Terry Onichi Matsunaga, PharmD, PhD

Research Professor, Radiology

1609 N. Warren 107
P.O. Box 245067
Tucson, AZ 85724-5067

(520) 626-6834
  • University of California, Berkeley, 1975 (A.B., Biochemistry)
  • University of California, San Francisco, 1980 (Pharm. D., Pharmacy)
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1981 (Residency Certificate, Clinical Pharmacy)
  • University of California, San Francisco, 1987 (Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Chemistry)
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, 1989 (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemistry)
Honors & Awards: 

2004 - Excellence in Biotechnology Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drug Delivery. Genetic Engineering News.
2006 - American Chemical Society Rocky Mountain Regional Industrial Innovation Award.
2011 - Louis J. Kettel Faculty Mentor Award in Basic Sciences. University of Arizona

Major Areas of Research Interest: 

Dr. Matsunaga’s laboratory develops ultrasound contrast agents for imaging and novel delivery systems for drug and gene therapy. Dr. Matsunaga has worked along side Dr. Evan Unger, the principal architect, at ImaRx Pharmaceutical Corp. to invent and develop the lipid-coated vascular microbubble agent, Definity® , an FDA-approved echocardiographic contrast agent.

In addition, over the past five years, Dr. Matsunaga focused his attention upon the use of ultrasound-mediated bubble cavitation for dispersion of vascular thrombi. His research interests lie in the area of ultrasound contrast agents and novel drug delivery systems for drug and gene delivery. Dr. Matsunaga regularly sits on grant review study sections for various programs in the NIH (i.e. NIDA, RAID, SBIR, and STTR) and the Department of Defense (Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer programs).

Selected Publications: 

Tsutsui JM, Xie F, Lof J, Matsunaga TO, Unger EC, Porter TR. Diagnostic Ultrasound-Guided Treatment of Acute Intravascular Thrombi with Therapeutic Ultrasound and Intravenous Microbubbles. Circulation. 110: III-509, 2004.

Johnson JLH, Allen MC, Worah DM, Matsunaga TO, Unger EC. Stability of MRX-850: A formulation for Intravenous Oxygen Delivery. The 9th Annual Force Health Protection Conference. Albuquerque, NM. 2006.

Johnson JLH, Allen MC, Worah DM, Matsunaga TO, Unger EC. Stability of MRX-850: A formulation for Intravenous Oxygen Delivery. AAPS Annual Convention. San Antonio, TX. 2006.

Johnson JLH, Allen MC, Matsunaga TO. Intravenous Oxygen Delivery with Perfluorocarbon Emulsions. Oral/Poster Presentation. ACS Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting. Tucson, AZ. 2006.

Culp WC, Brown AT, Hennings L, Lowrey J, Culp BC, Erdem E, Roberson PC, Matsunaga TO. Safety of Miecrobubbles and Transcranial Ultrasound in Rabbits. 6th International Symposium on Ultrasound Therapeutics. American Institute of Physics. 911, 542-546, 2007.

Sponsored Research Through MSRP: 

Kara Samsel (MSRP 2011): "Microbubble-Mediated Gene Therapy in Connexin 37 Knockout Organisms"

NIH Undergraduate Diversity Program: 

-Lizbeth Alvarez. 2011

-Marlyn Alvarado, 2015; "Microbubbles and pancreatic cancer"

NIH High School Student Research Program: 

- Lizbeth Alvarez, Rio Rico High School, 2011

-Souksavanh Keovorabouth, Desert Ridge High School, 2012

-Hely Rodriguez Cruz, Bioscience High School, 2014

-Leslie Edwards, University High School, 2015

-Areli Diaz,  Rio Rico High School, 2016

Last Updated: 
July 28, 2016