Latest News



18/09/2020: Happy to be the guest editor for a special issue of Molecules entitled Novel Radiopharmaceuticals for Oncological Imaging. Deadline for submissions is 30/04/2021 – please get in touch with me directly if you have any questions.

28/07/2020: Congratulations to chemistry students having their graduations today. Virtual ceremony this year.

6/07/2020: Our labs re-opening for cleaning – phased resumption of research activities on the near horizon.

1-2/06/2020: The SNES postgraduate conference – this event showcased the exceptional postgraduate talent that we have at Newcastle University. Despite unprecedented disruption to their research, this group of scientists have shown incredible tenacity and have produced some wonderful and high quality presentations – also a great insight into the diversity of research ongoing within our school.

26-29/05/2020: Good luck to the three MChem students – Darcy Browne, Millie Roberts, Jessica Taylor Steward – who will be having their vivas this week. It was a pleasure to host these students as they undertook their final year research projects in the group. While their time in the lab was cut short due to covid-19, they all made excellent progress.

15/04/2020: Celebrating another article acceptance today “89Zr-PET imaging of DNA double-strand breaks for the early monitoring of response following α- and β-particle radioimmunotherapy in a mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma” – led by Dr Sophie Poty and Prof. Jason Lewis (MSKCC, USA) and collaborators including Prof. Bart Cornelissen et al. at Oxford University. Amazing team and beyond proud to be a part of this important effort.

08/04/2020: Our review article ‘Advances in Image Enhanced Sarcoma Surgery‘ now in press. Congratulations to Bence Baljer, Kenneth Rankin et al. for this great effort!

03/04/2020: Another big welcome to Katie Gristwood who will be joining us in October to start her PhD as part of the MoSMed CDT. Exciting times for the group!!!

03/04/2020: A big welcome to Chloe Hope who will be joining us as a research technician to help develop new imaging agents for sarcoma surgery. Will have to wait a little while for labs to re-open – we’ll keep the drinks on ice until then 🙂

18/03/2020: All labs closed due to Covid-19. Continuing to work from home in the meantime. New challenges faced by so many, but we WILL overcome this together! Thoughts to everyone affected by this devastating disease.

14/03/2020: Enjoyed supporting the Chemistry Offer Holder Day today – very nice meeting prospective students and family members.

13/02/2020: Exciting time acquiring Cerenkov images – the promising data acquired today lays the foundation for a new programme of research focused of the development of cancer theranostics.

10/02/2020: Another batch of zirconium-89 arriving from Amsterdam today. Ambitious plans to train two PhD students in manual radiochemistry techniques, and – for the first time at Newcastle University – MChem students will get ‘hands on’ experience of PET tracer development!

03/02/2020: First meetings with MSc students to discuss their summer research projects. Great talking new projects with very enthusiastic students.

17/01/2020: Productive meeting that saw the start of a new research collaboration with phosphorus expert Dr Lee Higham

13/01/2020: Beginning the second phase of the CASAP programme – an opportunity to learn about module design. Looking forward to implementing these skills later in the year.



13/12/2019: Launch of the Centre for Cancer NUCoRE – exciting times ahead!

04/12/2019: Completed my first lecture series today. Great learning experience for me (and hopefully for the students too!!). Made much easier by students who were clearly very engaged with their course.

03/12/2019: Fantastic to host Dr Michelle Ma from KCL today – she gave a wonderful talk covering aspects of chelator design for PET and SPECT radiometals.

02/12/2019: Really pleased to welcome MChem students Darcy Browne, Millie Roberts, Jessica Taylor Steward to the group.

22/11/2019: Delighted that our work on early detection of pancreatic cancer by imaging DNA damage response signalling has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine – the highest ranked nuclear medicine journal.

20/11/2019: Participated in the EPSRC Physical Sciences Early Careers Workshop today. A valuble opportunity to discover more about what happens behind the scenes during grant reviews! And some sage advice from a very experienced panel of experts. Thanks to EPSRC for holding this event – for early career academics this sort of workshop is essential.

12/11/2019: Presented our research at the Royal Society of Medicine in London today. This event celebrated the 30th anniversary of Orthopaedic Research UK who are generously funding our work which is focused on developing new targeted agents for image-guided sarcoma surgery.

10/10/2019: Enjoyed participating at the RSC Chemistry and Biology Interface Division council meeting in Manchester today. Valuable opportunity to engage with Newcastle University partners in the North and funding bodies to discuss strategy, opportunities and challenges.

23/09/2019: Welcome to the group! Exciting day as Toni Pringle and Inga Sirbu commence their doctoral training. Both will lead ambitious research projects on novel aspects of radiochemistry and molecular imaging.

18/09/2019: Extremely proud to be awarded the ‘MILabs Image of the Year’ in the Oncology section at the World Molecular Imaging Congress which was held in Montréal. The paper containing the image can be found here (Figure 7). Congratulations and thanks to all of my brilliant colleagues who were involved in this work, in particular Prof. Bart Cornelissen (Oxford). Thanks also to the geniuses at MILabs for developing the technology which allows us to do the science we want to do!

09/09/2019: Today we received our first shipment of the PET radioisotope zirconium-89. The last 12 months has involved setting up 3 radiation labs across Newcastle University which will allow us to take our new radiopharmaceuticals into clinical trials. The hard part is over – now we can enjoy our new facilities and get started with our radiotracer development!

03/09/2019: Article on Probing the Limits of Q-Tag Bioconjugation of Antibodies published in Chemical Communications today. Thoroughly enjoyed being a part of an outstanding interdisciplinary team of scientists. Particular congratulations to first author Cristina Marculescu for all your hard work!

14/08/2019: The official opening of our Radiopharmaceutical Facility for Cellular Assays (RADCELL) took place today. We now have multiple human cancer cell lines growing in culture in anticipation of our first radioactive experiments with zirconium-89 next month – stay tuned for updates!

05/08/2019: Our work on dual isotope imaging is currently the 2nd highest downloaded article in Nuclear Medicine and Biology!

15/07/2019: Thrilled to receive generous funding from Orthopaedic Research UK which we will use to develop state-of-the-art imaging agents for sarcoma.

27/06/2019: Enjoyed presenting our work at the inaugural Imaging in Oncology meeting – an event organised by Dr Rachel Pearson at the Freeman hospital. This event made it abundantly clear that Newcastle is home to a thriving community of pioneering reseachers and clinicians who are working closely together to tackle key challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

10/06/2019: Welcome to Jolene Bradley who has been awarded a Research Scholarship to work in the group!

17/05/2019: Congratulations to Immi, Kieron, and Caolan for handing in their MChem dissertations today!

17/04/2019: Now advertising a fully funded PhD studentship focused on the synthesis and evaluation of antibody-peptide conjugates for cancer imaging and therapy. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, you can find more details and apply here by May 10th. *No longer accepting applications.*

04/04/2019: Available now! The book ‘Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry‘ to which I contributed a chapter with my brilliant co-author Bart Cornelissen. Editors: Jason Lewis, Bert Windhorst, and Brian Zeglis. Very proud moment.

21/03/2019: Gave a talk on the subjects of dual isotope antibody imaging and PARP imaging at the 14th European Molecular Imaging Meeting (EMIM) in Glasgow today. Great to be a part of this important event in the molecular imaging calendar.

05/03/2019: Attended the EPSRC Chemical Biology Community Workshop in Birmingham today. An excellent event involving lots of discussion about future funding opportunities and the next big ideas!

25/02/2019: Installation of the class II biosafety cabinet all went successfully today. A key moment as I set up facilities that will help translate new radiopharmaceuticals made at Newcastle University into the clinic! Huge thanks to Dave Race and the engineers from Haier for their professionalism today.

06/02/2019: Gave first teaching lecture to undergraduates at Newcastle University today – a proud, exciting, and slightly scary(!) moment.

30/01/2019: My latest research paper ‘Dual-isotope imaging allows in vivo immunohistochemistry using radiolabelled antibodies in tumours’ was published in Nuclear Medicine and Biology. This was a really fun study which involved administration of two imaging agents at the same time!  This is work from my former group in Oxford University with the fantastic Prof. Bart Cornelissen. I loved working in this group – it is a truly inspirational environment which is constantly pushing the frontiers of molecular imaging!!!

25/01/2019: Review article ‘Targeting phosphatidylserine for radionuclide-based molecular imaging of apoptosis’ published in Apoptosis! Really happy to be a co-author on this manuscript as this involved working with my inspirational former supervisor and radiochemist extraordinaire Prof. Frank Wuest and his incredible team at the University of Alberta.

21/01/2019: A critical piece of equipment, an automated gamma counter, was installed today. Huge thanks to Saimir Luli and the engineers from PerkinElmer for their immense help, support, and professionalism today.


17/12/2018: Big welcome to three MChem students: Immi Goodwin, Kieron Brown, and Caolan Devlin who started in the lab today! Getting busy in the lab now!!

05/12/18: Huge welcome to Verónica Feteira Montero – the first student to join the JCK group as part of the Erasmus exchange from Spain!

12/11/2018: Attended the Preclinical Nuclear Imaging meeting at the Francis Crick Institute. Congratulations to the organisers for a really engaging and interactive meeting! Head buzzing with new ideas after some fantastic talks!

06/11/2018: Gave a seminar today at Newcastle University entitled ‘Preclinical Development of PET and SPECT Radiotracers in Oncology’. Thanks to everyone who attended – great energy in the room and some interesting follow-up discussions!

02/11/2018: Our research paper ‘PET imaging of PARP expression using [18F]olaparib’ was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine – a very prestigious journal in the field. This study from the University of Oxford brought together world-leading radiochemists and imaging scientists and produced a truly outstanding result. This is the first time the 18F-radiofluorinated isotopologue of the FDA-approved PARP inhibitor Olaparib has been synthesised and we also evaluated this PET imaging agent in preclinical experiments.

17/09/2018: Our review article ‘Translational molecular imaging in exocrine pancreatic cancer’ was published in EJNMMI (IF: 7.277). Congratulations to everyone who produced this important work, in particular Prof. Bart Cornelissen who makes a great case for the increased use of molecular imaging for management of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

06/08/2018: Beyond happy to take up a new lectureship in radiochemistry at Newcastle University. Thanks to all those incredible supervisors, mentors, and lab mates around the world who have supported me throughout my career. And thank you to all my new colleagues at Newcastle University who have welcomed me here so warmly and enthusiastically!

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