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Research Fellow – Cyclotron targetry and radionuclide production

Imaging Chemistry & Biology

London, St Thomas' Campus


  • Posted on: 10th Nov 2021
  • Salary: Gra£55,299 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 036425
  • Closes: 14th November 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

The role is to perform radiopharmaceutics research and provide specialist expertise as a radiochemist or cyclotron targetry specialist within a multidisciplinary EPSRC-funded Programme: Next Generation Radiochemistry for Molecular Imaging with Radionuclides (MITHRAS), based at King’s College London, Imperial College and the University of Southampton. The team will include specialists in radionuclide production, nanodrug and cell therapy researchers, organic and inorganic radiochemists, and molecular imaging biologists and physicists, and will be embedded within a wider collaborative network comprising the Imaging Chemistry and Biology Department and the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences at King’s, and a network of major internal and external collaborations with other major London universities and hospitals. The aim of the programme is to develop new chemistry for fast, accessible synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals, and translate this into clinically translatable products for imaging and radionuclide therapy

This post holder will have the specific role of taking responsibility for development of production of established and new radionuclides (such as 44Sc, 34mCl, 63Zn, 52Mn and others) to serve the needs of the programme; this includes development of production methods and targetry for cyclotron-based production, and development of generator systems (e.g. for 62Cu, 82Rb), using local and collaborators’ cyclotron facilities. The post holder will also work with the Laboratory Management team to ensure safe and reliable availability and distribution of radionuclides to the team and collaborators.

Hence, we are looking for a talented and self-motivated scientist with experience in cyclotron based radionuclide production and fluid and solid targetry, to perform research radionuclide development and production. The role will encompass varied responsibilities, including work on a wide range of collaborative projects. The post holder will work collaboratively with research groups both across the City of London Major Centre (University College London, the Francis Crick Institute and other King’s partners) and elsewhere, to drive the development and translation of radionuclide-based molecular imaging and therapy agents.

The post holder will be expected not only to perform projects within their specified remit but also to provide training, assistance and advice to other workers and collaborators. In particular, he/she will advise, support and train internal staff and students in the design and execution of experiments relating to molecular imaging, including production of radionuclides, radiosynthesis of tracers, in vitro biological evaluation, and in vivo molecular imaging related to cancer. The role will be a basis for first- and senior author publications on the development of innovative methodologies in this field as well as co-authoring user-led publications.

The post holder will have and be expected, in addition, to use constructively, a high degree of autonomy, and will pro-actively initiate collaborations (both scientific and clinical, within institutions and between them), take responsibility for initiating and leading projects in association with PIs, making prioritisation decisions, lead the preparation of applications for grants to support further development of new projects, etc.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 2 years

This is a full-time post – 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • To provide expertise in cyclotron-based radionuclide production and targetry development
  • To use their chemistry, engineering and molecular imaging expertise to assist with establishing radionuclide production protocols for existing and new radionuclides, including cyclotron- and generator-based technologies, and analysis and quality control of radionuclide products
  • To play a key research and training role in a programme of molecular imaging development in support of the objectives of the MITHRAS programme.
  • To ensure the smooth running and successful execution of research relating to new radiopharmaceutics
  • To assist with designing and performing radiolabelling and molecular imaging studies using radiochemistry, in vitro and in vivo imaging studies
  • To compile timely and high quality reports of these studies
  • To attend and help organise group meetings, using them for the dissemination of radiation protection, laboratory safety advice & instruction, advice on experimental design and reporting of research results
  • As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, to perform, coordinate and supervise others (undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral scientists) in the development and production of molecular imaging agents for pre-clinical studies and potentially for clinical imaging
  • To provide radiochemical research and safety expertise to the research team and work with the Laboratory Management team to ensure safe and reliable supply of radionuclides to the team
  • To participate in further training and career development as appropriate to the stage in your career
  • To attend and, as appropriate, present research findings and papers at internal and external academic meetings, seminars and conferences and to contribute to the internal and external visibility of the Department and its collaborators
  • There will be opportunities to participate in limited teaching at undergraduate/masters level in areas in which the post-holder has specialist expertise
  • To provide support, leadership and experience in a wider range of skills, combining the above molecular imaging expertise with radiochemistry and/or radionuclide production skills

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience

  • Extensive knowledge of US imaging & US acquisition, including from multiple US probes
  • Extensive knowledge of programming, including C++,VTK, ITK,, Matlab etc
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Skills for managing multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to teach and train junior staff and students
  • Proven capability of working collaboratively in multidisciplinary research scan teams, involving clinicians, robotics engineers, software specialists and sonographers.

Essential criteria

  • PhD awarded or near completion in Radiopharmaceutical Science or related chemical or engineering field
  • Comprehensive knowledge of one or more chemical/biological aspects of molecular imaging (e.g. chemistry, radiochemistry)
  • Knowledge of radionuclide production and purification methods including generator and cyclotron routes and targetry
  • Advanced knowledge in molecular imaging including PET
  • Advanced skills in analysis of complex research data
  • Expertise in preclinical tracer characterisation techniques
  • Knowledge of the safe handling of radioactive materials and GMP radiopharmaceutical production and related regulations
  • The ability to take individual responsibility for planning and undertaking own work, according to clinical and scientific deadlines.
  • Handling and safety of medical radionuclides including gamma, alpha, beta and/or positron emitters at medical diagnostic and therapeutic activities
  • Writing grant applications
  • In vitro / in vivo radiotracer characterisation

Desirable criteria

  • Home Office personal license for animal experimentation
  • Radiation Protection Supervisor training qualification

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.
Further information

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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