Oluwatayo Ikotun, Ph.D.

Office Address:
UCLA Molecular and Medical Pharmacology/Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging
CNSI 4335, Box 951770
570 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Assistant Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
Member, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis GPB Home Area, Molecular Pharmacology GPB Home Area, Physics & Biology in Medicine GPB Home Area
Faculty, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging
Research Interests
Dr Ikotun is Head of the Laboratory for Image Guided Immunotherapy where the research program focuses on developing molecular imaging tools for in vivo characterization of immune cell populations. By leveraging multimodal and multiplex nuclear imaging we aim to increase our basic understanding of the dynamic interplay between distinct immune cell populations during disease progression and monitor the impact of therapeutic intervention on these immune subtypes. We plan to utilize the knowledge gleaned to design next generation immunotherapies that strive to address the unmet medical needs of the 60-70 % of patients that remain unresponsive to current cancer immunotherapies. Our approach utilized targeted radio-immuno-therapeutics (TRIT), trifecta molecules comprised of a tumor targeting moiety, an immune co-stimulator/inhibitor, and radiation therapy. By employing this strategy, we intend to convert immunologically “cold” lesion into “hot” infiltrated and responsive masses. Diagnostic surrogates of each TRIT will enable us to take an image-guided approach to treatment planning, facilitate evaluation of tissue distribution, and identify on and off-target liabilities.

Dr Oluwatayo (Tayo) Ikotun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Crump Institute of Molecular Imaging at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry from Syracuse University where she synthesized and evaluated the anti-cancer properties of pyrophosphate bridged metallo-therapeutics. She applied her inorganic chemistry expertise and trained as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University School of Medicine, where she utilized radiometal based macromolecules as diagnostic Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agents for the detection of cancerous lesions. Dr. Ikotun went on to work as a translational research Scientist within the Research Imaging Sciences group at Amgen Inc and as a Senior Research Investigator in the Preclinical Imaging at Bristol Myers Squibb. During her six-year tenure in biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry she served as the subject matter expert for immuno-oncology and inflammation imaging. Her research focuses on developing nuclear imaging tools for the in vivo monitoring of endogenous and exogenous immune cells.


A selected list of publications:

Murray Justin K, Wu Bin, Tegley Christopher M, Nixey Thomas E, Falsey James R, Herberich Brad, Yin Li, Sham Kelvin, Long Jason, Aral Jennifer, Cheng Yuan, Netirojjanakul Chawita, Doherty Liz, Glaus Charles, Ikotun Tayo, Li Hongyan, Tran Linh, Soto Marcus, Salimi-Moosavi Hossein, Ligutti Joseph, Amagasu Shanti, Andrews Kristin L, Be Xuhai, Lin Min-Hwa Jasmine, Foti Robert S, Ilch Christopher P, Youngblood Beth, Kornecook Thomas J, Karow Margaret, Walker Kenneth W, Moyer Bryan D, Biswas Kaustav, Miranda Les P   Engineering Na ACS chemical biology, 2019; 14(4): 806-818.
Moesta Achim K, Cooke Keegan, Piasecki Julia, Mitchell Petia, Rottman James B, Fitzgerald Karen, Zhan Jinghui, Yang Becky, Le Tiep, Belmontes Brian, Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Merriam Kim, Glaus Charles, Ganley Kenneth, Cordover David H, Boden Andrea M, Ponce Rafael, Beers Courtney, Beltran Pedro J   Local Delivery of OncoVEX Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2017; 23(20): 6190-6202.
Marquez Bernadette V, Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Zheleznyak Alexander, Wright Brian, Hari-Raj Amrita, Pierce Richard A, Lapi Suzanne E   Evaluation of (89)Zr-pertuzumab in Breast cancer xenografts Molecular pharmaceutics, 2014; 11(11): 3988-95.
Marquez Bernadette V, Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Parry Jesse J, Rogers Buck E, Meares Claude F, Lapi Suzanne E   Development of a Radiolabeled Irreversible Peptide Ligand for PET Imaging of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 2014; 55(6): 1029-34.
Zheleznyak Alexander, Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Dimitry Julie, Frazier William A, Lapi Suzanne E   Imaging of CD47 expression in xenograft and allograft tumor models Molecular imaging, 2014; 12(8): 1029-34.
Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Marquez Bernadette V, Fazen Christopher H, Kahkoska Anna R, Doyle Robert P, Lapi Suzanne E   Investigation of a vitamin B12 conjugate as a PET imaging probe ChemMedChem, 2014; 9(6): 1244-51.
Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Marquez Bernadette V, Huang Chaofeng, Masuko Kazue, Daiji Miyamoto, Masuko Takashi, McConathy Jonathan, Lapi Suzanne E   Imaging the L-type amino acid transporter-1 (LAT1) with Zr-89 immunoPET PloS one, 2013; 8(10): e77476.
Aweda Tolulope A, Ikotun Oluwatayo, Mastren Tara, Cannon Carolyn L, Wright Brian, Youngs Wiley J, Cutler Cathy, Guthrie James, Lapi Suzanne E   The use of MedChemComm, 2013; 4(6): 1015-1017.
Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Lapi Suzanne E   The rise of metal radionuclides in medical imaging: copper-64, zirconium-89 and yttrium-86 Future medicinal chemistry, 2011; 3(5): 599-621.
Ikotun Oluwatayo F, Higbee Elizabeth M, Ouellette Wayne, Doyle Robert P   Pyrophosphate-bridged complexes with picomolar toxicity Journal of inorganic biochemistry, 2009; 103(9): 1254-64.