Metallo-radiochemistry allows study of the trafficking of essential trace metals (e.g. zinc, copper, iron, manganese) that are abnormal in diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and dementia. We are developing radioisotopes of copper (Cu-64, half-life 12h), zinc (Zn-63, 30m), and manganese (Mn- 52, 5.5 days) and are using them to image trace metal transport in animal models of cancer, diabetes and other disease to identify changes in trafficking. We can then relate changes in trafficking to gene expression changes as a prelude to human studies. PET with radiometals offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand these changes and exploit them in diagnosis and therapy.
Translational Carbon and Fluorine PET Chemistry is a unique tool for the study of disease. We are developing a portfolio of novel imaging biomarkers for targeting neuroinflammation pathways and glutamate imbalance in human neurological disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, dementias and autism) and cancer.
Cell tracking has the potential to help understand the what happens to cells administered to patients in cell‐based therapies. We are creating a multimodality platform of cell tracking technologies building on our prototype PET and reporter gene methods, to track cells over hours/weeks (direct labelling) and months/years (reporter genes), from local tissue to the whole body.