Molecular imaging of DNA Damage Repair

Project Code: 

The Laboratory for Radiopharmacy and Molecular Imaging focusses on the development of radiolabelled molecular imaging agents for oncology. In particular, we are interested in the visualisation of DNA damage repair signalling in tumours. We have previously developed imaging probes for PET imaging – Positron Emission Tomography – against yH2AX, p53, and pATM, using radiolabelled antibodies 1,2. Now, we are moving towards the use of small molecule imaging agents.

The aim of the project, supervised by Professor Bart Cornelissen, is to develop novel PET imaging agents targeting DNA damage repair proteins, in collaboration with colleagues in chemistry. We will use these imaging agents for assessment of genomic instability in cancers, for early detection of pre-tumorous lesions, and for (radio)therapy response evaluation.

This project will involve both in vitro and in vivo models of tumours, together with a variety of microscopy, molecular biology and in vivo imaging techniques, and would suit a biology, chemistry, or biochemistry graduate with interests in cancer and/or imaging.

  1. Knight, J.C., et al. 89Zr-anti-gammaH2AX-TAT but not 18F-FDG Allows Early Monitoring of Response to Chemotherapy in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (2017).
  2. Knight, J.C., Koustoulidou, S. & Cornelissen, B. Imaging the DNA damage response with PET and SPECT. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 44, 1065-1078 (2017).
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