Tony Gee is a visiting Professor at the Department of Chemistry, South Kensington campus and a full professor in PET Chemistry at King's College London. He obtained a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Sussex (1985), and his PhD in Radiopharmaceutical Organic Chemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden (1991). Since then he has worked as the Director of PET Chemistry at the Guy''s and St Thomas'' Hospitals Clinical PET centre, UMDS, London, and the Aarhus University Hospital PET Centre in Aarhus Denmark, before moving to GlaxoSmithKline to spearhead the use of PET imaging in drug discovery and development and returning to academia at KCL where he is now Director of a new state of the art PET Radiochemistry laboratory. A number of very active research projects are in progress including the development of rapid labelling synthetic techniques with short-lived positron-emitting radionuclides, small molecule-protein and small molecule-membrane interactions, the design of PET imaging probes, and the understanding of in vivo pharmacology.
Artificially colour coded whole body PET scans of glucose metabolism using 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)
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- The development and application of novel synthetic methods and instrumentation for rapid synthesis using short-lived positron emitting radionuclides
- The development and evaluation in vivo and vitro of novel probes for in vivo imaging using PET
- The use of positron emission tomography (PET) as a tool to aid drug discovery and development
- Determining the molecular basis of small molecule-protein interactions and non-specific binding.
In Vivo receptor imaging with Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Serotonin 5-HT4 receptors visualised in the living human brain using a carbon-11 (radioactive half-life 20.4 min) labelled receptor ligand.
Note the high concentration of receptors in the basal ganglia.
What is PET?
PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. PET is a medical imaging technique that enables the distribution and kinetics of labelled molecules to be studied in the human body.
- The radionuclides used in labelling the tracer molecules have very short radioactive half-lives
11C - half-life 20.4 min
13N - half-life 10 min
15O - half-life 2 min
18F - half-life 110 min
- The PET radionuclides are produced using a cyclotron often co-located with the radiochemistry laboratories and PET scanners
- Rapid labelling techniques are used to incorporate the radiolabel into the molecule of interest
- After purification and formulation, the radiolabelled PET tracers are admisitered to a subject (often intravenously) situated in a scanner
The PET technique is diferent from coventional imaging techniques such as ultrasound, CT and MRI because PET enables the study of biological function in living human subjects.
General Background to PET Imaging
et al., 2018, Open letter to journal editors on: International Consensus Radiochemistry Nomenclature Guidelines, Annals of Nuclear Medicine, Vol:32, ISSN:0914-7187, Pages:236-238
et al., 2014, One-Pot Multi-Tracer Synthesis of Novel F-18-Labeled PET Imaging Agents, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Vol:11, ISSN:1543-8384, Pages:3818-3822
et al., 2014, EANM guideline for the preparation of an Investigational Medicinal Product Dossier (IMPD), European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Vol:41, ISSN:1619-7070, Pages:2175-2185
et al., 2014, Amphiphilic drug interactions with model cellular membranes are influenced by lipid chain-melting temperature, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Vol:11, ISSN:1742-5689
et al., 2014, Evaluation of C-11-BU99008, a PET Ligand for the Imidazoline(2) Binding Sites in Rhesus Brain, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol:55, ISSN:0161-5505, Pages:838-844