Terry O Matsunaga, PhD

Terry O Matsunaga, PhD

Professor, Medical Imaging - (Research Scholar Track)College of Medicine PhoenixAdjunct Professor Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Terry Matsunaga joined the Department of Medical Imaging in 2007 after 16 years in the private sector where he was a primary developer of lipid-coated microbubbles that have been approved by the FDA and sold under the brand name Definity. In addition, Dr. Matsunaga focused his attention upon the use of ultrasound-mediated bubble cavitation for dispersing of clots (Sonothrombolysis?). Currently, his efforts focus upon targeted microbubbles for cancer imaging as well as drug and gene delivery. His most recent efforts revolve around phase-change contrast agents for tumor detection and extravascular applications. Dr. Matsunaga received his AB degree in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by a Pharm.D in Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Following a year of clinical training as a resident at the University of Michigan, he returned to UCSF where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry under the mentorship of George L. Kenyon. From 1986 - 1992, he was a NIDA post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Victor J. Hruby. Since 2010, he has chaired the Steering Committee for the NHLBI SMARTT (Science Moving Towards Research Translation and Therapy) Program.

Dr. Matsunaga was recently named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.


  • PhD: University of California at San Francisco, 1987
  • Other: Pharm D: University of California at San Francisco - San Francisco, 1980
Honors and Awards
Fellow, National Academy of Inventors, 2021
University of Michigan (1981): Clinical Pharmacy Residency
University of Arizona Dept. of Chemistry, NIDA post-doctoral fellowship, 1988-1990
University of Arizona Dept. of Chemistry, Post doctoral Scholar, 1987-1988/1990-1992