Medical Imaging

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training


Alex Rigby


In 2017, I graduated from Cardiff University with a Masters in Chemistry with a Year Abroad. During my third year, I travelled to the University of Toronto and worked for Prof Patrick Gunning, focusing on medicinal chemistry and organic synthesis, investigating the inhibition of the E1 activating enzyme UBA5. For my final year project, I worked for Dr Rebecca Melen looking investigating the use of phosphorus containing Lewis acids, and their potential use as catalysts for organic various reactions.

During my time at the CDT for medical imaging, I hope to further develop my knowledge and gain the skills to equip me for a career in research.

Project: Radiobiological assessment of radionuclide pairs used in theranostic (imaging and therapy) approaches

Molecular imaging with radionuclides can pinpoint disease locations and measure changes in metabolism and gene expression, and the same molecular targeting can deliver effective radionuclide therapy to cancers. The biological effects of the radionuclides, however, remain poorly understood. This project will investigate small and large scale biological effects of radionuclides used in imaging (diagnosis and monitoring therapy response) and therapy (killing cancer cells) to better understand how radionuclides kill cells, making radionuclide therapies more effective and imaging tracers safer. A range of important medical radionuclides will be tested for their intended and unintended effects on DNA and chromosomal damage, induction of DNA repair pathways and cell kill, in vitro and in vivo. This in turn will provide the ideal basis to determine whether current imaging modalities used in the clinic can be used more frequently and could enhance the way in which patients are treated with radiopharmaceuticals.


Alex Rigby