What and eye opening month in Australia! My visit to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) in Sydney and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, has shown me the impact of nuclear science in different settings as well as new ways of working. I have also had the opportunity to visit other academic groups utilizing imaging in their research at the University of Melbourne and Monash University and present my PhD research to them.

The first two weeks of my trip were spent carrying out experiments at ANSTO where I assessed a new Gallium-68 generator that they have developed. Gallium-68 is a key component of my research, as I have developed a PET imaging agent for prostate cancer that utilizes Gallium-68 as the radioactive isotope. It was valuable to, not only generate a strong set of results in a short period of time, but also to get a new perspective on my research from the team there and learn from their expertise.

Whilst in Melbourne I spent time at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, this is a brand new facility specifically designed as a cancer research and treatment center, and is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. The new building is very impressive and they have a whole floor dedicated to cancer imaging which is where I spent most of my time. I was able to see the radio-pharmacy facilities, PET scanners, and meet patients that were having PET scans and radiotherapy and discuss their experiences with them.

The tracer that I have developed during my PhD underwent first in man studies at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre so this was an excellent opportunity to meet the researchers and clinicians that we collaborated with during that study and fully discuss the clinical results with them, which we hope to publish shortly.
I am extremely grateful to the CDT for the opportunity to undertake research in a new setting at ANSTO and to be able to visit the Peter MacCallum cancer centre, where there is such expertise translational research, and the positive impact of imaging research on patients is so clear. I aim to bring these learnings back to King’s and apply them in my future research.

The ANTSO building