We are interested in developing new methods for the synthesis of small-molecule imaging probes that are useful for performing in vivo assays of biochemical and biological processes using the molecular imaging technique of positron emission tomography (PET). Methodology that rapidly incorporates an [18F] radiolabel into clinically relevant molecules at a late stage in the synthesis and under mild conditions suitable for complex functionality would enable broad access to PET imaging probes. In collaboration with our colleagues in the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, our research includes developing chemistry on an integrated microfluidic device as well as developing novel platform approaches for the site-specific and rapid [18F]-radiolabeling of engineered antibody fragments. The aim is to simplify and facilitate general access to promising PET imaging probes for examining the biology of disease, enhancing molecular diagnostic tools and advancing therapeutic developments. With the development of modern methods for the construction of carbon-fluorine bonds and the availability of a microfluidic kit-based platform, the landscape of molecules easily accessible for widespread PET research will significantly increase.
Applications are welcome for postdocs interested in our research. Please contact Dr. Murphy.