Fellowships: Integrated Manhattan Project for Excellence in Radiochemistry (IMPER)

The Integrated Manhattan Project for Excellence in Radiochemistry is a training grant from the US Department of Energy incorporating an integrated series of innovative radiochemistry projects that explore improvements in the fundamental aspects of radiolabeling and radiochemistry. In addition, the grant supports the training of three graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows in the fundamentals of radiochemistry.

The PI, in collaboration with Professor Lynn Francesconi, an expert in radiochemical environmental remediation at Hunter College, City University of New York, has put together an expert team of radiochemists to participate in these projects. These experts have received international recognition in their chosen areas of radiochemistry study, including nuclear chemistry, environmental radiochemistry, synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular imaging, and translational medicine. Their specific areas of interest include nuclide production and separation, radiolabeling with organic and inorganic radionuclides, the use of cyclotron and generators, development of high specific-activity agents, the use of microfluidics and automation technology for radiochemistry, and environmental remediation.

The trainees will work alongside the team of experts on a series of five complementary projects designed to examine improvements in radiolabeling and radiochemistry methodologies. The projects incorporate the development of new chemical reactions for high specific activity probe synthesis; nanoparticle platforms that can incorporate one or more imaging agents; the utilization of physical chemistry to develop models that can predict and explain reactivity at the tracer mass scale; and automation technology for radiotracer synthesis.

All trainees will receive a well-rounded radiochemistry training experience and will be immersed in challenging, multidisciplinary research projects in a highly stimulating educational environment. The vision for this project is to foster a community of scientists highly trained in the fundamentals of radiochemistry, who are able to collaborate across a wide spectrum of disciplines. The concentration of research efforts into five projects is designed to create scientific coherence. Complementing this coherence is a set of courses that will ensure a solid foundation in radiochemistry, a deep understanding of its applications, experience with translating research into teaching, knowledge, and an ability to communicate the benefits of radiochemistry to the public.

For more information, contact Jason S. Lewis at lewisj2@mskcc.org.