Imaging Chemistry and Biology2020-11-09T11:39:31+00:00

Imaging Chemistry and Biology

Our core studies the development and assessment of molecular imaging agents to help us improve detection and understanding of cancer. Our team covers basic organic, inorganic and nanoparticle chemistry and biology at the biomolecular, cellular and whole organism (preclinical and clinical) level. In this theme, we aim to perform non-invasive, longitudinal and quantitative in vivo imaging to monitor response to cancer immunotherapy and cell therapy. We make exceptionally efficient use of our physical infrastructure, laboratory space and varied academic expertise. We want to collaborate to identify challenges and use our tools to answer your questions.

Please contact us directly for further information.


Truc Pham
Truc PhamResearch Assistant in Cancer Molecular Imaging


Apart from standard equipment for synthetic chemistry, our core is equipped with radio-HPLCs, radio-TLCs, LC-MS and TLC-MS for new radiochemistry and validation of new radiopharmaceuticals (chelators, peptides, antibodies, nanoparticles). We also have strong links with the PET Centre (with cyclotron and hot cell facilities and providing radioisotopes such as F-18, C-11, Cu-64, Cu-61, N-13, etc.) and Nuclear Medicine (providing access to isotopes such as Tc-99m, Ga-68 etc). We are experienced in radiolabelling antibodies, cells and peptides, enabling longitudinal and quantitative tracking of these in vivo, to aid in understanding their in vivo behaviour and pharmacokinetics.

  • Agilent 1260 Infinity II HPLCs coupled to Raytest GabiNova radioanalytical detectors, and Raytest Minigita radio-TLC readers. These instruments will enable rapid analysis of radiochemical reactions, and hence development of new radiochemical platforms and radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Advion mass spectrometer coupled with radio-HPLC/TLC. This system provides allows rapid, robust, user-friendly TLC-MS and HPLC-MS analysis, with interchangeable ionisation modes (electrospray, atmospheric pressure chemical). It has multiple input channels, allowing concurrent UV, mass and radio analysis.

Our biological facility includes tissue culture, molecular biology and histology labs that permit in vitro evaluations of the new radiopharmaceuticals for immune cell tracking and monitoring immunotherapy response.

  • BD Biosciences FACS Melody Benchtop Cell Sorter. This new FACS instrument uniquely enables on-site sorting of radioactive cells, essential for cell tracking work in cell-based therapy and regenerative medicine research. Combined with on-site gamma/beta counters, it will allow measurement of accumulation and retention of radioactivity in sorted cell populations from co-culture or harvested from animals or patients.

Our preclinical facility is equipped with Mediso NanoPET-CT™ and NanoSPECT/CT™, and IVIS® Spectrum in vivo imaging system for preclinical small animal imaging with an on-site BSU to house research animals. For access and prices, please contact our Preclinical Operations Manager, Dr Kavitha Sunassee.

Additional information

Academic Leads

Dr Michelle Ma
Dr Michelle MaSenior Lecturer and CRUK Career Establishment Fellow
Professor Philip Blower
Professor Philip Blower Head of Department of Imaging Chemistry & Biology

Team members

Dr Kavitha SunasseePre-Clinical Operations Manager
Dr Matthew HutchingsSchool Technical Officer