Rolf Swenson, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Chemistry and Synthesis Center (CSC)


9800 Medical Center Dr
Bldg B
Rockville, MD 20850
United States



Rolf Swenson received his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at Cornell University working with Professor John McMurry. After post-doctoral study with Professor Wolfgang Oppolzer at the University of Geneva Switzerland, and Professor Hector DeLuca at the University of Wisconsin Madison, he joined Abbott Laboratories as a medicinal chemist. He moved to the combinatorial chemistry group and was a group leader working on rapid parallel synthesis. He then moved to Orchid BioSciences as a Director of Chemistry in charge of combinatorial chemistry in microfluidic devices, and while there led a project team that automated SNP genotyping to perform 1,000,000 genotypes/day. He left Orchid to become the International Area Head for Discovery Chemistry at Bracco Research USA. He led a team that prepared diagnostic imaging agents for PET/SPECT, Contrast enhanced ultrasound, MRI and optical applications. When the Princeton research facility was closed, Dr. Swenson started Arroyo BioSciences, LLC, which focused on discovering new drugs for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other fibrotic disease. Since the beginning of 2014, Dr. Swenson has been the Director of the Imaging Probe Development Center, where he has managed a group of chemists who prepare chemical tools including diverse diagnostic probes for the intramural community. He is an inventor on 65 US patents and an author on 52 scientific papers. He has contributed to one approved drug and five other compounds advanced to clinical trials.

Selected Publications

  1. Chapman B, Joalland B, Meersman C, Ettedgui J, Swenson RE, Krishna MC, Nikolaou P, Kovtunov KV, Salnikov OG, Koptyug IV, Gemeinhardt ME, Goodson BM, Shchepin RV, Chekmenev EY. Low-Cost High-Pressure Clinical-Scale 50% Parahydrogen Generator Using Liquid Nitrogen at 77 K. Anal Chem. 2021;93(24):8476-8483.
  2. Sato K, Gorka AP, Nagaya T, Michie MS, Nani RR, Nakamura Y, Coble VL, Vasalatiy OV, Swenson RE, Choyke PL, Schnermann MJ, Kobayashi H. Role of Fluorophore Charge on the In Vivo Optical Imaging Properties of Near-Infrared Cyanine Dye/Monoclonal Antibody Conjugates. Bioconjug Chem. 2016;27(2):404-13.
  3. Lu X, Sabbasani VR, Osei-Amponsa V, Evans CN, King JC, Tarasov SG, Dyba M, Das S, Chan KC, Schwieters CD, Choudhari S, Fromont C, Zhao Y, Tran B, Chen X, Matsuo H, Andresson T, Chari R, Swenson RE, Tarasova NI, Walters KJ. Structure-guided bifunctional molecules hit a DEUBAD-lacking hRpn13 species upregulated in multiple myeloma. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):7318.
  4. Miura N, Mushti C, Sail D, AbuSalim JE, Yamamoto K, Brender JR, Seki T, AbuSalim DI, Matsumoto S, Camphausen KA, Krishna MC, Swenson RE, Kesarwala AH. Synthesis of [1-13 C-5-12 C]-alpha-ketoglutarate enables noninvasive detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate. NMR Biomed. 2021;34(11):e4588.
  5. Shenoy G, Ettedgui J, Mushti C, Hong J, Lane K, Blackman B, Jung HS, Takagi Y, Seol Y, Brechbiel M, Swenson RE, Neuman KC. General Method to Increase Carboxylic Acid Content on Nanodiamonds. Molecules. 2022;27(3).

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, February 9, 2023