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Imanis Life Sciences

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About Us

Our Mission


To provide best-in-class reporter gene products and services to facilitate widespread adoption of noninvasive in vivo imaging in preclinical and clinical research, and to facilitate development of viro-immunooncology drugs by providing recombinant oncolytic viruses for research use. Imanis supports research in regenerative medicine, gene, virus and cell therapy, oncolytic virotherapy, and oncology drug discovery.

Our Science


Proprietary NIS reporter gene imaging technology for unprecedented clarity in long-term longitudinal cell and virus tracking studies in small and large animal models.

The first and only commercially available repository of recombinant oncolytic viruses encoding reporter genes for research use.

The Imanis Team


Our scientific founders are leading experts in their academic fields of oncolytic virotherapy and noninvasive nuclear diagnostic applications. The Imanis team comprises of PhD, MSc and BSc level scientists who are passionate about providing the best in class reporter gene reagents and virology expertise to help our clients with their research in diverse fields. Our office, R&D service and manufacturing laboratories are located in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center, in Rochester Minnesota, home of the world renowned Mayo Clinic. We also have strong alliances and collaborations with key opinion leaders in the field and are committed to our mission to reduce animal use and refine techniques in animal research through the practice of the 3Rs. Check out our new series of interviews with collaborators on “A Vision for the Future” on Imanis’ Youtube channel.

Our Scientific Cofounders


Dr. Stephen Russell and Dr. Kah-Whye Peng

Imanis was founded in 2012 by scientific cofounders, Drs. Stephen RussellKah-Whye Peng and Michael O’Connor, Professors at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. Dr. Russell was recruited to Mayo Clinic from University of Cambridge, UK, in 1998 to be the Director of a new virus and gene therapy program at Mayo. As a clinician scientist, he has a dream to develop replication competent viruses for cancer therapy. Together with Dr. Kah-Whye Peng, they built a new program and later department (Molecular Medicine) known internationally for bench to clinical translation of oncolytic virotherapies. Dr. Russell wanted a reporter gene technology that enables long term monitoring of viruses in small and large animals and in human subjects. NIS is ideal as it is nonimmunogenic, species specific NIS exist allowing for easy transition from mouse to large animal models, is not harmful the normal physiology of the cell, and the radioisotopes are highly accessible without complex chemistry. As such the majority of oncolytic viruses generated in their labs contain a signature NIS reporter gene. Together with physicist Dr. Mike O’Connor, an expert in SPECT molecular imaging, they are strong advocates of incorporating molecular imaging in drug development and adoption of nuclear imaging in preclinical and clinical research to accelerate drug development. Today, NIS expressing measles virus and VSV are being tested in a number of Phase I and II clinical trials in patients with treatment refractory cancers.

Career Opportunities


Imanis is always open to enquires from highly motivated individuals keen to join the team of virologists, imaging scientists and operations personnel. Please kindly send enquiries to info@imanislife.com.

What people say about Imanis

Our group has, and continues to, use NIS as a noninvasive reporter for cell transplantation studies in mice and in pigs. Imanis has provided expert technical and analytical support for this research, and has allowed us to publish our research in high impact journals, including Science Translational Medicine..

– Dr. Raymond Hickey, Mayo Clinic

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