mediated enzyme/prodrug therapy for glioma: Preclinical studies. Sci Trans Med 5(184) :184ra59, 2013. PMID: 23658244.
Schnarr K, Mooney R, Weng Y, Annala AJ, Aboody KS and Berlin J. Gold Nanoparticle-Loaded Neural Stem Cells for Photothermal Ablation of Cancer. Adv Healthcare Mater, 2(7):976-82, 2013. PMID: 2359270. 
Zhao D, Najbauer J, Annala AJ, Garcia E, Metz MZ, Gutova M, Polewski MD, Gilchrist M, Glackin CA, Kim SU and Aboody KS. Human neural stem cell tropism to metastatic breast cancer. Stem Cells, 30(2):314-325, 2012. PMID: 22084033.
Chen PE, Errington ML, Kneussel M, Chen G, Annala AJ, Rudhard Y, Lin CY, Rast GF, Specht CG, Tigaret CM, Nassar MA, Morris RGM, Bliss TVP and Schoepfer R. Behavioral deficits and subregion-specific suppression of  LTP in mice expressing a population of mutant NMDA receptors throughout the hippocampus. Learning & Memory, 16(10):635-644, 2009. PMID: 19794189.
Wang YL, Iyer M, Annala AJ, Nguyen K and Gambhir SS. Non-invasive indirect imaging of vascular endothelial growth factor gene expression using bioluminescent imaging in transgenic mice. Phys Genomics, 24(2):173-180, 2006. PMID: 16410544.
Wang YL, Iyer M, Annala AJ, Chappell SA, Mauro VP and Gambhir SS. Noninvasive monitoring of target gene expression by imaging reporter gene expression in living animals using improved bi-cistronic vectors. J Nuclear Med, 46(4):667-74, 2005. PMID: 15809490.
Wachsmann-Hogiu S, Annala AJ and Farkas DL. Laser applications in biology and biotechnology. Webb, C. (Ed.) Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications. Bristol, UK: Institute of Physics Publishing, 2004.
Rudhard Y, Kneussel M, Nassar MA, Rast GF, Annala AJ, Chen PE, Tigaret CM, Dean I, Roes J, Gibb AJ, Hunt SP and Schoepfer R. Absence of whisker-related pattern formation in mice with NMDA receptors lacking coincidence detection properties and calcium signaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 23(6):2323-32, 2003. PMID: 12657691.
Kudo T, Fukuchi K, Annala AJ, Chatziioannou AF, Allada V, Dahlbom M, Tai YC, Inubushi M, Huang SC, Cherry SR, Phelps ME and Schelbert HR. Noninvasive measurement of myocardial activity concentrations and perfusion defect sizes in rats with a new small animal positron emission tomograph. Circulation, 106(1):118-123, 2002. PMID: 12093780.
Sun, X., Annala AJ, Barrio JR, Toyokuni T, Satyamurthy N, Namavari M, Cherry SR, Phelps ME, Herschman HR and Gambhir SS. Quantitative imaging of gene induction in living animals. Gene Ther, 8(20):1572-9, 2001. PMID: 11704818.
Yu Y, Annala, AJ, Barrio JR, Toyokuni T, Satyamurthy N, Namavari M, Cherry SR, Phelps ME, Herschman HR and Gambhir SS. Quantification of target gene expression by imaging reporter gene expression in living animals. Nat Med, 6(8):933-937, 2000. PMID: 10932234.
Kornblum HI, Araujo DM, Annala AJ, Tatsukawa KJ, Phelps ME and Cherry SR. In vivo imaging of neuronal activation and plasticity in the rat brain by high resolution positron emission tomography (microPET). Nat Biotech, 18(6):655-660, 2000. PMID: 10835605.
Chatziioannou A, Qi J, Moore A, Annala AJ, Nguyen K, Leahy R, Cherry SR. Comparison of 3D maximum a posteriori and filtered backprojection algorithms for high resolution animal imaging using MicroPET. IEEE Trans on Med Imaging, 19(5):507-512, 2000. PMID: 11021693.
Annala AJ. The Role of Cerebellar Cortex in Classical Conditioning of Discrete Motor Movements: Intracranial Electrical Stimulation Studies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1995.
Tocco G, Annala AJ, Baudry M, Thompson RF. Learning of a hippocampal-dependent conditioning task changes the binding properties of AMPA receptors in rabbit hippocampus. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 58(3):222-231, 1992. PMID: 1280948.
Back To Top