Weibo Cai PhD


  • Director of the UW Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology Lab
Imaging Sciences

Picture of Weibo Cai, PhD


  • Undergraduate: Nanjing University (P.R. China)
  • Graduate: University of California San Diego (San Diego, CA)



Weibo Cai is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Radiology, Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA. He received a BS degree in Chemistry from Nanjing University, China (1995) and a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of California San Diego (2004). Between 2005 and 2008, Dr. Cai did his post-doctoral research in the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). In February 2008, Dr. Cai joined the University of Wisconsin - Madison as a Biomedical Engineering Cluster Hire, and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2014, and Full Professor in 2018. Dr. Cai’s research at UW-Madison ( is primarily focused on molecular imaging and nanotechnology.

Dr. Cai has authored >330 peer-reviewed articles, >20 book chapters, and >300 conference abstracts. His publications have been cited >26,000 times with an H-index of 84. He has edited 3 books, guest-edited many special topic issues for various scientific journals, and given >280 talks. Dr. Cai has received many awards, including the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Young Professionals Committee Best Basic Science Award (2007), the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) Springer Prize (2011 & 2013), American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2013-2017), EANM Annual Congress Plenary Lecturer (2016), UW-Madison Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor Award (2017), Inaugural Nano Research Young Innovators (NR45) in Nanobiotechnology Award (2018), Nano-Micro Letters (NML) Researcher Award (2018), Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine (CSNM) Annual Meeting Plenary Lecturer (2018), Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, 2018), Highly Cited Researchers from Clarivate Analytics (Cross-Field, 2018), Fellow of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI, 2019), among others.

Dr. Cai has served on the Editorial Board of >20 scientific journals (e.g. Theranostics, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Scientific Reports, American Journal of Cancer Research, American Journal of Translational Research, etc.), performed peer review for >130 journals, and participated in many grant review panels (NIH, DOD, NSF, American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas [CPRIT], Susan G. Komen, European Research Council, Canadian Cancer Society, Prostate Cancer Canada, many European countries, etc.). He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging(, a journal that was launched in 2011 and fully indexed in PubMed and Web of Science/Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). He is also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Nanobiotechnology (, which has a 2019 Impact Factor of 6.518.

Dr. Cai is an active member of several scientific societies and he has served on various committees in these societies such as SNMMI Committee on Awards, SNMMI Committee on Scientific Program, SNMMI House of Delegates, SNMMI Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council (former President), etc. What Dr. Cai is most proud of is that his trainees at UW - Madison have received >100 awards to date, such as the 2012 Berson-Yalow Award from SNMMI, multiple Young Investigator Awards from SNMMI, 2015 EANM Eckert & Ziegler Abstract Award, several post-doctoral fellowships, among others.More than a dozen of Dr. Cai’s trainees have started independent research groups at world-class universities.