Research Fellowship: MRes & PhD in biomedical and translational research
Project: New approaches to radionuclide imaging of solid tumours with Ga-68
Supervisors: Prof. Philip J. Blower, Dr Sophia Karagiannis
Biomedical Research Centre studentships are, in my opinion, a great opportunity to develop as a translational researcher. The projects available span a wide range of areas, but all have a translational fingerprint that is also reflected in the training they provide, especially in the first year (MRes in biomedical and translational sciences).
As a chemist with a keen interest in medicine, this training has been particularly useful for me, because it provided me with the knowledge and competences I needed in order to move my chemistry further along the bench to bedside pathway.
Working in an inspiring and multidisciplinary environment such as the Imaging Chemistry and Biology department, and with the support of the Biomedical Research Centre always present, I feel I am in the right place to fulfil my potential as a researcher.
Radionuclide imaging (PET and SPECT) ia a sensitive and non-invasive technique for the diagnosis and staging of different diseases. PET in particular possesses better resolution and image quantication than SPECT and, with the advent of [18F]-FDG is becoming increasingly popular in clinics.
While production of most PET isotopes requires expensive cyclotron facilities, gallium-68 (Ga-68) is readily available from a relatively inexpensive generator with long shelf-life. This, combined with its favourable decay and simple chemistry makes Ga-68 a very promising isotope for PET imaging.
In this project we aim to investigate the use of this isotope for cancer imaging exploiting a novel class of chelators, tris(hydroxypyridinones), which possess very high affinity for Ga-68 thus opening novel ways to exploit this isotope in the imaging of solid tumours.